Virtual meetings have now taken over the workplace culture. As people try to navigate work situations post-pandemic, virtual meetings have become the go-to. Video conference meetings have changed the way people do meetings. It’s a great alternative to connect with people even though not in person.
Now comes the question: should you turn on your webcam when it’s a video conference meeting even though it’s not required by the host or the meeting? The answer is an absolute yes.
Reasons why you should turn on your webcam during video meetings
Video conferencing can bring a lot of benefits, small and big businesses alike. Turning on your webcam can even help you maximize this kind of virtual meeting further. Here’s why:
It can make everyone feel connected
In a time where we don’t see each other at work and we’re not physically with one another, making everyone feel connected is very important. Webcam feeds can help make everyone feel like they’re part of the team (which they are, of course). The sense of belongingness and cohesion as a group can help bring everyone together and give security and comfort.
It boosts confidence
Turning on your webcam also gives you a boost of confidence as the speaker. Virtual meetings may have a different atmosphere than in-person sessions and this can disrupt your flow if you lead the meeting. A boost of confidence can change that. With your webcam feed, you have the chance to assert leadership and build confidence as you go along the meeting. You’ll also be able to direct the meeting much more smoothly.
It encourages engagement
Webcam feeds also encourage engagement. When hosting a video meeting with several people, it allows people to really engage with each other and keep the conversation going smoothly. People will be able to encourage each other, direct questions to each other, and more. This works best in brainstorming sessions and other virtual meetings that require teamwork and active conversation among the members.
It shows non-verbal cues and facial expressions
Perhaps one of the best reasons why you should turn on your webcam is that it shows non-verbal cues and facial expressions. Virtual meetings can make it harder for us to fully communicate. Especially considering the fact that experts agree that 70-93% of all communication is nonverbal. This just means that without webcam and video feeds, there is a chance that you won’t be able to effectively communicate and understand the reactions of the people you’re talking to.
It shows respect
Another reason is that it simply shows respect. Turning on your webcam sends a message to the participants of the meeting. It can be “I’m here, I’m ready to start and cooperate”, or “I’m listening to you and I’m engaging”, or even “I want to be a part of the group and conversation”. This simple gesture can mean a lot to the rest of the people in the meeting. It’s a simple act of courtesy that will help uplift the mood and boost everyone’s morale.
Tips on improving your webcam quality
Now that you have an idea on the significance of turning on your webcam, you need to be prepared for your next video meeting. Here are a few tips on how to improve your webcam video quality:
Rearrange the webcam placement
First and foremost, check the webcam placement. If you find that your webcam is not capturing the best of you, move it or rearrange it. The recommended placement of your camera is eye level and it helps you maintain eye contact with the webcam.
Check your background
Make sure to check your background as well. Does it look messy? Is it too dark? Are there a lot of possible distractions? If you think so, you can also try to change your location or change your background through the help of the video meeting platform.
This is also basic video conference etiquette: it’s best to dress comfortably. Not too casual that it might seem unprofessional, but just enough to look respectable and ready to be a part of the conversation.
Change your monitor light
You might have noticed that sometimes you look blue in your webcam feed. This is because the light monitor screen is usually a shade of blue that makes you look like a cadaver. Rectify this by switching your light display to a warmer shade instead.
Do a test video
And of course, before anything else, do a test run. See if the angle of your webcam is good, check if your background is not too distracting, check if you look like a zombie. Making sure your webcam quality is good can improve the flow of your next video meeting once it’s time.