Zoom Survival Guide for Introverts
I have always been a bit shy. I’m not a traditional introvert, though. You might call me an “ambivert” – I like some people in small doses and I’m very social in specific circumstances. Business meetings and phone calls are not among my favorite ways to communicate. My anxiety kicks in and I waffle between flight or fight responses.
Welcome to 2020 where Zoom has become a household name. It’s now a verb used to describe any video conference whether you’re on that platform or something else. in some cases, they’re like phone calls and business meetings on steroids.
How do you survive Zoom when you’d simply rather not. Here are some tips that help me.
Better Than the Phone
I dislike talking on the phone. It was a big part of my previous career for 15 years and I would rather not do it anymore. My heart races, my chest tightens, and my mouth goes dry. It’s this way whether I need to talk to a client or call in a take-out order. (Thank goodness for online ordering, right?) For me, seeing someone face-to-face over a video call is hands-down better than talking on the phone, even if that’s a video conference.
Body Language Cues
I take a lot of my communication cues from body language. I don’t have that luxury on a phone call which is what makes it so nerve-wracking for me. I can’t see if the other person is distracted or upset or faking a smile. On Zoom call, I can observe these things which mean as much to me as the words used. “Voice” is not just the words you’re saying, it’s how you’re saying them.
The key for me and a good Zoom call is to have absolutely no distractions. I’m lucky that I have an environment where I can close myself in another room and not have to worry about disturbances, so I take advantage of that. I would even do that when on the phone. If I have to make a call, I either wait until I was alone or take the call from another room. Doing anything you don’t like when uninterrupted makes it a little easier.
(As an aside, it also helps me to have calls or Zoom meetings scheduled so I can prepare for the conversation and not be surprised.)
This sounds crazy in terms of Zoom survival, but having good lighting will help you feel more confident and secure on the call. I’m also lucky right now that I have large picture windows in my apartment, so my lighting is almost always okay, at least. Because I also do two live internet shows, I invested in a small ring light typically used for selfies that I can clip on my computer. It’s cheap and not perfect, but it helps a little.
Direct Your Energy
I tend to fidget on a call. If you do too, here’s a simple fix. Make a cup of tea before the call – or coffee if that’s what you prefer. It gives you something to do with your hands while you’re talking on the video conference. I will also busy my hands by taking notes, which is essential for most of my calls, but I even find myself doing it in more casual conversations.
Recognize Zoom Fatigue
Finally, if you just can’t stomach the idea of another video call, know that Zoom Fatigue is very real. As many people shifted to remote-only workdays, Zoom meetings replaced every possible face-to-face conversation in the office. Some people found themselves on two or three Zoom calls per day. Some of us also began to incorporate Zoom into social interactions with friends and family. It’s okay to take a break from Zooming if you need to.
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