A ringing phone can make our introvert hearts race like we’re about to be under attack. So just imagine when you have to do a video conference or call where the other parties can also see you.
Let me start by saying that I am not into extrovert or introvert shaming. We are all just wired differently and need to respect how our minds work.
Introverts tend to be more thoughtful about what they say. That is why being on the phone or on a video call can provoke so much anxiety. It is unpredictable and can be super stressful if we, as introverts, feel unprepared. Like we are going to be put on the spot and not know what to say.
When ZOOM Calls
Many more of us are now working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak that is happening across the world than ever before. Introverts are very well suited for working at home but the dreaded phone and video calls can feel like a necessary evil that many of us would just rather do without.
The Introvert’s chant: Just send me an email will ya! No Zoom Calls needed. Am I right?!
But sometimes to share our message effectively and run our businesses, we need to be on video calls. So, for my fellow introverts out there who are dreading every call, I have a post today to help you.
Zoom calls have your anxiety rising? 5 Tips: Starting With Zoom Calls The Introvert’s Guide https://immenselysocial.com/?p=4538 #zoom #stayhomestaysafeClick To Tweet
While I think video calls will never become a favorite thing for an introvert I’m going to share some tips I have learned about creating a quick “studio” without expensive equipment that will make your calls easier and better. And also tips to lower the anxiety.
So if calls are making you feel like this…
Read on and…
Zoom Calls seem to be the most popular right now but these tips will work for any video conferencing service including Skype, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Etc.
Depending on the circumstances, get prepared. Do not go overboard with this and go into a massive anxiety-fueled research black hole, but gather at least some basic information so you can feel more at ease. If you are having an initial call with a client, you could ask them some questions over email and get their website and social media information. And also seek to find out what they are really looking for with your services.
I have had it happen where I assumed the client was wanting one type of service, due to the referral, when they were actually wanting a different type of service that I was not prepared to give prices on. Zoom calls like that can throw you off balance when you feel like you are stumbling. So shoot some emails back and forth first.
What Do You Say If You Feel Pushed?
If however you are on a call and that does happen, don’t be afraid to say something like, “I need to look over my notes and get back to you about that.” Or, “Let me check this information out so I can create a custom offer for you.” Don’t let anyone make you feel rushed to a decision or pushed to give information that you are not ready to give. One of our strengths as introverts is how thoughtful we are, so ask for the time you need.
2.Find Your Passion
Along with getting prepared, finding a passion point helps too. Even if it is not your project, you are working with a client or team, seek out something you can get passionate about for the meeting. If you can find something in the upcoming discussion that makes you excited, it will be much easier for you to put aside the anxiety and fear you are feeling for a greater purpose.
As Author and Introvert Susan Cain points out in her beautiful book Quiet: The Secret Strengths of Introverts
“When you’re feeling scared, genuine passion will lift you up and give you the excitement you need to propel you through your fear. Fear is a powerful enemy, but passion is an even stronger friend.”Susan Cain, Quiet
3.Prepare The Tech
Maybe you don’t have a good setup for Zoom calls or don’t feel like you look good on camera. Taking just a little time to tweak your setup can make you feel calmer when the call time comes. And you do not need an expensive studio. I’m going to share some easy and cheap tips. So you don’t look like this:
- Keep the camera at eye level. You can use books or a box to put your device up higher.
- Look at the camera, not the screen.
This makes people feel that you are looking at them. It is hard to pay attention to a little camera instead of looking at the person on the screen but you can stick a note by your camera for a reminder. In a class I took via Udemy, Confidence on Camera, Actress Alexa Fischer suggested a sticky note with a smiley face. This reminds you to look at the camera and to smile.
- Light it up
A window is one of the best options but may not be enough on a cloudy day. Lamps can be too harsh. So my trick, if you don’t have a ring light, is something you probably already have around the house- Christmas lights! I use them in my house all year round. I have a string of short ones and just circle them around my iPad with one of the lights close to the camera. Just make sure you check that no lights will show on the screen when you’re live.
Audrey Coyne has some great tips:
- Check sound quality
You can sit close to use your device mic or use a set of earbuds with a microphone that came with your phone if you have them. But if you can get a more professional mic it’s a good idea as sound quality is so important.
A favorite cost-effective choice among bloggers, podcasters, and now Zoom callers is the Blue Yeti Microphone.
If you are using a mobile device instead of your computer for Zoom Calls you may need an adapter.
- Dress the part
We sometimes go business on top and pajamas on the bottom, but getting dressed like you are going to work in an office can go a long way in how you look and feel. Just a little makeup and polishing up your hair works great. Add a nice shirt and maybe even a colorful blazer if that’s your style. Choose something that makes you stand out a bit from your background.
This leads us to the next tip…
- Clean Up Your Background
Turn your camera on and see what is showing up, what others will see before your Zoom calls start. You don’t want a dirty pile of laundry in your shot. Try to film in front of a basic wall or maybe your whiteboard or something “officy” if that is your style. And yes I made that word up! Just make sure your background is not too cluttered and distracting.
Dominique Sachse demonstrates these tips here:
4.Change Your State
Now we’re getting into the right before the call tips. If you are feeling fear and anxiety before the call, take a few minutes to change your physical and mental state. Whatever works for you. Personally I like to kneel down and pray. I also like to watch something funny that puts a smile on my face right before a call. My favorite go-to is compilations of babies laughing on YouTube. Have you seen that one with the baby laughing at tearing paper?
How can you stay super anxious watching that?!
5.Don’t Be Disturbed
This goes for your mental state too but here we’re talking about interruptions and disruptions. Make sure you let anyone in your household know that you are going to be on a video call. Not doing this can result in some embarrassing moments.
Viral video of the teacher teaching online when her husband walks across the background in his underwear and then runs into the wall, anyone? Embarrassing!
You may also want to put your phone and devices on Do Not Disturb during your Zoom calls to avoid sounds and messages interrupting your call.
Bonus: Don’t forget to Decompress
With all these tips in mind, don’t forget to give yourself some grace and decompress. If you are new to working from home due to the Corona Virus, you may now be trapped at home with family members who are not usually there 24-7. Plus friends and family who don’t even live with you may be wanting to talk to you more because they have more free time and less interaction right now. You may be getting less quiet time in isolation than you had before with people all in your space. That is hard on us as introverts along with the phone and video calls.
Our world is also under a lot of stress.
Don’t forget to carve out plenty of space to rest and be in between your Zoom calls and whatever else you have going on. Everything feels more stressful when you don’t get the time away that you need. Whether you are needing to schedule video calls for work or just with friends and family, set the boundaries you need.
Kimberly Truong told InStyle that she is cutting it off at 9:30 pm. Let’s keep our interactions healthy for us and others.
“Keep in mind that most of these [virtual interactions] are going to be positive, so even if it means taking you out of your zone a little, it can definitely be a healthy thing,” Dr. Amsellem says. “Just know your own limits, and what works for you.” Personally, I will be issuing a moratorium on any phone or video conversations after 9:30 p.m. to really maximize on the alone time that I spend not talking. But you do you — whatever’s best for your health, emotionally and physically.Social Distancing Has Become Too Social, InStyle
After your Zoom calls, Cheers to coffee, a good book, and alone time.
Do you feel better now about Zoom calls? Let me know your tips in the comments!
Introverts unite independently… in our own houses…alone! Even if we have to hide in the bathroom 😉
Be Brave and Stay Safe My Friends
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