Are you attending online meetings the right way?

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Simple things for lasting impressions

Covid19 pandemic has introduced us to a new world of  online meetings, webinars and interviews that ensures an easy way to connect with each other. But there are many who feel awkward and not so confident to face the camera. Let’s understand from Pune based Image Consultant Akanksha Agrawal on how you can improve your online presence in these changing times. 

A Harvard University study says, “If that first impression is bad, it takes eight subsequent positive encounters to change that person’s negative opinion of you.”

So, whether you are a successful professional or a job seeker at any level, your skill & expertise helps you a great deal but at the same time if you take your visual impact lightly your chances of falling flat on your face are really high.

Let’s understand these visual elements to know how we can be mindful about them.

Dressing – The most important point to note is, you should be dressed as per your role as well as the occasion.

For instance, you can’t carry Ranveer Singh’s bold & funky attire and walk into an interview. You would totally look out of place.

If you are a manager/leader/ business owner of an organization or appearing for a managerial/leadership role interview or taking one, your impeccable business formals should speak for it. Even during these Covid times, you cannot be dressed in a casual T-shirt just because you are appearing for the interview out of your home.

Believe it or not, the way you are dressed, changes your mindset and brings attentiveness or casualness. When you dress smartly, you are more productive, look more attentive and the same flows through to your team working online.

Similarly, for the interviewer you leave the impression of taking the interview seriously if you are perfectly dressed and it reflects your commitment to get the job.

When you are making a choice from your wardrobe, take into account the following :

1)      Role – Your current role or the role that you are applying for. Even when at home, make thoughtful choices for the shirt, jacket/waistcoat. You might want to go casual and comfortable in your bottom wear considering the online working but be extra cautious of any accidents like turning the video off when moving around to avoid being viral for the wrong reasons. Always try to dress a notch up than your team members for that authoritative look. A simple waistcoat or a jacket can come to your rescue here.

2)      Occasion – If it is an important meeting/conference, you are expected to be extra cautious of your sartorial choices. If you plan on power dressing, you want to look Credible, Official and Influential so pick that white/Light blue shirt in your closet. Color white in psychology stands for trustworthiness and sincerity. Team your shirt with a Neutral coloured suit which does not draw too much attention to itself and makes the person look authoritative and serious. If you plan to wear a tie as well, opt for ties in neutral colours rather than a dominant colour like red or bright blue. When you choose neutral colors in your suit & tie and combine it with a high contrasting shirt, the attention is immediately drawn to your face (where you want it in a professional environment)

3)     Body Language – Imagine talking over the phone when you are lying down on a sofa, you immediately become relaxed and your tone reflects that. There is a stark difference in your voice and tone when you rather sit erect in a chair in front of the table. You might not realize that but for the listener, it is absolutely clear. Even while attending online meetings/interviews, make sure you sit in a proper setting with erect sitting posture. Also, be mindful of your shoulders, they should not slouch. Slouching shoulders send a non-verbal message of being frail, weak and lacking confidence while pushed back shoulders say that you are a “Leader”, follow me.

Grooming – People might argue, how would grooming or personal hygiene affect my online meetings in any way. This is not visible as a dress or body language. Well, that’s true that it doesn’t get caught by the onlookers’ eyes but at the same time has a huge impact on your own mindset. Imagine, when you’ve taken a bath and you smell fresh, hair nicely combed, don’t you immediately feel energetic?

Even when you have been restricted to your home all this while, you cannot be ignorant about your growing beard and hair. A clean shave or a well-trimmed beard talks wonders about you being systematic & care for detail. Don’t forget your nails and be sure that they are well maintained and trimmed as your hands would be the point of highlight with your hand gestures during a video conference.

So, make sure of taking care of your body & hair before you land yourself into the office chair at home.

Positive Mindset – A positive mindset always takes you a long way. Take out time and indulge yourself into meditation (minimum 10 minute to 1 hour.) to relax your body and mind before launching yourself into the daily routine. This would ensure you are more productive, content and energetic throughout the day with minimum stress.

Right Environment – A bed piled with clothes, a cluttered open wardrobe or a messy table is not a good sight in your background. Make sure to adjust the camera beforehand to grab a clean background, the safest bet is to sit in a place with a wall behind for a plain view.

In addition, be aware that the room that you choose has no background noises and double check for your internet connection, video quality and microphone beforehand for last minute anxieties.

Given the current situation of the job market which is adversely hit by Covid globally, there has been a huge spike in the layoffs across industries resulting in tremendous competition for the job seekers.

No matter how technically sound and best suit you may be for the job opportunity, non-adherence to these simple pointers may cost you the opportunity at hand which definitely you cannot afford to miss.

In order to secure a promising job, one needs to clearly stand out in all aspects. Make sure to follow these simple aspects to get the most out of the opportunities that are coming your way and  “succeed”.

For working professionals too, the work from home trend doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon. It’s better for us to train our minds not to treat it as a temporary situation and be casual about it by dressing non-effectively. The situation might be temporary but your impression would last forever!

Akanksha Agrawal

(Article by Akanksha Agrawal – Image Consultant & Image Makeover Specialist, Founder – The Verve Image Consulting. Please call – 7743824353)