“Even on Zoom, people consciously and unconsciously draw conclusions about your ability within the first 7 seconds of meeting you based on your body language,” explains Business Networking Expert, Ivan Misner, Ph.D., who’s been called "The Father of Modern Networking" by CNN and is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, Networking Like A Pro.
“In your virtual meetings, it’s important to present yourself as alert, interested, knowledgeable and trustworthy,” says Dr. Misner, who has been interviewed my MSNBC’s Your Business, NBC’s Today Show, Fox Business, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company, Inc., and others. “Here’s how your unconscious body language might be undermining your relationship-building . . .”
The most successful business leaders in the world are known for making strong eye contact in face-to-face meetings. With Zoom, however, it's impossible to do this, so instead of looking at the screen (or at yourself - you know you do it), look directly into the camera so that the other people feel like you are looking straight at them.
Arms often givea subliminal hint that you're not that interested in the person speaking. Folded are signify boredom while arms tucked behind your back can indicate interest. When in doubt, keep your hands out of the camera shot and down by your sides.
Maintain an interested facial expression. Are you smiling, or holding back a yawn? Are you showing interest? What does your face say? It should go without saying that yawning while someone is talking to you is a surefire way to shut them down immediately, and this happen more times than not.
Before you click into a virtual meeting, take a few minutes to ask yourself in the mirror, "What message am I sending to people who may be meeting me for the first time? What opinions will they have of me before I even open my mouth?” Evaluate your look from 12 inches away, about the distance you'll be from the screen.
On your own time, link up with a trusted friend who can give you honest and direct feedback on your virtual body language. Provide them with a checklist of the factors discussed above. Have a 10-minute conversation while keeping in mind those factors. Then, ask them for feedback and be prepared for their honest insights.