• Lucy Norris

2021 Predictions For Virtual Meetings- Love 'em or Hate 'em They Are Here To Stay.

Zoom video conferencing platform was practically unheard of till the pandemic struck. It's not like it didn't exist until then, but it was always a "nice to have" and not classed as an "essential" until it became a necessity.

2020 was the year that needed video meetings for businesses to continue.

Now, Zoom is everyone's favorite destination to meet and discuss! But with the new year comes shifts and changes. As Zoom shows signs of progress and updates as a platform, so does the quality of virtual meetings worldwide.

What was once acceptable in 2020, might be seen as amateur and unprofessional in 2021.

Here are my top tips for upping your game when it comes to communicating and presenting in the virtual world.

Video is the future and On Camera Comms is a skill that will become a necessity, the same way that zoom became essential in our lives in 2020.

Virtual rapport.

As more and more of us become comfortable with the technicalities of zoom, those who show signs of on-camera presence and can develop a strong connection with a stranger during a virtual meeting will come out on top. So how do you do that?

Well, we need to work hard at it. Sorry but that is just the truth. Connecting with people is something we took for granted in the room. It is harder online and requires more thought and more effort.

Remember small talk? It's still a great tool to use in the virtual world. The chit-chat that happens in the few moments while you are waiting for the formal proceedings to start is a valuable time to connect with people.

Try to keep the eye-line right as much as possible. Looking at someone while talking to them is psychologically important. It is harder online but do try to look straight at your camera on your laptop as much as you can, and less at your own image in the thumbnail.

Verbal mirroring is something most people do in business and it should be used, just the same, in online conversations if you want rapport. It's also super important to show you care how others are feeling so that you can truly form a connection. Listening is key when it comes to effective communication.

Carefully Staged Backdrops.

2020 was a year full of "real life" backdrops. Laundry baskets propped up, partners passed by, toys were scattered on shelves and lighting was dismal. But none of us cared as we were all new to the game and learning together. Now we know what works, how to set up a good shot, and what is needed for a clean set. Good light, minimal props, and a setting that is true to your industry and profession. Are you in nutrition? Does a kitchen make sense? Are you an accountant? Make sure your desk is tidy and natural lighting is flooding on you to brighten up the topics of conversation. Always remember less distractions, more intentional and purposeful ways of using your background to add to the atmosphere that you are hoping to ignite when conversing in the meeting.

  • Is this a sales pitch? Make sure the attention is on you with minimal distractions around you.

  • Is this a consultation? Set a tone within the room that you are recording in which makes your client feel comfortable.

  • Are you presenting? Help to ignite creativity and imagination to help fuel your presentation with brightly colored booked stacked in the corner and bright lights positioned on you.

The experienced Virtual Communicator will be evident.

As with anything, practice is key. There is a difference between a well-versed public speaker who gushes at the chance to connect, deliver and lead virtual sessions via video, compared to someone that lacks confidence and begrudgingly turns on the camera to take part in the zoom meeting. You have to practice, analyse, and improve your skills daily.

TV presenters have trained for years, to do what is now being asked of you, so don't be hard on yourself. But also know, video is the future and on camera, comms is a skill that will become a necessity the same way that zoom became essential in our lives in 2020.

Book a complimentary session with one of our trainers today to find out how you can excel at your on camera comms skills in 2020.

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