Make Sure Your Body Language Is Sending the Right Message in Meetings.

Body language is a critical part of our public speaking skills.

In business meetings, before we open our mouths, our body language speaks volumes. When business is conducted virtually, we need to remind ourselves we aren’t alone but part of a bigger business team. Our virtual body language should mirror how you behaved when in person.

Most Important Tip — Posture: To remain professional and convey confidence, you should “take up space.” Sit straight with shoulders square. Avoid lying back in your chair, slouching, or resting on your elbows. Avoid swiveling in your chair. You can change your position, but don’t fidget as it comes across as boredom. Avoid linking arms behind the head as this appears too casual and disinterested. 

Smile: just as you would in person, make sure to smile when you first join the meeting. 

Lean in: you can convey interest and agreement by slightly leaning in.

Eye contact: when speaking, look into the lens of the camera. When others talk, you can look at them on the screen. This appears the most natural.

Hand gestures: decide if you want your hand gestures to appear on the screen or not. (Avoid having only parts of the gestures visible to others.) If you do not want them seen, sit about an arm’s length away and ensure that your hands remain out of view. If you choose your gestures to show, sit further back. When gesturing, keep hands close to your body and always stay within the size of the screen. 

Hands: keep them away from your face, hair, clothing, and jewelry. 

Facial expression: keep a warm, open, and interested appearance throughout. 

Pro-Tip: if nervous, breathe and “ground” yourself. Place both feet flat on the ground and both palms flat on your desk.