Hosting virtual depositions is new for a lot of people. As we all try to navigate this alternative way of conducting depositions, it’s important to remember that body language matters. Since people can now only access you through their computer screen, how you show up is more important now than ever before.
Dr. Janet Palmer, President of Communication Excellence Institute, put together some fantastic body language tips to help you look your best on Zoom. Here are some of those tips to try for yourself:
1. Select an Ideal Location.
For virtual depositions, your surroundings can make a huge impact on how you interact with others during the meeting. That’s why it’s important to select a quiet place where you’re least likely to be disturbed. Whatever room that is for you, make sure you are not sitting with your back in front of a window or another light source, as this can create shadows on your face that make it difficult for others to see you.
2. Create Flattering Lighting.
While you should not sit with your back facing a window or light source, it is important to have some natural light in front of your face. If people’s faces are showing up brighter than yours during the deposition, it’s time to increase your lighting. Janet recommends purchasing professional lighting products on Amazon.com such as Softbox Lighting by Andoer.
3. Your Camera Position Matters.
When setting up your computer camera, make sure the lens is about half an inch above your eye level, as this is the most flattering angle. While the deposition is taking place, it’s also important to try and make eye contact when you can. This can be challenging, especially if attendees’ faces are showing up on the bottom of the screen, while you’re supposed to be looking directly into the webcam for eye contact. If you’re experiencing this, put the Zoom call in Speaker View and manually move the small attendee squares as close to your laptop camera or attached webcam as you can.
4. Project Your Voice.
In a virtual deposition, we aren’t able to rely on other in-person body language, such as hand gestures and whole-body presence. That’s why it’s essential to have a powerful and strong voice during the virtual deposition. If you tend to be soft-spoken, Janet recommends talking closer to the microphone to augment your volume. Deponents who speak slightly louder than normal give the impression that they have nothing to hide.
If your witness needs more in-depth training on how to look their best during their virtual deposition, contact Janet Palmer at 800.410.4234 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Elite Court Reporting, we are here to support our clients. Our reporters are technologically savvy and ready to report your next deposition or proceeding. Schedule one of our experienced court reporters today.
Still struggling with online depositions? We want to help. That’s why we’re offering free online deposition demonstrations with our staff! We’ll help you get acquainted with Zoom and the ins and outs of virtual depositions and have you feeling like a pro in no time. Email Veronica Hernandez at email@example.com to set up your free online deposition demonstration.