Work: How do I make genuine connections in the virtual world?
Ahh...the virtual connection. Why is it so hard to achieve? We should all be used to it by now, but confidence and control while delivering a presentation are harder than we think, especially online! You've gone from 3 dimensional to 2 dimensional. The shift happened so fast and now we are scrambling to gain the soft skills needed to make those virtual connections which lead to success in the workplace (which is now home). I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! In fact here are some of the pain points I have been hearing a lot:
When I am not in the room and I can't 'feel' their responses in the same way and it makes me uncomfortable
I get easily distracted and so do my listeners, how do I keep them engaged?
Silence scares me
I am afraid I am going to ramble
how do I properly and effectively use my power point?
I'm afraid of being boring
The good news is, there are skills you can learn to conquer all of these fears! Just like anything else, you need to learn them and practice them. The more you put them into action, the more comfortable you will be giving a presentation or conducting a meeting online. It's time to sharpen our communication skills and learn new ones. We need to get creative and strategic.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Bring your feelings with your to your presentation. Being more in tune with your own feeling and experiencing them throughout your presentation will help you connect with others. It also activates your vocal tonality and body language to increase the power and impact of your communications .
2. Ask questions and listen in the spirit of curiosity, interest and empathy. Presentations need to include your personality otherwise you're in the 'boring zone'. Those moments before your presentation begins, where people are waiting for one reason or another are the perfects moments to USE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE! Don't take that time to shoot off 5 emails, take that time to connect and learn about your listeners. Ask a questions, learn about your colleagues and let them learn about you. That's connection.
3. Invite everyone into your new workspace. Acknowledge your distractions. That way you will own them when they happen instead of being embarrassed by them. Acknowledge your listeners distractions too! Make them feel like "don't worry, it happens to me too". That camaraderie will help create community.
So, before you go to your next presentation, think about how you feel about your topic and of the points your plan to talk about. If you know how you feel, and experience your feelings, you won't be boring! Engage your audience as much as possible. Keep them attracted so they don't get distracted!
We don't just want to survive, we want to thrive in this new reality!
As always, shoot me an email with any question.