You’re a powerful, confident and influential leader able to impact strategy and build strong relationships – that is, until the past few months.
Now you struggle to have the same level of impact you did in person in a virtual meeting (environment). You know you need to turn things around but don’t know where to start.
You’re not alone. Many of the leaders I work with, as executive coaches are trying to figure out precisely what they need to change to have the level of impact and influence in a virtual environment that they had in person.
The good news – it isn’t challenging to get your mojo back. Here are six simple changes you can make today to crush your next virtual meeting.
Read the Room (or Virtual Meeting) Differently
Virtual platforms help us connect with others but make reading nonverbal cues difficult. Reading the room differently starts well before the meeting begins and ends after it is over. Learn as much as you possibly can about peoples’ concerns, patterns and what motivates them to take action so that you craft your presentation to take advantage of what connects with them.
Use Your Tech to Connect in the Moment
Select a video platform that allows a high degree of engagement with the audience and know how to use those tools. Tools like polls, whiteboards, emojis, and thumbs up or down keep people interested and give you in-the-moment feedback about the resonance of the material you’re presenting.
Give Them a Heads Up About Their Role
You can’t expect people to fully engage when they can’t clearly identify their role or what you expect of them. A heads-up from you before the meeting sets a common focus, ensures people won’t sit on the sidelines and helps them recognize they have a role to play in the meeting’s success.
Keep it Strategic and Simple
The distractions are endless in virtual environments, so it is important to keep your presentation strategic and simple and then be silent while you wait for answers to your questions. It takes longer for people in a virtual environment to digest and respond, so active listening and asking follow-up questions are critical to the success of your meeting in a virtual setting.
Nonverbals Still Matter
Instead of attempting to read everyone’s nonverbal signals, which is impossible, choose a couple of key participants and focus your attention on them. This narrower focus exposes you to real-time feedback about how things are going, so you adapt as you need to.
What you do After Is Important
As important as it is to give people a heads-up before the meeting, it is equally important to ask for feedback from a few trusted people after the meeting. Recording the meeting and watching it back from a participant’s perspective gives you insight into what worked and could work better the next time.
Virtual meetings aren’t going away anytime soon, so if you want to crush your next virtual meeting, tap into the strategies above. I look forward to hearing from you about what happens.