Author: Lynzie Trotter, Marketing Operations Manager, MCA
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we interact with colleagues, business partners and customers. Now that the workforce is seeing a shift to virtual meetings here are a few best practices to make sure you’re at the top of your game.
1) Be a Video Trailblazer
Use Video to enhance focus and the level of communication for non-verbal cues, body language, and facial expressions. Video, if shared both ways, makes it easier to do a remote presentation.
- Be the first online and open to your camera, to encourage others to follow you.
- Talk to the camera as if it were a person, do not look away and multi-task. Virtual eye contact is best to show they have your full attention and project your voice as you would in a meeting room. Make sure you smile, which is something you need to think about without eye contact with others.
- Pick a setting that is quiet, is not impacted by sun glare and the background is not distracting or overwhelming. Make sure the lighting is good and there are no shadows or glare.
- Put a sticky note next to your camera that says “LOOK HERE” to remind you to keep eye contact on the camera and not the other things around you.
- Be mindful of your appearance in dress and grooming; wash your face, brush your hair, do NOT get on video on leisure wear or pajamas, wear work appropriate clothing.
- If presenting in a group, practice your presentation and have roles so you’re not talking over each other.
2) Share your Screen -VS- Emailing Material
When sharing your screen make sure you are only sharing the screen you want them to see and that all other windows are closed on our computer to reduce distractions and the temptation to multi-task. Only sharing the one window will reduce annoying pop-ups from taking your audience’s attention. Send the material after the call so they will pay attention to your screen and voice during the scheduled time.
3) Take Notes on Paper- VS-Computer
Even if you’re taking notes on the meeting itself, typing sounds or visual focus away from the camera indicates a lack of attention and focus on what is being said. Go “old school” with a note pad.
4) Engage Everyone
Do a check-in with everyone on the call to help keep focus and engagement. Give everyone a heads-up so you don’t catch anyone off-guard when you ask each person by name for questions, feedback, or to share. Start the meeting with a note that you will be looking for feedback from each person at the end- thus keeping them tuned into the message. Ask people to state their names prior to speaking.
- Star the meeting with some time to get to know the people and their roles.
- Small talk helps to build rapport to enable you to reach them better.
- Building rapport is even more important in remote meetings when you’re not physically present in the same space.
5) Log-in early and Verify your Tech
Get on early with one other person to verify the cameras, screen share, microphone, internet connection, audio quality and speaker are all working.
6) Stand Up
If you can set up your tech configuration properly, stand up during a presentation since it gives you a boost of energy and confidence. It also keeps you alert and ready to react. Standing also naturally gives you good presentation delivery skills of voice projection, pausing and vocal variety.
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