The good, and bad, news is that speaking on zoom and speaking in a room have lots in common.
Your body language speaks louder than you do, whether face to face on in 16:9.
How we hold ourselves, move our hands, or smile, shouts at our audiences. They may not know exactly why they form their opinion about you, but they will form one nonetheless.
Using a few confident gestures and keeping your back straight works well on stage and it also works on Zoom.
So does eye contact – I coach people how to look around the whole room from a big stage – on zoom, make sure your camera is at eye level, and focus on it. How do you feel when someone talking to you is looking at another screen to the side of them?
Secondly, give yourself room, don’t get too close to your camera, instead, sit back, make space. If you can and if technology permits, even stand some distance away (you’ll need to have a separate mic for this). Be aware of the confines of that rectangle: your hands shouldn’t disappear out of frame, and nor should you!
Third, smile and nod a lot. It’s so easy for attention to drift in video meetings, and when others are speaking you need to signal repeatedly that you’re still “in the room”. Be engaged and engaging – and signal this with your body language. Your fellow participants will warm to you as a result.
There are other, transferable skills too, dress well, adopt a professional persona, and use pauses effectively to give your audience chance to think. Take your time, jerky or nervous gestures will distract, slow and deliberate ones will emphasise your points.
My biggest tip – we are all fed up of zoom and, we are all human, so smile, look them in the virtual eyes … and that will speak volumes before you open your mouth!