Video Conferencing Tips for Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Video Conferencing is the Solution for Communication — Both Verbal and Nonverbal


Communication technology has come a long way since the Pony Express and the Telegraph (Western Union : no offense).

Telephones and Mobile Phones have added the vocal component and now “Video Conferencing” includes the visual component, which is perhaps the most important part when it comes to communicating attitudes and feelings

Larry Kless wrote an excellent post on his blog, including:

        Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Tips

  1. If possible have more than one presenter, change of pace will keep attention.
  2. Keep your comments moving in a logical flow.
  3. Use verbal illustrations to relate your points to the participants.
  4. Summarize your main points.
  5. Clearly state what you expect the participants to do with the information.
  6. Speak slowly and look at the camera.
  7. The best option is to try to stay seated or stand in one place. Try not to pace.
  8. Look at the camera, not your notes.
  9. Keep your arms unfolded
  10. Keep hand gestures close to your body. Try not to gesture wildly.

Elements of Communication

Psychology Professor Albert Mehrabian (UCLA) studied how humans communicate their feelings. He concluded that communication is 7% Verbal, 38% Vocal, and 55% Visual.  In a previous post I elaborated on “Non-Verbal Communication in Social Media.”  Geoff Snyder’s leadership blog describes the components well:

Almost every facet of our personality is revealed through our appearance, our body language, our gestures, our facials expressions, our overall demeanor, and our posture and movements.  

It can include your attire, tone of voice, clearing your throat, rubbing your eyes, crossing your arms, tapping your toes, scratching your nose. Eye contact, or lack thereof, gestures, crossed legs, open arms, and the scent we transmit are all forms of non-verbal communication. Through your choice of clothing, hairstyle, glasses, accessories, and makeup if applicable, your appearance also communicates a strong message.

Especially emotion and conviction are conveyed better through visual cues than through mere text.  This is why corporations and governments spend hundreds of millions of dollars (and thousands of person-hours) flying key personnel around the world for face-to-face meetings.  It is why the U.S. President and Secretary of State travel in person to visit other countries.

These nonverbal factors present a big challenge for those of us who want to use social media to communicate. Not to mention the phenomenon of computers “talking” to each other with automated social media! The $64,000. question is, “How can we send and receive nonverbal messages in a verbal environment?”

Video Conferencing is the Solution

I believe Video Conferencing is the solution.  When I want to totally communicate or to build trust with an internet contact, I use free video conferencing from Google Plus.  Google Hangout is like Skype on steroids. Up to 10 people video-conferencing on their webcams from up to 10 locations and all seeing each other.

Google Hangout “On Air” allows LIVE BROADCAST to unlimited audience and/or recording and replay. Features include screen sharing and white boarding, etc. Think of the time, money and “jet-lag” that can be saved, compared to the old-fashioned kind of “air travel.”

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