Many of us take for granted our image and reputation, which can be built up or jeopardized through technology. Participating in a Skype call is just as important as presenting live to a group.
By avoiding the following five pitfalls, you improve your relationship with your listener and your influence.
1. Know Your Technology. Do a test run before a live Skype call. Avoid the mistakes I’ve made. Even though my Skype technology worked seamlessly the day before, the sound and image failed the next day when I was attempting to call a client. Before making that call, be prepared by knowing the “how to’s” for testing sound and image clarity that your listener will see.
2. Stay Connected. Talking while you’re looking down, to the side or over the camera is distracting to your listener. When they become distracted, you’re inviting them to do anything but listen to you. Stay focused on your listener and the conversation by looking at them as if they were sitting in front of you live.
Make sure you are always centered in the frame. Avoid sitting too close to your camera or too far away, which can negatively impact what your listeners see and hear.
3. What’s Behind You? Always know what your listeners see behind you. Are the pictures, works of art or bookshelves behind you a strong representation of your image?
4. Minimize Distractions. Respect your listeners’ time by giving them your full, undivided attention. Sending text or email messages,
answering a phone call or having a side conversation with passing-by co-workers communicates to your listeners that their time is not valuable. Schedule your Skype calls when you can commit to being present.
5. Have a Back-up Plan.
Technology is not perfect so be prepared for worst-case scenarios. What is your back-up plan when your Skype call simply isn’t working? Will you be able to handle this situation with grace and confidence? Walking into the unknown is easier to do when you are prepared for the worst.
Treat Skype calls with the same level of respect, preparation and focus as you would a live, face-to-face conversation. Skype gives you another avenue to build your reputation.