How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Adjusting Your Communication Style
Video conferencing can be an extremely effective way to hold meetings and deliver presentations. People tend to try to focus solely on the meeting and ignore distractions because their face is zoomed in on, they are probably less likely to be looking at other devices or whispering to someone next to them.
With more people than ever conducting business from home, the use of video to hold meetings, media interviews, sales presentations, and investor pitches is becoming the norm. Even after social distancing measures are lifted, many business leaders are predicting that the use of video conferencing will replace many in-person meetings going forward for reasons of health, cost-savings, and efficiency.
This is part 1 of our series of blog posts to provide tips on not only how to set up your environment, but also the shifts you need to make to communicate effectively in video meetings and presentations.
You may have read about a Harvard University study that was published a year or so ago, which stated that sarcasm can increase your creativity. As references to this article continue to be passed around by bloggers and others, people are often forgetting to include the caveats about trust in the relationship and understanding when sarcasm is appropriate (i.e., sarcasm is not always great at work), which were included in Harvard’s article on the study.
Like most forms of humor, sarcasm is better received when you’re not insulting individuals, but rather making fun of circumstances or human nature. This is true in one-on-one conversations as well as in speeches and media interviews. It’s better to save sarcasm for the people in your life who know you best and will know when you are joking.
If you’re hosting a panel, it’s up to you to manage the audience.
If you open the floor to an audience Q&A, know that there will be some people who say they want to ask a question but then use their time with the mic to promote their agendas, rather than contribute to the discussion.
Sometimes a TV producer or editor from a media outlet contact experts in the hopes that the experts will share exactly the opinion they want in order to shape their story. If you’re an expert, it’s important that you maintain your integrity and only say what you truly believe. Otherwise, you simply become a mouthpiece for others, and a few minutes on TV isn’t worth compromising your integrity.
Know your boundaries and maintain them.
On a recent trip to Denver, my husband and I flew Spirit Airlines. If you’re not familiar with Spirit Airlines, imagine the most basic, no-frills, charge-you-for-everything airline you can fathom. That’s Spirit. Apparently, even a seat-back pocket to stow your goods while you fly is too much to ask, so there are a few bungee cords crisscrossed across the back of the seat in front of you to hold whatever is large enough to not fall through the giant empty spaces it leaves. The experience is so spartan that it’s actually kind of funny, and a sense of humor goes a long way when you’re known as one of the cheapest airlines around, as we were about to find out.
The pre-flight safety speech started out on an unusual high note when the friendly-sounding airline attendant said, “For those of you who swore you would never fly Spirit again, welcome back.” We could relate to that. After flying Spirit last year, I told my husband we should never fly it again, but when it turned out that a Spirit flight was our best option for the short 2-hour flight to Denver, we decided I would be okay. Clearly, we were not alone in our decision-reversal.
Investor pitch competitions can be a great way to be seen by potential investors, build your network and, if everything aligns well, win some prize money for your startup.
Last night the winner of the Women Founders Network 2017 Fast Pitch competition was Sashee Chandran, the founder of Tea Drops. I was ecstatic because I was her pitch coach. As a coach and trainer, there’s nothing more gratifying than when you see the people you work with do what it takes to excel and reap the rewards of their hard work.
At times like this, when it seems the world is under attack by hate groups, more hate is not what’s needed. If you think of the people in your sphere of influence and what they need you’ll be better able to serve them. Do they need consoling, do they need hope, do they need ideas on how they can be part of the solution and not simply add to hateful rhetoric?
Once you know what people need, you’ll be better able to communicate in a way that can make a difference in people’s lives.