A new generation of online communication.

Yes, that's my Dad on Skype.

Videoconferencing is not just for large corporations anymore. Small companies use it, sole proprieters use it, and yes, mom and dad use it, too. Whether people pay for a hi-tech interactive telecommunication boardroom or use free software such as Skype, which runs on a home computer, online communication has entered a new era.

Star Trek boldly went wireless in the mid 1960s with handheld communicators, but it was the video-intercom jumbo-tron on the bridge of the Enterprise that ensured a successful mission. Whether you’re presenting a webinar or posting a podcast in real time streaming video, it’s good to remember the three Ps –Posture, Position and Pronunciation – so you, too, can be as victorious as Captain Kirk.

Onscreen slouching can cause Quasimoto to become green with envy when the camera visually adds “those ten pounds” to your hunched back. To avoid being confused for that famous ringer, do as your parents or drill sergeant ordered: head up, shoulders back and chest out.
Sitting correctly prevents back pain and contributes to a good appearance. Your confidence will grow and people will take you more seriously. Remember: James Tiberius Kirk always sat tall in his captain’s chair.

Camera position is key. Too far away and you’ll look like a midget. Too close and folks will focus on your nose hair. Get it just right – an appropriate mix of upper body and minimal background – and you’ll be admired by millions of cyber-fans and Andorians alike.

Place the webcam about 36 inches from where you’ll sit so the microphone can still acquire your voice. Zoom in and focus on yourself. Verify the screen is filled proportionately and that there’s enough room to show hand gestures, display props, like a book, or complete a demonstration.

Warm up with the tongue twister and say, “There’s terrible trouble with Tribbles,” three times clearly enunciating each syllable before you turn on your techno-tool and broadcast in broadband. Slight transmission delays and tinny sounds from tiny computer speakers, might squelch your voice. Speak slowly and clearly so you sound intelligent and not like a Klingon ordering zilm'kach!(a small apricot).

Record yourself saying a small speech and then play it back. Close your eyes and listen. After you stop laughing at how different your voice sounds to yourself, play it one more time and pay attention to the pronunciation of the words. Practice until you’re satisfied your peeps will find value in your vocalizations.

Is cyberspace the final frontier? No, but it is a strange new world where full facial features and body language are seen by new generations of family, friends, customers and potential clients. Buckle in the three Ps (posture, position and pronunciation) before you “Engage!” at warp speed.

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