February 10, 2023
7 min read
The internet’s online capabilities have been growing exponentially since the ’90s. However, the COVID-19 pandemic was certainly a catalyst for the transition to virtual classes and workplaces.
Even though platforms like Zoom existed pre-pandemic, the use of Zoom (and other platforms, like Google Meet) has only increased. Changes are, it’ll continue to increase. Remote work leads to higher engagement and even more productivity.
We’re online now more than ever, and with this model of work comes new challenges. One of those challenges and considerations with being online constantly is virtual presence.
Virtual presence is the capability to effectively communicate, lead, and connect outside of in-person conversation. Here’s why that’s important.
Because you’re behind a screen, all someone has to get to know you is an image of your face and your voice. That’s all. You don’t have the luxury of greeting or participating in meetings in person. When you’re in person, people can easily pick up on your full body language.
Having a good virtual presence makes you stand out. In the same vein, having a less-than-impressive virtual presence can affect how others view you.
Unfortunately, Zoom fatigue and virtual presence often go hand-in-hand. Zoom fatigue is the resulting mental exhaustion and burnout that occurs because of how much time we spend on online video conference calls. Thanks to the shift to remote work, Zoom fatigue is extremely common and can heavily affect your virtual presence.
Although it’s critical to have a good virtual presence, it’s tiring to participate in calls all day. There are a few culprits of Zoom fatigue, including:
With Zoom fatigue in mind, let’s take a look at some examples of virtual presence. That way, you can tailor your online habits while also remembering to take time for yourself to prevent that exhaustion and burnout.
Virtual presence encompasses a few different aspects you should know about. For example, the way you look has an effect on how others view you, too.
Although it might not be fair, if you’re wearing pajamas or have your hair in curlers, people can make prejudiced assumptions about you. Of course, the way you dress has no actual effect on the way you work. Still, it’s something to be aware of.
Besides how you present yourself, things like the tone of your voice and how confident you are also influence your overall virtual presence. Let’s dig into that a bit more.
Creating a good virtual presence for yourself doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these six tips to create a good virtual presence.
Nowadays, your virtual presence is absolutely critical to how you’re received at work, in school, and even in everyday conversation. If you’re looking to improve your virtual presence, one of the best ways to do so is to practice.
You can practice your virtual presence through a communication coach like Yoodli.
Yoodli is a free speech coach that relies on AI technology to analyze a user’s speech patterns and effective communication skills.
It’s very easy to use — simply upload or record a video of yourself practicing speaking and check out the instant analytics. Some of the many analytics included are your word choice (including weak words and filler word usage) and your body language (think facial expressions or hand gestures).
One of the best ways to practice is with other people. Try recording a Zoom call with friends or coworkers. Then, upload it to Yoodli. You can improve your virtual presence by focusing on the tips mentioned above and analyzing the individualized insights you’ll get to improve.
To make it even easier, check out this quick tutorial on how to use Yoodli with Zoom.
For example, you might notice that you don’t smile often. If that’s the case, you can make a conscious effort to smile more — when appropriate of course — and work on your body language.
That’s not to say you can’t practice your virtual presence by yourself. Consider practicing your virtual presence and speaking skills with Yoodli’s interview function.
You can practice answering pre-made questions and prompts, like “Tell me about yourself,” or input your own questions directly into the text box. Yoodli will analyze your response and give you actionable tips and feedback you can use to improve your virtual presence.
Like it or not, your virtual presence can determine how others view you, in both a professional and personal light. Having a good presence while online ensures a better experience for everyone.
Impressions are important, especially at work, and that alone is a reason to work on your virtual presence. Putting out the wrong virtual presence can affect how people read you. That’s why it’s so important to elevate your virtual presence through body language, framing, engagement, and confidence.
Today, virtual presence is everything, whether you’re in a Zoom meeting for work or on a casual video call with friends. Make sure you’re looking and acting your best, since remote work and future career trajectories rely on people getting to know you virtually.
Unfortunately, working virtually means your coworkers, managers, and bosses can only see part of you and not your full presence, like they would in person. However, that doesn’t mean your career has to suffer for it.
Getting better at speaking is getting easier. Record or upload a speech and let our AI Speech Coach analyze your speaking and give you feedback.