Online meetings may be the way forward for the future – so why not learn how to perfect them now?
With the current climate, the world is moving to more online based communication methods. This can be the case for many things – from interviews to client meetings.
We’re here to help you with this.
Here’s some top tips to help your success:
Practice using the app/software that the meeting will be on by calling a friend (may need to bribe them) – this allows you to figure out how to use such software so that you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Here, you can determine other factors as well, such as your background, the best camera angle to use and where your camera is placed. This means that you can set up quickly and easily next time.
Try facing a window – with natural lighting facing you so that you are nicely presented – unless you had a rough night, then definitely sit in a dull corner. But if you’re Baby from Dirty Dancing, remember, nobody puts her in the corner.
Set up your camera at eye level, making sure to get your shoulders and head in. Preferably turn your screen so that it is landscape. If you’re anything like me, a bad camera angle can show off far more chins than I want displayed.
Be careful with your clothing choice too as some good cleavage might grab everyone’s attention, but that might not be appropriate for all audiences.
Talking with your hands is a great way to be engaging and ensure that the other person is listening to you. Mind that coffee cup!
Be sure to also adjust your tone of voice depending on who you’re talking to. For example, you may be less formal to clients to build a personal relationship yet be more professional to suppliers.
Listen, don’t interrupt. However, don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask them to repeat themselves if you are unsure about anything – they’ll be understanding.
Select/consider your background wisely (you don’t want a messy bedroom behind you – it’s not professional). You could sit in front of a white screen or try to find an area with little distractions in the background; having a clean background means that their attention is fully on you. Your partner walking past the door with a towel on will keep them talking for longer, but their thoughts could wander elsewhere.
Use a stand to hold your phone/tablet so that your image is stable. This allows for your hands to be free to aid your communication – via hand signals (to engage the other person).
This benefits posture and body language also, so you can slouch more if you wish.
Being prepared is very important. So, do your research and make notes on topics that you think will come up. You could research the person or company to find out some of their personal interests (49% of adults in the UK drink alcohol once a week) – this will help your relationship. In addition to this, think of any questions that you may have in advance.
On the morning of your meeting, wake up early, have a shower and get ready – leave yourself a good amount of time to do so. Set your alarm to annoy you every 5 minutes if you wish. Make time to prepare yourself as it will make you come across as organised and better to work with. Possibly try meditation or exercise to relieve stress as new things can be daunting. Exercise seems to be more daunting compared to video calls to me at this time.
If you’re using Zoom, log in early. Use your login ID and wait for the other person to start the meeting (unless you’re starting it yourself – then be sure to set up in advance anyway). Set reminders in your phone to do so and jot down your login ID so you have it on hand. Doing this will alleviate the stress of rushing to join and prevents you from putting a crack in your phone. No Karen, airplane mode doesn’t mean that your phone can fly (sorry mum).
Be comfortable (even if that means wearing a formal shirt on top and trackies underneath – we’re all guilty of it). Make sure that you sit upright and relax your shoulders as slouching makes it seem as if you don’t want to be there. Unless you don’t want to be there, then slouch and make sure they know it.
Have a drink (probably best for it to not be vodka currently unless it has gone past 5pm), tissues and a charger next to you in case you need them. As well as this, have a notepad and a few pens to jot down notes. Possibly have a hair tie too in case you want to get your hair out of your face.
You could try out a plug-in microphone to enhance your sound quality. If you’re filming outside, you may wish to use a dead cat to buffer wind noise (don’t take this literally, it’s a cloth that goes over microphones).
As well as investing in good audio quality, shut your door if you’re working from home so your family does not bug you just because they want a takeaway. Here, you can also shut your windows (not the PC) to alleviate any wind or road noise etc. Silence your phone too. Mine doesn’t ring often, unless it’s my mobile phone provider, but take precautions anyway.