The current pandemic does not mean less networking, meetings or presentations. In fact, I’ve been networking and reaching more people than ever. There are some amazing benefits to the ‘new normal’:
• Location is no longer a barrier. We can set up a virtual coffee if we meet someone interesting at a webinar, networking event or on social media… no matter where they’re located.
• And we save time not having to travel, which means we can do more with our time.
In this post, we look at how to make online face-to-face meetings work best for us, our brand and our business.
3 tips for creating connection and engagement virtually
How we operate has changed, but the basics of human connection remain the same.
1. Network, Network, Network. Meeting new people is focused on what each person can give to each other. Everyone has been affected one way or another by the pandemic. When reaching out to connect with someone new, inquire about how they’re doing, and don’t be afraid to share any effect the pandemic may be having on you.
2. Show empathy. People respond well when we act with sensitivity to difficulties, and show we care. A little bit of empathy goes a long way in building rapport.
3. Be generous. Share articles, tips and special offers online with contacts who might find them relevant. It’s all about supporting them during the ‘new normal.’ When we give without expecting something in return, we will be remembered for it. And the benefits will follow.
7 tips for making online face-to-face meetings work for you
It doesn’t matter what platform you’re on – Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype or any other, you can keep your impact real when your presence is virtual. Here are a simple few tips for doing that:
1. Eliminate distractions
Who can forget Robert Kelly’s interview with BBC News interrupted by his kids? If he were to do it over again, he would have closed, maybe even locked, his office door, and made sure his wife knew he was on a video conference call.
Do your best to keep your environment free of distractions. If you need to step away momentarily during an online conference, turn off your audio and video so you don’t distract others.
2. Frame yourself wisely
How many times have you talked to people on Zoom, and they’re not looking at you? Good eye contact makes a better connection. The camera on your computer should be at eye level. If you’re using a laptop, place something beneath it to raise it until your eyes are at the same level as the camera lens at the top of the screen. I recommend stacking coffee table books, or board games.
3. Light the way
Lights are as important for video calls as they are for professional video shoots. As a general rule, avoid fluorescent lights, which can cast unflattering shadows. Avoid overhead lights as well, as they can create dark shadows under the eye. Place your primary light source behind your camera. This way, the light and the camera point in the same direction. You could also use two light sources behind the camera, one on the right side, one on the left.
4. Use your best audio
Depending on your surroundings, you may want to use a headset or earbuds during your call. However, a video chat without headphones looks more natural. If you do a lot of video conferences, consider investing in an external webcam with high definition sound, image and lighting capabilities.
5. Look your best
When it comes to clothing, solid, bold colours work better than patterns, stripes and plaids. Simple jewelry is best! Check your appearance just before signing on. Keep a grooming kit with a brush or comb nearby for quick touch ups during breaks.
6. Use the chat window
The in-meeting chat on Zoom is great for sharing your contact information and exchanging 1-1 messages with other users during the session. You can also send a message to an entire group. If you’re the host, you can choose which participants can or cannot chat with each other.
7. Use the right background
No matter where you are, you can consistently look your best if you have a simple, clean and professional background that incorporates your brand logo.
Many of our clients have found that digital backgrounds can be unstable and distracting. Instead, we recommend an easy-to-assemble physical background to help you promote your brand and your business, like our BizBackdrop™.
For more information about this portable, brandable backdrop with your business logo and colours, check out our web page and our July newsletter “How necessity is the mother of invention”.
Are you ready to stand out online?
Book a complimentary consultation with us to learn more about how virtual meetings bring you the results you’re looking for!