While doing some research on a new video chat application we are implementing, I made this quick observation.
Typically, we read from the webcam blogs that we need to put our webcam on top of the laptop screen or on the desktop monitor. Putting the webcam along the side of the keyboard will project your profile on your audience’s screen.
It also does something else that you really need to consider.
Think back to a time when you were sitting at your desk working on something. There you were, minding your own business and getting work done when suddenly, a friend or co-worker walks up. They don’t sit down at your level to hold a conversation.
They stay standing.
Standing over you and looking down on you.
Talking down to you!
One of the points that I teach in my communication class is how to achieve rapport and gain mind share with your audience by matching their body posture.
Sometimes, this can be as simple as meeting them at their physical level. So you sit when they’re sitting, and stand when they’re standing. By doing this, you don’t come across as overbearing by standing over them or as subservient when you speak from a seated position. Instead, you are both communicating at an equal level.
So what does this have to do with webcam videos and chats?
Well, when you put your webcam off to the side on the desk to conduct your video chat or to create your webcam video, you have to look down into the webcam.
The resulting image on your audience’s computer is a big picture of…
… Drum Roll Please…
You! You, looking down on them!
This is not exactly the image that you want to give your audience, video or otherwise.
So, unless you are going for a special effect, keep the webcam on top of your laptop display or your monitor where it’s about head or eye level, and talk to your video audience as an equal.