Tips For Online Meetings
If it's true that 85% of professional success comes from soft skills and people skills (according to Stanford University, Carnegie foundation and Harvard), then maybe this is the perfect time to work on developing that 85%!
Just as with in-person communication, communicating virtually demands that you be clear, concise, and professional. If you think that your demeanor, speech, voice, or language skills may be in need of a "tune-up" or even a slight "make-over," take the time to address it.
Awareness, practice, and small changes can make a huge difference not only to your work performance and standing, but to your state of mind, as well.
In the meantime, here are some tips for attending online meetings:
1. Make sure that you are familiar with the technology you will be using, and that the audio and video are cooperating. Find where the mute, chat and share functions are.
2. Get ready ahead of time: dress appropriately for the meeting; business casual, at least from the waist up.
3. Log on a little early. Have some water available. Use the bathroom before logging in.
4. Make sure that pets, children or other people will not be interrupting you.
5. Consider the background. Your co-workers don't need to see a messy kitchen or open closet doors; it can be distracting, to say the least.
6. Set up a practice session beforehand if you are sharing slides on your screen, or if this is the first time you will be doing so on this platform.
7. Mute your cell phone, if you aren't using it to call in.
8. Have any notes, props or other items you might need handy.
9. Look at the camera, not the screen, when speaking. If you are presenting, look at the camera. That's how you make eye contact.
10. Try to stay relatively still and attentive. Remember, everyone can see you. Maintain a nice posture and at least neutral (or pleasant) facial expression.
11. Use some gestures. Vary your vocal intonation. Be your dynamic self, just through a screen.
12. Be patient with technical glitches and human error. Smile!
Some of the specific issues I work on with my clients involving telecommunication include the following:
1. Virtual Presence Learning to leverage breath, voice, and physical choices to engage any audience of one or many in a virtual space
2. Honing Active Listening We are 40% more likely to be distracted when communicating online.
3. Relating to the Camera Naturally and effectively channeling your energy to the camera
4. Speaking Like a Leader Online Becoming aware of and eliminating unconscious behaviors that can be magnified by the camera, undermining authority and distracting your audience
5. Communicating with Confidence Learning strategies for defusing nerves related to collaborating with colleagues in an online context