It is an amazing tool – easy to download, easy to use and the visual quality is remarkable. I think in the near future, this type of visual communication tool will be used more and more in the workplace. Here are a few tips for putting your best face forward when using Skype.
Look your best
Even though you may be sitting at a desk and looking into a laptop camera, dress as you would for any professional in-person meeting. And that means full dress – not dressing from the waist up. You never know when you might have to stand up and reveal those sweats or undies.
I wear makeup when I’m on a video cam. I usually wear makeup anyway, but just a light dose of it. Today, I took extra care with it and styled my hair. I perform better in meetings if I feel good about the way I look. I think most people do, too.
Test your equipment
This was a high-stakes meeting, so I did a dry run on connecting with the other party yesterday. I added them to my contact list on Skype, which makes it super easy to establish the connection when the time comes.
Remember, technology always has to be tested before any kind of presentation or communication event.
Be mindful of your surroundings
In most cases, you’ll want either a blank wall or shelves of books behind you. Put any political campaign signs away.
Move barking dogs and meowing cats to another room and close the door. Turn the ringer off on your landline and cell phone.
Put any documents you need right next to your laptop or desktop computer and have a pen and paper handy for note-taking.
Smile and look into the camera
When I’m thinking, I tend to scowl. Don’t know why — it’s just a mannerism. So I try to remind myself to keep a pleasant look on my face. Video cameras are pretty unforgiving in the way they make you look — just like television cameras.
Also, remember to look into the camera, not at the picture you see on the screen. That way, you’ll be looking directly at the person/people you’re talking to.