How to Perfect Your Body Language for Online Presentations

How to Perfect Your Body Language for Online Presentations 2 Odds are you’re going to be hosting a video conference or webinar sometime in the near future. So, are you ready for your close up? It’s crucial for you as the speaker to be able to establish confidence and credibility with your audience in order to hold their attention, especially on a video conference. Think about it — they don’t even have to worry about looking rude if they want to leave; if they don’t like you, they can just turn off their device. Luckily we’ve compiled 10 tips for simple and powerful body language that you can follow to help build trust nonverbally with your audience. Power of body language 3 Are you sitting slouched over? Arms crossed? Your audience is looking for subtle physical cues to inform how they are going to listen to you or interact with you. If you open up your posture and appear relaxed and friendly, your audience will subconsciously mirror that behavior and be more accepting of what you’re going to say. Check your body language (before you wreck your body language).

Tip #1 Your audience is going to be staring directly at your face for an extended period of time, so make sure that your expression isn’t too intense and try to smile with your eyes (smize), or just relax and pretend like you’re talking with a friend. Your audience will find themselves smiling back at their screens. Like yawning, it’s contagious. Create positive eye contact — not the creepy kind.

Tip #2 Create positive eye contact — not the creepy kind

Your audience is going to be staring directly at your face for an extended period of time, so make sure that your expression isn’t too intense and try to smile with your eyes (smize), or just relax and pretend like you’re talking with a friend. Your audience will find themselves smiling back at their screens. Like yawning, it’s contagious.

Tip #3 Use microexpressions to add animation.

No need to maintain a blank poker face when talking on a video conference or webinar. In fact, your audience will probably appreciate you showing passion about your topic or empathy to their problem. That being said, take a few minutes and preview yourself in the video viewer. Do you raise your eyebrows when you’re surprised? Do you furrow your brows when you’re confused? Being aware of these microexpressions can help you shape your audience’s initial impressions of you while projecting self-confidence on camera.

#4 Decide what to wear — and what not to wear

It’s difficult to take someone seriously when they’re wearing a sloppily tied bow tie or ridiculously tight clothes. You find yourself distracted and focusing on the person’s appearance instead of their message. So make sure you have selected an outfit that is culturally appropriate for the audience you are addressing. Try wearing professional clothes that make you feel good and colors that you know will compliment your overall appearance on camera.

#5 Know your frame game.

“What’s my frame?” — that’s a question film and TV actors ask to understand how the camera is going to be framing up their shot. As you are your own active cameraman, you’re going to have to ask that yourself before your audience even sees you. Are you in a professional setting? Is your chair at the optimum height? Is your webcam pointed directly at you? Is the lighting around you flattering? These are all small things that you can adjust before the webinar to avoid last-minute scrambling, which your audience might interpret as you not being prepared.

#6 Keep your gestures within view

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who liked to talk with their hands? While it can be a fun way to illustrate your point (or a not-sofun way to put out an eye), it can also be a giant distraction for your audience. In a video conference, you don’t have a lot of space for gestures. Keep your movements controlled and on-camera at all times. Be assertive with your movements without being harsh, and try to keep the movement as natural as possible.

#7 Sit up straight, like you’ve always been told

Good posture is a subtle nonverbal cue that your audience will pick up on as an indication of poise. The more open and erect your posture on camera, the more confidence you are going to project to those watching you.

#8 Know your stuff

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating since it will lead to a stellar first impression with your audience. Have you rehearsed your presentation? Do you know your topic inside and out? Do you know whom you are talking to? Are there any cultural nuances that you should be aware of with your audience? Knowing your subject matter will allow you to keep your head up instead of buried in notes. That will give the impression of self-assuredness and intelligence — two very good things when trying to build trust and make connections with new people on a video conference.

#9 Vary your vocal pitch (but not too much)

The inflection of your voice, even before you get into the meat of your presentation, has the power to influence the way others will see you. Before you start your video conference, allow your voice to relax into its optimal pitch. Do some vocal warms ups, practice how you are going to say hello or even just practice the first few lines of your pitch. This will help you maintain a more even and relaxed tone when meeting your audience for the first time. Try to keep your vocal inflection varied but not all over the place. It will keep your tone interesting. Sounding confident and prepared will help establish you as a thought leader in your audience’s eyes.

#10 Get familiar with your good side

It sounds funny, but do you know your “good side?” Being aware of your strengths will go a long way towards establishing credibility with an audience making a snap judgment of you based on what they see on a webcam. Understanding how you look on camera and what angles work for you is an easy way to show your audience that you know what you’re doing and that they should listen to you.