Presenting Your Best Self On and Off the Virtual Platform

Presenting your best self both on and off the virtual platform is crucial because your presence and behavior affects the impressions that others have of you. 

We’ve all had our fair share of meetings, appointments, and classes. At some point, you’ve attended one or all of these both in-person and virtually. Many of the interactions you had have been completely virtual in recent years. You’ve probably become accustomed to it. Now, places are gradually shifting back to face-to-face or in-person, although some things remain virtual. So why is it important for you to know how to interact both ways? Simply put, you’ll have to present your best self both an in-person and virtual presence.

According to Forbes, displaying great executive presence is key to success.

“Your executive presence determines whether you gain access to opportunity. There’s a saying in leadership, ‘All the important decisions about you will be made when you’re not in the room.’ It’s true. Whether it’s a decision about an important opportunity, a promotion to a critical role or an assignment to a high-visibility project, you won’t be in the room. The opportunities you gain access to depend on the confidence you’ve inspired in the decision makers. And, the more significant the opportunity, the more important executive presence becomes.”

While some rules of etiquette overlap, let’s review 5 simple tips each on how you can present your BEST executive self both on and off the virtual platform.

Virtual Presence

1. Turn Your Camera On

It’s easy to hide behind a closed camera when we don’t want to be “present” in a meeting. But imagine life before the pandemic; could you walk into a conference room, pull up a blank screen and not be seen? Of course not. Similarly, when you are in a business meeting, turn your camera on. After all, body language is 55% of the impression you make. And you’d want to make a good impression, right?

2. Create an appropriate space

Ensure that you have a clutter-free space with appropriate lighting where you can consistently hold meetings or appointments. Opt for a blank wall or a wall with little to no distractions. You want to be the focus, not the background. If conducting a meeting from home, make sure pets or other household members do not come into view. It’s best if you have a completely separate space altogether.

3. Minimize distractions

Avoid doing other things during your meeting. While multitasking can be a great skill, it is not appropriate for virtual meetings. Silence all other devices. Definitely do not eat or chew on gum either. We wouldn’t want you coming off as unprofessional.

4. Frame yourself

Line up the camera with the top of your forehead. This will give you an optimal angle. Don’t sit too close to the camera and sit up straight. We saw a lot of foreheads and chins when the pandemic began, as many of us didn’t have the proper set-up in our homes. Since WFH is permanent for many, we need to make sure we have the best equipment to look our best during meetings.

5. Maintain an even volume

You will want to use vocal projection so when you speak up, you are heard in meetings. Keep in mind that there is no need to yell. It is recommended to use headphones with a microphone with noise cancellation to deliver better sound quality.

Virtual communication takes more than just clicking on a link. But fear not! We are here to help! Check out our eBook! You’ll get 52 tips that will transform the way you communicate on the virtual platform so you can always sound like the expert you are.

Physical Presence

Those same tips can be used with face-to-face interactions. Just remember that instead of being in front of a camera, you’ll be in front of a live audience!

Related: Do Your Non-Verbal Communication Skills Need a Brush-up?