MINNEAPOLIS — When we log onto a video conference it doesn't take long for us to pick up on the vibe of the people we're talking to.
"You actually make your decision on someone very quickly," says Andres Lares.
Lares is a managing partner with Shapiro Negotiations Institute.
He says making that first impression starts before you even log onto the call.
"Listen to music you really like or just take a couple minutes to think about something you enjoy and you put yourself in a positive frame of mind," he says.
Also a good idea, he says, is to make sure you check out the person you're meeting with on sites like LinkedIn ahead of time and come into the meeting with a few things you want to discuss.
"You should go to every meeting with a few questions ready, period. And they should be written down," Lares says.
When it comes to the background that people see, Lares says it's good to have pieces that can spark conversation.
Also, don't feel like you have to jump right into talking business.
"Whatever information you want to send around business - you can send it in an email, you can send in a pre-recorded video, you can send it in a proposal, an executive summary, a Power Point," he says. "You cannot replicate the concept of getting to know someone live through video and so the reality is - don't take advantage of that, don't hurry that part."
Most importantly, Lares says to do your best to be authentically you - and weaving in a smile here and there never hurts.
"It actually changes your own state of being," he says. "It can change your mood and if you're more positive about the way you approach something that can be contagious."