With more and more of us now working from home, important meetings with colleagues, customers, and clients are now being held virtually online. Where this is the case, your virtual environment becomes somewhat part of your own personal brand. For instance, if the online meeting that you host has a poor level of audio, is littered with technical problems, and distractions behind you, then you may be thought of as a chaotic / not professional individual. However, if the opposite is true and your meeting(s) go without a hitch, then your personal brand will be seen as one that is professional and efficient.
Make it feel real
There are a number of things that you can do in order to make virtual meetings feel more real, as if you were back in the office with your colleagues rather than sat in your bedroom, dining room, or kitchen. These are listed below:
- Look into the camera – you can tell the seasoned virtual meeting professionals from the newbies because they look into the camera when they are talking rather than looking at the screen. Doing this gives the impression that you are talking directly to the other meeting attendees, thus creating a much stronger connection. This helps the conversation to flow as it normally would.
- Do not multitask – if you are one of those people who cannot help themselves from checking their emails or even flicking through Facebook whilst on a virtual meeting, then stop it. Any distractions like this will take your attention away from the content that is being discussed and so will impede on your ability to participate fully in it. Being completely focused on the meeting that you are in, ensures that you come out of it feeling that it was worthwhile.
- Make notes – just like you would in a real life meeting, ensure that you are taking adequate notes so that you can refer back to them at a later date. If you are hosting the meeting then appoint someone to take the minutes. A more fun and engaging way of doing this is by using a graphic recorder who can live sketch what is being discussed. Some of the other benefits of a graphic recorder can be viewed on the link.
- Dress appropriately – whenholding or attending a work meeting that is done over the telephone, then it can be very tempting to not dress appropriately or even to be dressed at all. However, my dressing in smart attire, it puts you in a professional frame of mind and makes you ready to do some work.
By adopting these techniques you can ensure that during your next virtual meeting, you will shine and really impress anyone else that is in it with you. The take away from all of this is that they should be taken just as seriously as real life meetings are taken. That way you will remain focused and be able to contribute to the discussion(s) with good quality ideas and content.