We’ve all experienced it.
You log on for your team’s standing call, and you’re the only one there on time.
You raise your hand to participate, but the speaker never acknowledges you.
A co-worker’s vague response lets you know they were doing something else while you were talking.
No matter how hard you try to focus, your online meeting is Just. Boring.
Technology has taken great leaps and bounds in connecting us, but our understanding of how to maximize these big jumps lags behind. This lack of understanding can lead to scenarios like the ones above, and many others you could share yourself.
Fortunately, there is a growing body of research and expertise to help us make the most of videoconferencing while mitigating its downsides.
Here are a few of Ignite CSP’s top tips for managing video calls:
- Select one or two things to accomplish in your video meeting. Our online attention spans are short; prepare a very focused agenda.
- Open the video conference early! Invite others to come a few minutes early too, and create time to connect. This builds trust and relationship, and this helps close the communication gap.
- Have a “stage manager” working with the host of the call. This person can monitor the chat and help people who are late, have technical difficulty, or get disconnected.
- Announce your “tech fail” plan. If the host’s internet goes out, what should the others do? If theirs goes out, what’s the protocol?
- Enable “Do Not Disturb” on all your devices.
- Check your video in the room you’ll be using to avoid distractions. Where is the light coming from? Are you visible or in shadow?
- What can the camera see of you? Try to be visible from about the mid-chest up.
- What can the camera see behind you? Avoid a background that is too personal or too busy.
- Have a couple of extra chargers nearby in case your wireless headphones, phone, or laptop gets low on battery.
- Use headphones if possible, rather than relying on your laptop or phone’s audio capabilities.
But it’s not enough to use the technology well. In order to have efficient and enjoyable (I promise it’s possible) video meetings, you need to change your communication style. To put it bluntly, you can’t talk or present the same way in a video call as you do in person and expect to have a good outcome.
What if your video meetings saved time, money, and energy?
What if you looked forward to meeting with your team online?
What if you had clarity of next steps after every meeting?
What if you could build trust with your team during your video meetings?
What if you felt closer to your team as a result of your video meetings?
Ignite CSP coaches are experienced in coaching folks to translate their in-person communication habits to virtual ones that really work. If you’re interested in knowing more, check out our new interactive, online workshop: Virtual Meetings That Work !
And if you’re a manager, human resources or learning leader, or someone else who is interested in registering your team for this workshop, please contact Angie Flynn-McIver at 828-423-8585 or by responding to this email.