Tools like Skype can be great for meeting with other team members, presenting to clients, or networking with other businesses. The main advantage of Skype is that it allows users to make free video and audio calls anywhere in the world. Now, there is no need for a pricey long-distance phone plan. When using Skype as a business tool though, it is important to remember these four pieces of advice.
Look At The Camera, Not At The Face
In a face-to-face conversation, eye contact can be powerful. Making eye contact with another person conveys a sense of confidence and openness. In business-related conversations, eye contact can make or break a deal. It's easy enough to do in person, but with a computer screen in the way, the temptation is to look directly at the other person's face - at the screen. In order to keep eye contact while using Skype, though, users need to look at the camera. Train yourself to pay more attention to the camera and less attention to the screen. Try to relax, and make sure you blink on occasion. A relaxed, smiling face is more attractive than a pained, misdirected face.
Your Attire Should Suit The Occasion
Skype is a mobile tool that can be taken home. The home-based videoconference though, can be a terrible snare. When Working from home
, the temptation is to be as comfortable as possible - wearing sweatpants, lying in bed, sipping a coffee. Nonetheless, business is business. The mere fact that you are at home doesn't change how professional you should act when you carry out business activities. A business partner or potential client doesn't want to see you dressed in a suit jacket and pajama pants. Should you have to get up, or should the computer get jostled about, your lack of professional dress will quickly become apparent. If you choose to use Skype from home, make sure that you dress appropriately for all work-related video calls.
Make Your Skype Environment As Similar As Possible To Your Work Environment
The place you choose to be while on Skype will impact how others perceive you. When having a Skype conversation with a colleague, superior, or client, avoid noisy coffee shops. If at home, make sure the other person can't see the Metallica poster on your wall or the pile of unwashed laundry in your bedroom. Do everything in your power to make your Skype space as quiet, professional, and clean as possible.
It is also important to consider lighting. It is usually best to conduct a video call in a well-lit space to ensure that the other person can clearly see you.
Make Sure Your Technology Can Handle The Workload
Skype is an amazing piece of technology, but like all computer programs, it requires system resources to run. If the user's computer lacks sufficient resources, or if the Internet connection is too weak, what would have been a productive conversation can turn into a chopped-up, confusing mess. The video can break up, the audio can turn to static, and important information can get lost. Make sure your video and sound cards fit Skype's minimum requirements. If necessary, upgrade your RAM and delete old files from your hard drive. Purchase an external microphone with a filter if your built-in microphone produces poor audio quality.
Skyping for business purposes can be a great experience that generates results. To get the most out of Skype's videoconference software, make sure your computer is in top shape. By modifying your home environment and dressing appropriately, you can present yourself as a professional. Make sure you look at the camera in order to maintain eye contact. By following these four tips, you'll be set to get the most out of Skype.