“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.”
― Dave Barry, American author and columnist
Feeling the Zoom fatigue yet?
Virtual meetings add a layer of complexity to achieving engagement and good communication. You’re dealing with slow internet, bad audio, tech issues and small children.
But it’s ok – your virtual meetings don’t have to be a drag.
In fact, they require a special set of skills that will serve you well in face to face meetings too!
In this podcast, you will discover practical tips for running productive virtual meetings, as well as how to use them to build your confidence, communication & leadership skills.
5 big ideas for making the most of your virtual meetings
1. Make sure you sound and look good
Even though you may be at home, your virtual meeting room is still a professional environment, people! Make sure your top half looks professional (OK, OK, I’ll allow track pants or PJs as bottoms. Working from home has to be good for something).
Next, you need to make sure your audio is crisp. Invest in a good quality webcam and microphone, such as this one (not an affiliate link). Make sure your mic is a USB mic you can plug into a computer.
Position your camera so you are looking directly into it. I did a LinkedIn video on this recently, make sure you check it out.
2. Plan and prepare for your meeting
If you want to feel confident and get the best results from your meeting, this is critical. In fact, I created an entire Masterclass on meeting planning in our membership program, The C Method Academy, where I take you through a template that prompts you for each thing to prepare for.
(Side note: you can pop your notes on your screen, and no one will know you’re using notes!)
3. Bring more energy than normal
The screen removes a lot of the body language and non-verbal nuances you normally pick up on in-person. As a speaker, don’t be afraid to be more expressive or energetic – it won’t be over-the-top to your listeners.
As a listener, lean in a nod and smile as someone is talking. As humans, we can’t help but want to see a reaction from others (it’s so awkward when you crack a joke and no one laughs because everyone’s on mute), so show your appreciation for the speaker by smiling and giving them a thumbs up.
(And by the way, encourage everyone to pop their videos on, there is nothing worse than speaking to a black rectangle).
4. Be extra clear in your communication
In a virtual meeting, opening up the floor with “What do we think?” can be a disaster. No-one wants to go first, then someone talks without realising they’re on mute, then a chorus of people shout “John, you’re on mute!” Then two people start talking at once, and there’s an awkward exchange of “You go…no no, you go first..oh wait, sorry…ok, I’ll go…”
What a buzz kill.
Instead, use people’s names when referring to them. Say “We’ll hear from John, then Sarah, followed by Michael.” Or “Amanda, what do you think? Jessica, I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.”
This is your change to be assertive and demonstrate your skills as a leader. It’s not about being ‘bossy’ – it’s about taking the lead and ensuring the meeting is productive and runs smoothly for everyone.
Trust me, your attendees will be grateful for it!
Want Big Idea #5? Listen to the podcast to find out!
So those are some practical tips for making the most out of your virtual meetings. I hope they have been helpful for you. Please stay safe and well during this time of home isolation!