Height is often one of the first things we pick up on when meeting someone in person for the first time.
Historically, height has often been associated with higher levels of power (which we can see influencing the wearing of heels or platforms for both men and women throughout history). In fact, even in recent years, some leaders go so far as having a painful surgery to increase their leg length to acquire more height.
Today however, it is not uncommon to meet someone in person, only after you have already formed an initial impression of them virtually.
In many ways, video can be a great equalizer in professional meetings. Everyone gets the same ‘square’ of visual real estate, no one sits at the ‘head of the table’ and since we can adjust the lens to frame ourselves fully whether we are on the shorter or taller side, our actual height becomes irrelevant on video.
Now – while height itself is not a factor on video, framing is. And the way we frame ourselves matters significantly.
When you think about your virtual setup, consider the following aspects:
- Lens height (at eye level)
- Lens distance (not too far and not too close)
- Lens alignment (ensuring your head is in the upper third of the lens, not in the middle)
The way you frame yourself can place you at an advantage visually, or at a disadvantage. It is critical to get your framing right.
There are many times when I’ve met someone in person who is taller than they make themselves seem on video. And there are times when I’ve met someone in person who is considerably smaller than I would have anticipated.
While it is always a powerful thing to eventually meet someone in person, there are SERIOUS benefits to developing an initial relationship over video. There is a lot that rests within your control, and as we know, first impressions matter a lot.
Take 5 minutes to run through one of our free assessments to see what areas of virtual presence you might be able to improve during your next virtual introduction – and pay special attention to your framing!