3 Things You’re Doing On Zoom That Are Killing Your Leadership Presence

Woman using laptop and having video call with her doctor while sitting at home.

It’s more than your appearance that you have to consider if you want to establish your executive … [+] presence.

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If you want people to see you as a leader, you have to look like a leader. Certainly, you should consider how you present yourself physically on video calls. But it is more than your outfit and backdrop you need to think about. You want your interactions and communications to go smoothly and not let anything detract from your substance. Here are three things you might be doing that are undermining your authority and presence on Zoom:

1.     You are experiencing technical problems.

Test. Test. Test. When it comes to technology, try to check how the program runs before you need it. Check that you have properly downloaded the software. Check that your video and microphone work. Look over the options and tools that can enhance the call before you get on. 

Technical difficulties frustrate people. And regardless of whether they are your fault or not, it can be difficult for people to disassociate you from the difficulties. Namely, people will be frustrated with you. Take a little extra time before the Zoom call to test your technology and ensure a smooth meeting.

2.     You are talking over people.

One technical problem you may experience is slow internet speed or lag time. That is, it may take longer for someone else’s comments to transmit and be heard. If you notice this, try to resist the urge to start talking immediately after you think the other person has finished their thought. You could also acknowledge the lag time and suggest to participants that they say something to indicate they have finished their thought so that others know when they can chime in.

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It is annoying when you hear people talking over one another, even if it is not their fault. Don’t be afraid to pause. Silence never hurt anyone.

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3.     You have not muted your microphone.

Leaders should not be the ones doing all the talking. They should be listening, too. If you are not talking, mute your microphone. This is particularly important if you are taking the Zoom call in a noisy house or a public place. Your microphone might even cause an echo. Noises are distracting and can detract from your presence.

Being a professional means acting professionally. Test your technology to avoid snafus, don’t talk over people and mute your microphone when you are not talking.

What do you avoid to maintain your authority? Share with me your stories and thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn.

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