In virtual meetings, it can be tempting to look at yourself and those you're meeting with the whole time. And when you're just getting started recording videos, maintaining energy while staring into a black hole can be challenging.
So how do you maintain eye contact in these situations, and how much eye contact is necessary?
I share three key strategies in this video, from easiest to a bit more advanced.
But first - you need to know where your lens even is so you know where you should be looking. Even directing your eyes slightly outside the lens (usually without realizing it) can feel to the people on the other side that you're gazing right past them.
In a profession build on trust and relationships, direct, meaningful eye contact is imperative.
🗒 The Post-it Note Trick
This is a great first step for getting yourself in the habit of maintaining correct eye contact. You can also have a bit of fun with it.
Once you've found where your lens is - on your laptop camera, webcam or smartphone - grab a Post-it note, poke a hole in it big enough for your lens, then add some arrows, a smiley face or a big "LOOK HERE" note to yourself, and stick it on your camera with the lens poking through the hole.
You can think of this a bit like training wheels to help you build the habit.
💻 Position Your Video Window
You can do this in place of or in combination with the above.
If you're in a client meeting, play with the size of the virtual meeting window and the settings. Ideally have it set so that you only see the person you're meeting with and not yourself (so you're not tempted to check your hairstyle). Then shrink the window and place it just below your camera.
Remember, you'll still need to maintain eye contact with the camera - not that window - but this helps to make those eye movements between looking at them and the camera less dramatic.
This is the more advanced option and is what I use to maintain eye contact.
I'll be diving into it more in an upcoming video and will be updating this post with links as the teleprompter I use is no longer available.
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