by Fred Miller
A different mindset and new skills are needed for attending, participating in, or leading virtual video meetings.
In conventional presentations, the audience is in front of the speaker, listening to and looking at him or her. They see the stage, lectern, slide show and – the back of the heads of others in the audience.
Now…Everyone looks at each other!
Good speakers always “takes the temperature of their audience.” They are the only one talking, but they are continually observing and evaluating facial expressions and body language for feedback.
In virtual video meetings, every participant is, periodically, “taking every other person’s temperature.”
Facial expressions and other body language: leaning in, shrugging shoulders, or slumping in a chair can reinforce or devalue points you and others are communicating.
There are things participants need to do to make and receive the greatest value from these events.
Your Partial Checklist for Video Meetings / Conferences / Events:
- If you have a VPN (virtual privacy network), turn it off. It can dramatically slow down network speeds, essential to good virtual meetings.
- Turn off phones, email, chat, alarms, and alerts. These can become distractions.
- Close windows and doors to your meeting room. Keep pets and others out.
- Your appearance is important! The audience usually just sees you mid-chest and up. Keep it clean and simple. No bling, wild print shirts, ties, scarfs, etc. They are distractions to your talk.
IMPORTANT! Remember non-verbal communication surpasses verbal communication. “We believe what we see!”
- Your eyes tell a lot! People are watching to see where you are watching. Looking down, out the window, or at a cell phone tell others you’re not fully engaged. Of equal importance is this fact: Communication is voluntary and involuntary. i.e. If you unconsciously roll your eyes, raise your eyebrows, or smirk, that is what others will believe as your view.
Fred Miller (fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com) is a Speaker, International Coach and Author. Businesses and individuals hire him to improve their public speaking and presentaiton skills.