Keeping up professional appearances on Zoom

Keeping up professional appearances on Zoom

Do you really need to get out of your pajamas before a zoom conference? Under lockdown and home office, we tend to relax, tend to think that no one really notices. ¡WRONG!

Here are some cardinal rules to start your zoom-based office from home. Your voice is much like your face after eight hours of blissful sleep, it takes a while to lose that distinctive, muffled sound of still sleepy voice.

Just as your face, your voice, like it or not, clearly tells your audience that you have just woken up, that perhaps you are still half asleep.

Before switching on your computer, talk to someone in your family, as this will help to exercise your vocal cords and will open the full range of your voice box.

If you live by yourself, turn on the radio, argue with the news reader or sing along for a few moments, open your mouth wide, stick out your tongue and make fun of yourself in front of your bathroom mirror.

Now, both your face and voice will convey expertise in your zoom conference. We have talked about your zoom background before, so, please just be mindful of your own stage settings of your background and the clothes your wear when using virtual conference tools.

Did you ever take a course in assertiveness training?

Imagine that the person you find intimidating has no clothes on? Naked people, to our unconscious mind, are more vulnerable, they are at a disadvantage and easily outmaneuvered by an opponent. Hence, if you are no longer in your pajamas and you have put on nice and comfortable clothes, your non-verbal language will be strong and will play to your advantage.

Shutting the door to your home office space is useful, your cat jumping onto your desk while you are trying to close an important deal over your zoom link will most certainly distract you, and audience may not notice your dog  barks insisting on going out for a walk, now.

If your children are at home, tell them that you will be in an important meeting to avoid disruptions. Kids tend to shout from where they are: Mummy, where are you?

Now, be careful as to how you reply: I’m at my desk; and your child replies in a loud voice: No, mummy, you are not at your desk, you are in the kitchen, why do you tell a lie? This kind of dialogue will not improve your online appearance, so, keep your doors shut to avoid interruptions.

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