Zoom-style meetings and remote work are unlikely to go away the near-future and by many accounts are not going anywhere period. Whether in business or in school or another reason, if you’ve participated in a handful of Zoom-style meetings you know that while we see and hear each other there is still a sense of depersonalization when it comes to communicating this way.
In academia where previously the use of emojis, slang and a conversational tone in written communication were frowned upon many are now calling for the use of the colloquial emotional indicators to help heighten the sense that there is a real person “on the other end of the line.”
We will now have to learn about camera angels and how to interact with our audience in a different way. Public speaking and speaking to a camera are two different things. Those who are used to speaking to crowds have trained themselves to continual cast their gaze over the entire audience, making eye contact with as many people as possible. Now we must train ourselves to look at the camera in a casual and pleasing way as this is how we make eye contact during a streaming meeting.
Adding a personal touch when interacting with people inside or outside of our organizations can send a signal loud enough to be heard over all the digital disruption about who we are, what we do, why we do it and what we care about. The naysayers of digital technology worry that we will lose our humanity—this is a way to keep that as a part of your business model.