[Image by Adrian of Pixabay]

We’re all aware of our spatial distances when meeting in-person.  This is where proximity, seating, posture and more come into play.  But what about virtually?  Spatiality is clearly an aspect we want to monitor however some speakers seem to be oblivious.  What I mean is camera distance.

As with other variables, it helps to be knowledgeable about camera distance when you’re conducting a webinar, meeting with a small group or interacting with a large group of people. Let’s go over the different options.

  1. Sitting too close to your camera:  the audience is getting a close view of your chin and your nostrils.  In this example, your participants may be overly focused on your face which may be distracting to see.
  2. Sitting too far away from your camera: the audience may view you as small and potentially being disengaged. This is an issue because they’re not drawn into you and your message.
  3. Ideal Camera distance: an appropriate scale is considered to be sitting so that your image fills up no more than one third to one half of the screen.  Another way to think about this is situating yourself an arm’s length away from your camera. This allows you to adjust the camera so that your hand gestures are visible.
  4. Option of standing:  this is an alternative to sitting and allows the audience to view you from your head to your waist.  You may also opt to mix it up so that initially and towards the end, you’re standing while in between you’re sitting.  Either way it’s far more interesting.
  5. Audience Engagement: tends to be stronger when as a speaker, you’re more natural and gesture freely.  When you have a conversation, you tend to use gestures and therefore you want to behave similarly when in a virtual environment.  Most of us have some nervousness when speaking; by using larger gestures and more gestures it helps to reduce the anxiety we may be feeling. It also slows down our rate which is a very positive outcome.

By using these five suggestions, you can avoid talking head syndrome and have a greater impact on all your listeners.  If you’d like to discuss this further, please email me at dale@profitablespeech.com or call 518-664-6004.