With RADA Business tutor and Client Director Charlie Walker-Wise

As we settle into virtual ways of working, for most of us the concept of communicating with work colleagues and clients via online conferencing tools alone is entirely new. If you are used to meeting face-to-face, then having to conduct essential professional relationships online takes some adjustment – not only in terms of how you manage your business, but also how you present yourself on camera.

However, there are some practical steps you can take to ensure you maintain your physical presence and professional composure when speaking to clients and colleagues virtually. Here RADA Business tutor and Client Director Charlie Walker-Wise shares some quick insights for speaking well on camera.

10 points to consider before you log onto a virtual call:

  1. Raise your webcam. Whether it's built into your machine, or you're using separate hardware, ensure it's as close to your own eye level as much as possible.
  2. Think of the bigger picture. Your eyes should be about two-thirds of the way up your screen. If you are too close to your camera it will be impossible to keep your eyes here without chopping off the top of your head!
  3. Stand or sit a little further back. Give people the ability to see more of you. Think about showing yourself from the mid-chest up but still remembering the two-thirds-eye-level rule.
  4. Make sure you are well lit. Try to light yourself from the front whenever possible and avoid backlight – i.e. a major light source shining from behind you, such as a lamp or overhead light.
  5. Use natural light to your advantage. If you are by a window, be aware of being too side-lit – i.e. Where one side of your face is well lit and the other quite dark. Position yourself so you are getting an equal balance of light.
  6. Vocal energy is key. Use more vocal energy than you think you need. Think of it like giving a presentation: that's the level of energy required to make a strong impact through a screen.
  7. You need to use your body more than ever. Physical energy is just as important now as it is when you're face-to-face with someone, so stay energised through your spine. Try not to lean too far forward or backwards in your chair if you are sitting. It looks exaggerated on screen.
  8. Make eye contact. When talking to clients, look at the lens and not at the image of them on the screen.
  9. Be still. Any movements, either from the camera or your body, are hugely exaggerated and can be distracting if they happen too much.
  10. Engage with people. Try not to move your eyes too much. A slight glance down or around looks really magnified and can give the sense that you aren’t fully connected.

How we can help you

From perfecting your performance to focusing on your audience, learn how Charlie and our expert team of tutors can help you maintain your impact on a virtual stage, by contacting us on +44 (0)20 7908 4830 or ask@radabusiness.com.

More advice on how to perform well on a virtual stage, can be found here.