Conducting a meeting or presentation on line is challenging! "Virtual presence" wasn't part of your degree, but here you are in the virtual world like everyone else and you must give presentations and hold meetings virtually. Here are 4 quick and easy steps to get started.
1) Check your surroundings. Is your bed made? Is your background clean? Are there any visual distractions in sight? Clear the area! Make sure the computers camera is either at your eye line or slightly higher so you are looking up, NOT looking down as everyone will see up your lovely nose. Lighting. Make sure you are well lit all around. If you have only one light source make sure it's not from behind you. You want the light shining on your face. If they can't see you, they won't pay attention to you.
2) Bring your personality, people will remember you! It's hard enough trying to connect with people online. You've already gone from 3 dimensional to 2 dimensional, don't become a newscaster delivering information. Bring YOU to your meeting. You are the person that makes it unique and interesting. If you take yourself out of the equation, you will be..... dare I say...boring. Think of the people you like to be in a meeting with or someone who's given a great presentation. Now think about their personality and how memorable it was. If you bring YOU, people will remember!
3) Engage. Engage more than you think! If you give an inch, your audience will take a mile. What I mean is If they think they know what you've said or are going to say, they will tune out UNLESS you engage them. Ask questions: "Has this ever happened to you?", " What do you think of this?". Take a poll: Show of hands, how many of you... Use the chat box: Ask your listeners to answer a question by writing in the chat box, etc.. Use all of these tactics and use then often. Keep on engaging.
4) Show less/talk more. Slides and power points are great, however if your audience can't see you in a corner of the screen they will tune out as soon as they've read the slide. They will do this simply because there is nothing else to focus on and they have the information they need. Keep the slide up only as long as you need so the focus can go back on you, you are much more animated than a slide!
The virtual world presents different problems and requires a more highly tuned skillset. These are just some quick tips, however If you are a person who is highly motivated or you can get together a group of highly motivated people who want to sharpen your virtual communication skills, get in touch and we will set up a coaching session.
Stay safe and healthy!