How to make someone feel like you are looking at them on zoom. Here are 3 options:
First of all it's hard, especially when there are a lot of people in the zoom meeting, to make someone feel like you're looking right at them. What if their little thumbnail is in the lower left corner of your screen? What can you do so you both feel like you are connecting?
Here are 3 choices:
1) Dissociate your eyes from your ears. This is the hardest choice, but effective. Focus on your camera (the little green dot at the top of your computer) and listen intently to the person speaking. Activate your listening with head nods and facial expressions as much as you can.
2) If you choose to look at the person, wherever they are on your screen, check in occasionally with the camera. Make sure you activate your listening and (this is a must) take note of how others are reacting and narrate what you see, ie: "Oh, Jennifer (whom you saw laugh at something the speaker said) it looks like you found that funny, is there something you'd like to add, we'd love to hear from you?" or "Jonathan, you made an interesting face, what do you think about the subject?" This way, everyone knows that you SEE them and will continue to pay attention, whether you are looking at them or not.
3) This one is my go-to. Put your curser on the thumbnail of the person speaking and toggle their picture up to the space just under the camera, or as close to the camera as you can. Then you can look directly at them and they feel like you're looking directly at them! Yes, those little thumbnails are movable! (unless someone's hand is raised, then you can't move).
Next time you are in a meeting or presentation in the virtual world, let me know which one you tried and if it worked for you!