Video meeting angst? Let’s slip into a more comfortable approach and make video calls and meetings work for introverts too. Born introvert and coach Lucy Griffiths sets the agenda…
Forget owning the room, we now have to own the Zoom. But video calls and meetings can present fresh challenges for introverts or people who struggle with socialising. As an introvert myself, I love how I can work from home in my PJs and slippers, network from my spare room and have a peek into other people’s lives during video calls.
But group calls can be challenging – especially when the wifi is misbehaving or the house is a tip. There’s an added level of stress if you think people are judging your space. I make it a rule to ensure that the corner behind my desk is always presentable.
Navigating video calls as an introvert
A video call or meeting can be exhausting, particularly for an introvert. No matter your disposition, your brain has to work harder to process facial expressions and tone and pitch of voice because you’re not used to having so many conversations on video.
As an introvert, I find three video calls a day is enough, otherwise my energy levels are significantly depleted, but I know other introverts who try to reduce it even further. When in a video meeting, you may feel you need to be more animated to standout, and that can be draining for an introvert. You may feel as if you have to perform because you’re on show with a panel of people watching…
What’s more, technology can have an impact on the conversation and you have to learn a new set of non-verbal cues, even with loved ones. Often, there’s a time lag, and this can affect how others perceive sarcasm, humour or feedback.
Here are a few tips to turn even the shiest introvert into a video call master…
4 tips for introverts in a video meeting
- Manage the meeting and mute those who aren’t speaking because background noise is distracting.
- When you want to speak, take a deep breath into your diaphragm. Oxygen enables you to project rather than mumble nervously, and it will also help you think more clearly.
- Sip water and ask for loo breaks– a good excuse for a breather.
- Be open to other technology. You don’t always have to have a video meeting. Check out the software Loom to share your screen on video without the need for a meeting, or use Voxer for voice notes. Often, an old-fashioned phone call will suffice.