He rushed into a client conference call wearing a round neck t-shirt and shorts. Not surprisingly, the client did not pay much heed to his presence and kept steering the conversation away from him. As the project lead, he has good reason to be concerned. The world has adopted a remote operating model as a knee-jerk response to the pandemic and in the process diluting the focus on how we present and conduct ourselves. Being virtual-only accentuates the need to pay attention to our image. The factors that influence one’s image in the virtual world are not very different though.
10 tips to create a good impression online.
- Be on time – If you are running late for any reason, keep all meeting participants informed. It is downright rude to keep others waiting.
- Be mindful of the visual impact of the background / your surroundings while on camera. Preferably, have a plain background or solid curtains that held avoid distraction.
- The importance of being dressed professionally and well-groomed cannot be overemphasized. The visual impact of dressing and grooming in virtual meetings is by no means lesser than in-person meetings.
- It’s bad etiquette to keep munching or consuming alcohol in a virtual meet, even if it’s an informal meet with the team.
- Background noise can be very annoying. So, be on mute and only unmute when you need to talk.
- While in the office, I used to sport a bottle of water on my desk. It was a reflection of how organized I was. Keep a bottle of water and a glass handy. If you drink straight from the bottle, the water may spill over and look very unprofessional. It can be embarrassing!!
- Avoid taking other calls while being on a virtual meet, especially if you are on video and a participant is speaking. Imagine walking out of a meeting room in person while someone is speaking, this is no different.
- Like any other mode of conducting a meeting, plan, and prepare well. So that you don’t waste the time of others and the meeting is productive.
- Don’t keep interrupting while others are talking. Let the speaker complete what they are saying before you begin.
- Avoid getting into a personal conversation when others are waiting to discuss work or start the meeting.