Are You Likable . . . Virtually Speaking by Roz Usheroff

While there are no shortages of articles on the fear of standing before a live audience, I could not help but wonder if the same holds true for virtual presentations.  Specifically, are we equally reluctant to communicate over the Internet as we are in person?

I know that the rules of engagement are certainly different when addressing an audience in person as opposed to trying to connect in the virtual realms.  I also know by experience that how an audience reacts in these different venues is also substantially different.

virtual-presentation

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article titled “Why Likability Matters More at Work” by Sue Shellenbarger likeability – which is becoming a bigger factor for success at work – is harder to pull off on video.  Citing a 2008 study in Management Science, Shellenbarger reports that “People watching a speaker on a videoconference are more influenced by how much they like the speaker than by the quality of the speaker’s arguments”.  She then went on to write that the “opposite is true when a speaker appears in person.”  In what is similar to an irresistible force meeting an immovable object scenario, as we become more dependent on virtual conferencing, overcoming this hurdle relating to the challenges of being liked when we are not physically present at a conference is critical.

So how can you become more likable when you are giving a virtual presentation?

In this month’s eNewsletter, which you can sign-up to receive through my website, I provide you with some critical pointers on how you can become an effective virtual speaker.  While I will direct you to check it out, I thought that it would be interesting to ask you what you look for from someone when they are addressing you by way of videoconference or webinar.  In other words, what is it about a particular speaker you liked and why were you able to connect with them?

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