It’s easy to see when people aren’t doing a good job leading a webinar or video meeting. They seem ill-prepared, they aren’t engaging, they read their slides, they don’t interact.
But what can we do to be better audience members? How can we hold up our end of the social contract?
1) Pay attention. Don’t do anything else while the video meeting is taking place.
2) Turn your camera on. We feel more connected when we can see others and they can see us. As the presenter, it’s discouraging to see empty black boxes rather than faces.
3) Be aware of your facial expressions. I was on a video call with a group of people recently, and one participant was making a face the entire time like they were about to cry. Maybe the sun was in their eyes, or maybe they really were about to cry—either way, it was quite distracting!
4) Show you’re engaged. That might mean smiling, nodding, using the “response” emojis on the platform, clapping, or snapping, but do something every now and then to show you’re getting it.
5) Do these things even if you’re not that engaged. Letting the presenter or meeting leader see that you’re not that into it doesn’t help, and, by acting engaged, you can jumpstart your own interest in the meeting.