How to effectively use your body language in online video meetings during the COVID19

Whether is a business meeting or a casual catch up with your friends & family,the number of chats via Zoom -or other audio-visual chats apps- has increased massively during quarantine, but how much do we communicate with our gestures?

Until the video chats appeared, a phone call could have a lot of mystery. The lack of visual contact made some thing easier to manage.

The screens have unveiled the secret behind the voice of a simple phone call, and now we show us as we are and, above all, with all our body language.

That is not neccesarily a bad thing, but what gestures should you look out for from the other person, or yourself, during a video conference?

Unlike the offline mode, in online and video chats, our face is the main, and sometimes only,  method in which we transmit our gestures and expressions.

You may not notice someone tapping their feet in nervousness on video chat, but you will see their facial expressions.

1. 1. Mouth

Effectively use your body language in online video meetings: Mouth

With the eyes focused on the camera, it’s the mouth that may give you away.

Look out for: Don’t cover your mouth when speaking. The hands on the mouth "cover" things that you do not say. It also make you look like you have little confidence in your ideas.

Look at the smile: if the eyes are wrinkled with “laughter lines”, it is genuine and true.

2. 2. Eyes

Effectively use your body language in online video meetings: Eyes

The eyes normally show our mood. But in times of video, chats the eyes dance around the screen and do not represent well what happens.

Look out for: The speed at which the other person blinks usually indicates their nerves. If you look at the small screen to see how it looks, you are looking at a potential self-centredness.

Trying to maintain eye contact as much as you can with a mobile device is a good idea. If you’re peeking at your TV or anywhere away from the camera, it makes you look as if you’re not interested on what the other person has to say.

3. 3. Hands

Effectively use your body language in online video meetings: Hands

If the hands are completely out of the picture, you may look as a Tibetan monk or someone without hands.

Look out for: Fiddling with your hair a lot makes you look insecure.

If using a desktop computer, it’s good to place your hands on the desk (think a president giving a speech).

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