Making the best use of virtual communication tools has become particularly important this year, yet even if you have already spent hours dialed into conferencing chats, there is probably still room for improvement.
To help you and your clients get the most out of each online engagement, here are a handful of top tips to follow.
Use the right background
The way you present yourself during video calls is important, and yet this is also a challenge depending on where and when you are joining the conversation.
This is where using one of the many high quality backgrounds available from Hellobackgrounds.com is a great solution. They work wonderfully with Zoom and will allow you to transform any drab domestic backdrop into something that looks professional and is not a distraction to other participants.
Establish a consistent meeting etiquette
It is important to ensure that everyone is on the same page when you are responsible for running a virtual meeting, particularly in terms of the etiquette that participants all need to observe.
One great example of this is to encourage the use of headphones, as this will prevent the sound generated by a participant’s device from interfering with the audio and causing confusion.
Another is to provide everyone with an agenda ahead of time and make sure that this is used as the foundation for the flow of the event, helping to avoid any time wasting divergences.
Manage screen sharing with care
If you or another participant in the virtual meeting is going to be sharing their screen for any portion of proceedings, making sure that this is set up and understood ahead of time is a must. This will not only save any protracted fiddling with settings while you are in the middle of an event, but will also avoid embarrassment that might otherwise be caused if some errant desktop file or open browser tab on your laptop is erroneously revealed to everyone.
As with other aspects of virtual communication with clients and colleagues in 2020, practice makes perfect and being prepared well in advance is better than assuming you will be able to handle complex procedures on the fly.
Be aware of body language
Body language is an integral aspect of face to face meetings, yet the shift to the virtual realm can make it seem less important. Conversely it is actually more impactful, and this is part of the reason that video conferencing has been shown to eat up more brain power than you might think.
Good posture, making eye contact with the webcam rather than with the screen and being sure to get your hands and arms involved can improve the extent to which you are able to engage with participants in a virtual meeting.
Plan what you have to say
If you are going to be playing an instrumental role in a video conference, it is sensible to think carefully about what you are going to say so that you can be clear, concise and confident. However, it is also important not to go too far in the other direction; do not write every single word down like a script, instead set out your key talking points as a simple list that you can refer to with ease.
While speaking in public is considered to be particularly intimidating by many, you can do a lot to calm your nerves even in a virtual setting if you have a thorough plan and a lot of practice under your belt.
Samantha Acuna is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Yahoo Small Business.