Newsletter #08: 3 Shocking Blunders To Avoid On Virtual Calls Suman November 10, 2023

Newsletter #08: 3 Shocking Blunders To Avoid On Virtual Calls

In this edition: The virtual blunders you should stop committing | Tip of the week on engaging your audience | Video resource: Playlist on Zoom superpowers 

Hey Reader

Virtual calls have become a significant part of our daily routine, even as we adopt a hybrid work mode.

However, it’s crucial to realize that our growing familiarity with these calls has led us to take them for granted. 

We often leave our cameras off, become complacent while attending, and even skip speaking if it’s not explicitly required.

But let’s pause and think about the long-term consequences of these habits. 

One immediate drawback is the “out of sight, out of mind” effect. 

Your presence and your voice matter, even in virtual meetings.

They still play a significant role in setting you apart for future opportunities and promotions.

Can you really afford to remain unnoticed, quiet and invisible? 

In today’s newsletter, we will discuss three common blunders that we tend to make, despite knowing that they are far from ideal.

Let’s dive in 

3 Shocking Blunders To Avoid On Virtual Calls

1. Your camera is off 

Think about it – would you sit behind a curtain or a door in an offline meeting? Sounds ridiculous, right? 

Switching off your camera is like being invisible in the meeting room. 

But then, your presence and body language is a half the impact you create – which is lost just by going off screen.

PRO TIP: The camera angle matters a lot 

Don’t look down at your laptop camera. Prop your laptop on a few books to bring the camera at eye level.

This way you will also sit straight and directly look at everyone. This is the best way to create impact even before you start speaking. 

2. Your hands are missing from the frame

Did you know that research shows that the right hand gestures get people to take you more seriously. The most popular TED Talks have almost twice the number of hand gestures than the one less viewed.

Most of us become talking heads on a laptop screen. We forget that we can still use our body language, albeit in a limited way. 

So, use hand gestures effectively to communicate better on your video calls.

3. The meeting has too many people 

Keep the group small (preferably). This applies to the organisers of the meeting. A large group in a virtual meeting is a recipe for disaster. 

Not everyone will be able to talk and some of them will necessarily have to be non-contributing members. 

To sum up: 

1. Keep your camera on (and at eye level)

2. Use and gestures

3. Keep the group small 


Engage with the audience 

Virtual presentations (or offline ones as well) are not one-way communication. 

The inability to see people behind cameras emphasizes the need to keep them engaged.

Use the inbuilt engagement tools on online platforms to show your presence. 

Whether as an organiser or a participant, these can be pretty useful in keeping 2-way communication going. 

You can use the hand raise, thumbs up and the applause options to respond at appropriate points. I have found these to be highly effective. 

This is a great and un-intrusive way to be present in a meeting.


Here is a playlist on virtual presence – The Zoom superpowers. It covers 4 important concepts that you can use as a checklist during your Zoom calls to make them more impactful. 

Here’s the bonus video I promised on the most common blunder people make on camera: How to set your camera for a call


If the customer has his camera off, how do I know if he is listening to me? How do I make sure that he is?

This is a very common question that I get asked. And it is indeed a bit challenging to engage with an invisible audience. 

However, I have already shared on effective engagement tip above – here are 2 more: 

1. Stay on the screen for as long and as often as you can – even if you have slides to present. 

Stop screen share during transitions and appear on screen. Seeing you on their screen makes it harder for people to not pay attention. 

2. Avoid monotone like a plague. Talk to people. Use “you” and I often. This makes it conversational rather than a serious, monotonous presentation. 


Here’s a great piece of news – I started my audio events on Linkedin last week. 43o+ people attended it and got to ask questions on communication. It’s Thursdays at 8PM. Next week, we look at communication for job search. 

Make sure you RSVP for the next one on my Linkedin account below.


Next week, I am going to address a very common challenge that people face – fillers! From confidence to lack of ideas and structure, fillers kill your credibility and rob you of confidence. But 3 simple tips can help you clear this hurdle easily. 


Hit reply and ask your questions. Send me your suggestions and comments. Anything!

Hoping to hear from you soon!




Whenever you are ready: 

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Get into a strategy call with for free – book your slot here

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