Virtual Presence: How to Execute a Clear and Impactful Call
With the COVID-19 virus now affecting millions of employees globally and with huge numbers of people having just experienced their first week of self-isolation, WFH or working under split team arrangements, this means more people than ever will be conducting meetings over Videoconference or other visual media – people are being forced to get more comfortable communicating via a screen.
In reaction to this, Elliott Scott HR recently partnered with Arcadia Consulting, hosting a Webinar training session on “Virtual Presence”. Providing practical support for our Clients and Candidates on the “dos” and “don’ts” for an effective and efficient virtual meeting.
The session was hosted by Mark Albas, Partner at Arcadia Consulting and an ex-TV Presenter. He shared his top tips and takeaways, talking us through how to gain greater clarity, confidence, control and flexibility in the virtual environment, along with how we can prepare and execute a clearer and more impactful call.
Mark’s Golden Rules for Virtual Communication and creating a positive impact on a virtual call (VC) include:
- BE ON TIME! And stress the importance of being on time to other participants: Preparation is the key to success, set aside time to test-run your IT and don’t leave it to the last minute as this looks sloppy and unprofessional. Enjoy joining the call feeling calm and collected
- Dress for the VC: Which needs to be smart business attire, ‘active wear’ is a big no-no - at least not on your top half!
- Sit comfortably: striking the right pose positively affects your brain, ensuring you are alert and your oxygen is flowing! Try leaning-in a little with pressure on your toes, heals up – it works!
- If you are leading the VC, at the beginning of the call ask all participants to identify themselves before speaking including name, title and location
- When the call starts remember to stop using the mute button: You want to make this as real as possible - NO sending texts or replying to emails whilst the VC is running as you are not fully present, would you do this in a face-to-face meeting?
- Actively address people by name when you speak to them: If you simply ask a question or make a remark without indicating to whom you are speaking, it’s very difficult for the other participants to determine who is being addressed
- Be aware of your movement and gestures and make sure you are making eye contact during conversation
- Remember to smile: A small yet impactful way of giving the conversation positive energy!
- Be mindful of your vocal delivery: Consider your words and language as well as your volume, pitch and pace, remember to BREATH, ARTICULATE, SLOW down!
And remember to get in to the mindset that it’s a REAL meeting. If you don’t show or say it, people won’t know – humans are not telepathic. OWN your CONFIDENCE!
Closing thought on The Future of Communication: “In the past, before phones and the Internet, all communication was face-to-face. Now, most of it’s digital, via emails and messaging services. If people were to start using virtual reality more, it would almost come full circle.” Palmer Luckey, American Futurist