Don’t Be Camera Shy: Video Conferencing Capabilities Worry Workers

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It can be an exciting experience when you meet another business professional face to face for the first time after only being able to communicate and collaborate in writing via email or hearing them over the phone. It’s human nature for us to wonder, perhaps with anticipation, at what that meeting will be like. While phone and email have helped us to connect with one another, they can be impersonal and limiting. Not only are we located in different places, but we cannot even see each other. After all, so much of our communication is non-verbal.

Video conferencing capabilities help with the perceived disconnect felt over the phone or email, but they present their own set of challenges that, ironically, come about because we’re finally able to see each other. A recent survey found 42% are worried about how lighting will affect their appearances during video conferencing. A large number of us are concerned with how we’ll look on camera, and that’s just the beginning.

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#VideoConferencing #Communication” url=””]How do I look? Workers are stressed out about their appearance.[/tweetthis]

Most video conferencing participants also aren’t ready to communicate effectively using these technologies. Just 23% are trained in the ins and outs of video conferencing etiquette, leaving the rest without knowledge of how to act or behave properly with the camera tuned to them. Additionally, 45% of men and 75% of women find public speaking to be nerve-wracking, which can mean a simple video conference gives participants performance anxiety.

The truth is, for many, it can be a little easier, more comfortable and more familiar to communicate from a distance. Some 59% of those who hosted a video conferencing session were nervous while doing so. Audio conferencing, email and other messaging tools that don’t require participants to appear on camera can be a relief for those who are more appearance-conscious.

But the nerves and self-consciousness that exist are hurdles that, over time, the current and next generations of employees may need to resolve. Not surprisingly, 76% of those who have attended a webcast felt more engaged because they could see the speaker. As video conferencing becomes a preferred method of communication, employers may need to train their employees to be ready to talk and exchange information in face-to-face contexts – and that makes employee training with video conferencing tools an asset for most organizations.

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