The art of video conferencing has become a necessary expertise for today’s contemporary executive. Modern technology has made it convenient for executives to communicate with staff members and clients in all corners of the globe. Therefore, businesses must be sure to possess the proper competencies for conducting and participating in effectual video conferencing.
Here, we will review this particular proficiency from the executive’s perspective.
1. Be thoroughly familiar with your medium.
There are few professional situations as vexing as the delay of an important meeting due to “technical difficulties”. In a world where “time is money”, be sure to know the ins and outs of the video conference platform you are using to avoid any glitches or unnecessary interruptions. Unfortunately, a hitch can occur in even the simplest video conferencing applications, such as Skype or Facetime, to, of course, the more advanced telepresence rooms and modular systems. With the exception of a telepresence room which requires the assistance of a professional, the rest should require your personal assurance of proper installation and working ability. Also, don’t overlook the obvious, such as testing your microphone ahead of time.
2. Consider visual and audio noise.
Remember that your viewers are not only going to be seeing and hearing you on camera, but your surroundings as well. As important as it is to ensure that you, as an individual, are camera-ready, it is also crucial that you take your background and surroundings into careful consideration. Remove unnecessary clutter that could prove distracting to your viewing team, and remember that if you choose to set your location in front of a window, passing cars and people can also pose a potential distraction. Executives should also pay attention to lighting; be sure that your face is free of shadows as well as excessive glare, and of course, be sure you have staged your location in a quiet, if not sound-proof, location of your office or home.
3. Take heed and engage.
Executives must remember to speak “to”, rather than “at”, their audience. An informative, yet conversational tone is the key toward engaging your employees and clients during your video conference. While visual aids, such as Powerpoint slides, charts, and graphs are important, be sure to avoid sounding as if you are reading out of a textbook during your presentation. Address your team members by name to bring your meeting to an interactive level, asking for opinions, input, and ideas regarding the presented information.
4. Professional etiquette matters.
Although you may not technically be in the same office as your viewing staff members, you should look and act as though you are. While many video conferences are held in an executive’s place of business, many are not. If you happen to be conducting your virtual meeting from your home, be sure you are dressed for work and maintain the same professional decorum that you would in the office. Also, take note that a meeting between an executive and, perhaps, one staff member, may assume a different tone than a complete staff meeting. Executives should consider the nature of the meeting and adhere to those professional guidelines to maintain consistency, and to properly represent the business to those in more distant locations. Additionally, and on a more basic level, remember to maintain eye contact with your audience.
Executives must remember that “practice makes perfect”. Even the most seasoned leader may be relatively new to the concept of effectual video conferencing. However, if an error or glitch does occur, maintain your decorum, do your best to quickly fix the problem, and swiftly move on; but most of all, learn from the experience.
Nonetheless, addressing potential errors and preparing for your video conference in a “trial-run” setting is one of the best ways to increase your chances of achieving an impeccable video presentation.
Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200