Make eye contact with the lens
It’s like you are looking viewers in the eye. It shows confidence and also conveys the feeling that you are interested in them and their reaction to your message. Doing this can seem strange and feel empty because you cannot see another person’s eyes as you look into a lens. I find this to be especially obvious during a video chat.
Easier said than done
The truth is that it is impossible to look someone in the eye during online video conversations using today’s ordinary technology. This is because the camera is a separate element than the monitor. You have to choose between looking at the image of their eyes or giving them the opportunity to look at yours. The only way I can think of doing both at the same time would be by using a monitor that has a camera lens built right into it at eye level.
I admit that I have trouble imagining how that would be possible because eye locations change depending on how you and the person you are chatting with each have your device angled, how far you are from it and where you are positioned relative to the camera lens. I guess you’d need a lens that tracked the movement of the person looking into it and that would introduce a whole other set of problems.
When you can (like on a desktop computer), move the monitor window as close to the camera as possible. It may help to size it a lot smaller than usual to close the gap between the lens and the monitor.
Aside from delay and media compression issues, not being able to look someone in the eye when talking through the Internet is the most awkward thing about it. Two-way, real time video conversations are marvelous although they fall short on the warmth factor. However, when you record a video to be watched at some time in the future, you can at least give the impression that you are making eye contact by looking into the lens and (whenever it is appropriate) smile.
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