Your heart pounds. Your breath quickens. Your hands shake.
Are you watching a scary movie? Getting ready to jump out of an airplane? Nope—you’re sitting in a Zoom meeting, and it’s time for your weekly presentation. Even after more than two years of speaking on Zoom, “all in a day’s work” still causes your sympathetic nervous system to fire “flight or fight” signals.
Most workers enjoy the benefits of working remotely: more flexibility, less commute stress, location independence, and more. However, many employees report feeling stressed out by speaking on Zoom (or other virtual platforms) during meetings.
If you get Zoom nerves, consider these 7 tips for getting comfortable speaking on camera:
Think Positive Thoughts
The mind is powerful, and your thoughts can control your mood, perspective, and how you interpret events.
If you imagine your colleagues are waiting for you to make a mistake, it will likely impact your performance.
Instead, assume that everyone on your team is interested in what you have to say and wants you to succeed.
No one will likely be as critical of you as you are of yourself. Thinking positive thoughts and assuming positive intent can help allay your fears.
Make a Cheat Sheet
When you know you will have to present your thoughts during a meeting, open a window on your screen or grab a notebook and jot down your ideas.
Having a list of talking points makes it easier to express yourself clearly and coherently, with fewer “umms” and awkward pauses for thought.
Set Yourself Up For Success
You’ll feel more confident if you look your best. You may work from home and want to be comfortable, but you should still dress neatly for office meetings.
Choose an outfit that makes you feel professional, adjust your webcam to a flattering angle, and experiment with the lighting in your home office.
Whether you’re preparing for a formal presentation during a meeting or want to participate more, practicing can help you feel more comfortable.
Create a similar environment where you will have to speak up and notice how you feel when you do. Awareness of how your body responds to stress can help you accept it, move through it, and deliver your remarks despite your nerves.
A practice run can also help you hone your delivery, creating even more confidence.
Focus on One Person
Scanning the gallery while speaking on Zoom can be exhausting and nerve-wracking, especially if you see a lot of blank expressions.
Try choosing one person who looks engaged with the meeting, make eye contact, and pretend you are delivering your remarks to them.
Focusing on an individual can help you build a more relaxed conversation flow, further engaging your audience.
Do Some Warmup Exercises
Going from zero to “on” in a virtual meeting can be challenging.
Exercise, listen to upbeat music, or do something else that pumps up your energy and confidence. It’s also an excellent idea to warm up your voice by speaking aloud and practice a few smiles to work the stiffness out of your expression.
Conversely, if you’re already overheating and need to chill out before the meeting, try practicing relaxation techniquesto calm your anxiety.
Breathing in for a count of 4 and breathing out for a count of 8 may help focus your mind and calm your nerves.
Looking for more work-from-home tips? Premier Talent Partners helps job seekers find jobs they love, including remote work options across diverse industries. Contact us today to find a life-changing opportunity!