Since virtual meetings are now a thing, they might as well be a good thing! As in a good thing to share your message, make a great impression, showcase your brand, and ultimately drive business.
(Related: 8 Knockout Approaches to Virtual Networking)
Here are 9 knockout approaches you can put into practice today!
OK, a little background! If your background looks sloppy, unkempt, and unprofessional, it shouldn’t be your background. A nice bookshelf with neatly stacked books works for most professions. Of course, if your living room or den needs to be the backdrop, fine, as long as it’s clean enough to invite company over. There is always the option of using a virtual background and green screen (Zoom has a great feature). I use a green screen with a nifty virtual background of a boxing ring. Fancy that! Whatever your background, make sure it leaves the impression you want to make.
2. Attire and Grooming
It’s still appropriate to dress as you would for a business casual meeting, at least from the waist up. Although I love t-shirts, I’m much more comfortable wearing a white button-down shirt (my brand by the way) when delivering webinars or in business meetings with a prospect or client. As for grooming, same sort of thing. Shower, shave, make up, brush across the hair. Use your best judgement when it comes to your meetings and how important you want to make others feel.
That includes checking email, texting, web searches, Solitaire, other work. We’ve all been guilty of this in virtual meetings, webinars, and maybe even during podcasts. Although we’re in an environment where we all have our share of attention deficit disorder, try to keep multi-tasking to a minimum, especially when the camera is on you. It’s rude to give others the impression that what they’re saying is not important. And the same holds true in “live” meetings too!
4. Engagement of Audience
It’s often challenging to engage an audience or to keep the audience’s attention when communicating through a mediated platform. When appropriate, let attendees know you’ll be calling on them periodically or mention people by name at the beginning of a meeting. I love greeting attendees of my webinars as they arrive and engaging in conversation with them. This way, I can establish a rapport and consider how I might integrate them (if possible) into my speaking points. Also, if attendees know I’m aware they’re in the webinar, they tend to be more present and focused in the meeting.
5. Minimize Distractions
If you have family, friends, children, or pets around, or you happen to be expecting a delivery, you will no doubt be interrupted. If this is unavoidable, certainly let your audience know upfront that there might be a break in the action and that you’re apologizing in advance. Of course, sometimes life happens but there is a fine line between doing everything you can to find the best location (and time) possible for a meeting and simply being inconsiderate of others’ time.