Bimbo Banter

Video Conferencing—You’re on TV!

  • Trends
  • July 7, 2016
  • by Merrie Spaeth

There’s a new stage fright:  48 percent of people say they worry more about how they’ll look on a video conference than what they’ll talk about according to a Highfive/Zogby poll. The top four excuses for wiggling out of a video conference?

1. Pretending the camera is broken

2. Blaming Wi-Fi quality

3. Pleading another appointment

4. Calling in sick

We think most people are thinking about the web-based meeting apps, and we are in the category of the 35 percent of people who think they’re less attractive on video. The top excuse for skipping video calls is that the equipment doesn’t work. This is frequently true and happened to us just this week. We had an international conference call with Europe, and two of us couldn’t get in. I ended up telephoning in--with dogs barking in the background (Squirrel!!). Dogs, incidentally, are one of the poll’s top problems with surroundings

The expert advice seems pretty basic, except that we admit we’ve seen all the misteps ourselves. Don’t sit too near the camera, eat, scratch yourself, chew gum or blow your nose and make sure your hair is clean.

Where we partially differ with the experts consulted is with their advice that other attendees will be focused on your thoughts, not your looks. Not so fast. This is television where likability affects how people listen.

Benchmark your “listening face,” so when you take questions, you convey, “I like you.” Dress appropriately—simple style, simple colors. And practice. Rehearsal is always key.   

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