Right now, many of us are working from home and either experiencing virtual calls for the first time or a dramatic increase in the amount of virtual calls. We want to share with you tips on how to make your virtual calls successful.
1. Sound. Picture that you are pitching a key idea that you have worked on for a year to the leadership team only to have a garbage truck start making noise in the street right outside of your home office. This scenario and many others are our new reality. In our Speak Up & Be Effective™ programs we talk about how tone and volume is so incredibly important to a successful communication. We also advise participants to practice a key communication in the space where they will present that communication because the acoustics can vary depending on the space. That advice is the same for communicating virtually. The room that you are in, along with background noises, can have a huge impact on the volume for your communication. Make sure to take your virtual calls in a room where you don’t have to worry about extraneous background noise and your voice isn’t echoing.
2. Appearance. We would never give a communication in a dark room or in a space where the audience can’t see you. So why would you do that for a virtual call? Make sure to pick a space with plenty of light, whether artificial or natural, and make sure that your face is clearly visible on the camera. Think about what you are wearing and how you appear on camera. There are a lot of articles and opinions around this topic and we know that the dress code varies from company to company. What we will say on this topic is to make sure that you are fully clothed and that you aren’t wearing anything embarrassing in case you have to stand up suddenly. We want to make sure to avoid becoming the next star in a working remotely blooper video.
3. Visual Picture. We’ve all been on a virtual call where someone forgot about the camera. Make sure that your camera is uncovered before the start of your call. Many people have a privacy screen over their webcam, make sure that the visual picture is unimpeded. You also want to remember to maintain eye contact with the webcam. Just because your audience isn’t in the room with you doesn’t mean that you don’t need quality eye contact. And finally, be mindful of the background of your video. Whether it’s making sure that your family doesn’t walk into your virtual call or making sure that there is nothing distracting outside the window behind you, this is key to visual picture success.
In this new work atmosphere, it is important to make our communications the best they can be and having successful virtual calls is a key factor in that success. Set yourself up for impactful virtual communications and Lead to the Max!SM
Written By: Katherine Roye