Take the fear out of video
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Take the fear out of video

18th October 2019
By Tom Ladle

Have you ever been in the scenario when you join a meeting and woah, the first thing you’re greeted with is your own, rather wild looking face? This can be unexpected but ultimately nothing to fear (even if you’re a little camera shy). A recent survey we carried out looked at webcam attitudes and found that 45.5% of us said webcam made them feel self-conscious. What a shame as there are many benefits of including video in your meetings. Here are a few tips to help you tackle your fears head on and start embracing video (you won’t regret it).

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness

A quote from William Arthur Ward, (classy). Where video trumps a phone call is that you’re able to humanise the interaction immediately. Showing your emotions, whatever they may be, is much easier over video than trying to convey them over the telephone. To ease the nerves, try to maintain a certain degree of eye contact with the other people in the meeting. This will mean you stop focusing on your own digital reflection and it becomes more like a genuine face-to-face interaction.

Practice makes perfect

Like anything in life, the more you do something the less scary it becomes. The same can be said with video. There’s absolutely no harm in turning the webcam on when you’re alone. Sure, it may seem weird, but it will make you more comfortable with how you look on camera. We’re not suggesting you have full blown conversations with yourself (unless that’s your thing), rather just testing your webcam, lighting, posture etc before the meeting. This will prevent any initial shock when the meeting begins and ensure you’re ready to have a productive meeting from the get-go.

You’re not alone

As stated, our survey found that video makes a lot of people feel self-conscious. We doubt you’re the only person in the meeting who isn’t thrilled to be on video. Take comfort in the fact that you’re often your own worst critic. If you’re thinking ‘wow I have big nostrils’, it’s likely you’re the only person thinking that. The less you worry about how you look on video, the more involved you can get in the meeting. Accept that you’re not the only one who’s self-conscious and shift your attention towards whoever else is in the meeting.

Dress to impress

Okay that heading is slightly misleading. It doesn’t mean getting out your finest suit or dress every time you appear on video. All we’re saying is make sure that whatever your wearing is presentable. Sitting there in your dressing gown or towel may be comfortable but you may feel slightly embarrassed when the webcam is turned on.  Feeling embarrassed is only going to intensify your fear of video, so just avoid this situation. Simply dress how you would when you’re in the office, this will make it feel more like a regular meeting, helping you feel more relaxed and engaged.

Farewell video fear (good riddance)

Okay, we can’t promise that by following these tips you’ll relish in viewing your mug on camera. But we can promise it’s a start and that they won’t make your fear any worse. So, what are you waiting for? Lights, camera, action!