by Lidia Volpe, McLuhan & Davies Communications, Inc.
These days most of our interactions, especially professional ones, are happening online.
We’ve all been on endless online meetings with colleagues and clients since the world has been feeling the impact of this global pandemic. So, you are doing it, but are you doing it well?
We, at MDC, are in the unique position of working for a communications training company. What that means is that we’ve been able to witness ‘greatness in action’ through our facilitators. Through countless training sessions we have seen what works to engage your audience.
Here are 5 tips to make the most of your online connections.
Turn your camera on
This invites your audience to do so too. If someone’s camera is on, they are more likely to be focused on the present conversation/meeting than to multi-task. To be able to see someone’s facial expressions when you are speaking to them is priceless – it is instant feedback.
Look at the camera, not yourself!
To connect with your audience, look straight at your camera. You may be tempted to look at all the video boxes on your screen, or yourself (it’s tough not to). Try and resist this temptation by placing a sticky note over your own video if you can’t hide your own image on screen. This makes a big difference as to how you come across. You will be more authentic and engaging when you look straight out at your audience.
Such a simple thing. Just do it! Sometimes you may be worried or nervous and so a smile may not come naturally. Did you know that your brain doesn’t know the difference between a fake smile and a real one? This means that if you just smile, quickly your brain registers this and thinks ‘happy’, ‘calm’ – and suddenly your smile becomes genuine. When you smile, it will put you in a better mood. It is contagious, and others will feel the positivity as well.
Talk to, not at
Think about your audience. Who are you going to be speaking to? Take a moment to think about why they would care about what you have to say. Use WIIFT (What’s in it for them) to shape your message.
Start off by connecting. Just because you are meeting online, don’t lose this opportunity to build rapport and make connection. Instead of diving right in once your audience or team members are all present, take a moment to check in. “How are you?” or share a quick story. If you go the story route, keep it SHORT and relevant.
Connecting online isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. We need to connect with people online so why not make the most of it.
McLuhan & Davies Communications Inc. specializes in Business Communication Skills Training. For over 35 years, we have helped thousands of professionals transform how they think, write, speak and – lead. As a leader in the Learning & Development industry we provide workshops, webinars and consulting services to transform individual skills and organizations’ learning solutions. Contact us to learn more!