How to Make Online Eye Contact

How to Make Online Eye Contact

If your upbringing was anything like mine, you are probably still hearing your mother or father’s voice in your head when it comes to etiquette in social situations.

It’s rude to interrupt others, walk away while they are talking, eat before the others received their food, stand up from the dinner table without being excused etc.

Are these things still relevant in today’s online communication networks? Some of us are multi-tasking like monkeys, replying to emails while having a Skype conversation with a friend, while watching the latest episode of our favourite series. Have we forgotten to make others feel loved, cherished and respected, or have we all settled for a less than appropriate way of socializing? Don’t even let me get started on the latest phenomenon of inviting friends over just to have everyone sitting on their iPhones playing Angry Birds or updating their profiles.

Complaints aside, what does it mean to really connect with others online? Is there a way of making Online Eye Contact to reestablish the connection that one would if it were a face to face conversation?

Let us take a look at some of the ways you can make Online Eye Contact to establish real life connections on the social media sphere:

1. Say my name

If you are talking to someone online, whether it is on Skype or Twitter, address them on their real name. This is not always possible because people have alternative usernames, but try and find out who/what the person is and address them accordingly. For me a ‘Hello Anneke’ is much more personal than just ‘hello’. Small things like this can go a long way.

2. Mention something real

Apart from discussing business ventures and ideas with your clients, try and add something personal that you have learnt from following their online presence. In real life someone would comment on a new hair cut, or vacation spent somewhere exotic- don’t be afraid to ask about what is going on in their lives. These questions would show interest and create another level of connection.

3. Don’t multi-task

Even if you are rushed you will be a lot more productive if you simplify your tasks. Instead of chatting to ten people at once while having seven tabs open, try and set out time for the conversation you are about to have. Think of it as meeting someone in a coffee shop for your meeting. You can even make yourself a cup of coffee, and move to a different room for the conversation. If you are having a Skype meeting, make sure your background is clean and impressionable – this will show the client or customer that they are your main focus.

4. Reveal that you are human

Nobody likes talking with a robot, especially when we are dealing with computers every day. If you are having an online ‘chat’ conversation it is important to include your humanity in the chat. Use brackets to describe emotions, or emoticons to convey your feelings. Remember to find a balance between being professional and personal, bombarding your chat with too many emoticons might come across as being a bit laid back. It all depends on the nature of your conversation and the personality of your client- try to adapt.

5. Make a date

If you are meeting someone for coffee, you would choose a time and place for your meeting, right? Don’t end your conversations online with an empty promise or suggested plan. Make direct eye contact by arranging another meeting online or proposing what will happen next. Instead of just a casual ‘talk soon’ rather inform them that you will update them with the details before 4pm that day. Be specific, this way your clients will trust you and you can hold yourself accountable.

These are just a few ways to help you create better connections with your friends, family and clients online. I had to remind myself that one of my best qualities is to make others feel loved and important through being friendly and ‘present’. I love helping others, but I lost track of this skill by having too many soulless and empty online conversations. I want to prove that in my field of work it is still possible to create and establish meaningful relationships and connections online. 

Do you have any online eye contact tips that you want to share? I would be more than happy to hear about it…

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