I cannot recall exactly when it became normal to click links instead of dial phone numbers, it certainly didn’t seem like much of a change and it happened very fast, overnight almost.
The earlier days of screensharing and headsets were not up to the standard they are now, and I can’t wait for new progressions in platforms and functionality to improve the experience even more.
I recall being the “dial in” person, probably due to something like a sick child at home, so I was forced to.
Having always had what some would describe, ok all, a loud voice, I knew how to make a point and an impact in a meeting room.
I was about to discover a whole new set of skills was required when logging in…
Back then (won’t say exactly when), dialling into a meeting room was like diving for the first time, without hand gestures for assistance. I could see a blurred screen, I heard a murmur, and when I tried to interject, I was ignored.
The tech set up was out of my control, I realised this, so I had to think fast as to how I could generate the same impact and assertiveness I was used to having face to face.
Below are some tips and learnings:
1. Join early, get involved in that pre conversation, make sure you are being heard. Get people used to the sound of your voice
2. USE YOUR WEBCAM… Period, always, even (especially) when others don’t.
3. Address people by their name, perhaps this harks back to Mum and Dad or teachers, but people tend to stop and listen if you say “Rachel” instead of “hey, here is what I think”
4. Listen carefully and don’t be afraid to use the chat function to show quick opinions, we all want to be heard and without as much body language; it’s really important to show support and involvement.
Ultimately, you will get back what you put in, like any relationship.
The technology has improved a lot since those days but developing Virtual Skills in our Remote world is critical if you want to stay relevant and be heard (and seen!). It has served me well so far and is far from over.
Jake Maxwell, Commercial Manager, LiveTime Learning Ltd