With Zoom/Teams calls the new normal for business communication, there’s a temptation to treat them just like a chat on the phone. Fair enough but you could be missing a great opportunity to boost your profile and your company’s.
There’s no doubt working from home (WFH) means we’re more relaxed in our dealings with colleagues and clients. With kids, pets and home deliveries added into the mix, we’re certainly more forgiving if a business call is interrupted.
But there are a few simple tips that could help you stand out, rather than blend into the slightly blurry background the next time you lead a Zoom
- Purpose The best meetings have a purpose – so set one. Is there a question or set of questions that need answering – that becomes your purpose. Make sure everyone knows what question/s need to be addressed before your meeting. This works for client and staff meetings.
- Time Keep your meeting as short as possible – Allow for some informal catch ups and maybe the odd introduction but then be ruthless. Answered your questions? Then say thanks to all involved and close the meeting. Zoom and Teams meetings are draining – why drag them out?
- Start time Why do all meetings start or end on the hour? Why not start yours at 5 past or 25 to the hour? That way anyone in back-to-back meetings can have a quick break, pop to the loo and make a cuppa.
- Look good No one bats an eyelid anymore about what people wear on a Zoom – or do they? Why take a chance? Particularly if clients are involved, make an effort – you don’t have to go over the top but surely we can do better than a crumpled tee-shirt?
- Message! Think about what you want to say and predict a few questions that might arise as a consequence. It’s a bit like going into an interview with a journalist. They want to know – who, what, where, why when and how. If you have answered those points, you’re a good way to making your message stick.
- Background If you’re using a real background do a quick check and declutter. Remove objects that you don’t want seen as in this unfortunate example. However, I know some salespeople are deliberately adding objects they know will appeal to their targets as a way to break the ice.
- Practice If you’re going to be sharing your screen make sure to practice. Don’t test people’s patience fumbling around for your PowerPoint deck. Also make sure you haven’t got any embarrassing emails showing or programmes running.
- Look at the camera If you were meeting face-to-face you’d maintain eye contact as much as possible. To do this in Zoom/Teams you need to be looking at the camera. One simple trick is to put a Post-it with ‘Look here’ just under the camera as a visual reminder. Your note could also include a few key points you need to cover – and that will save you looking away from your screen at key times.
Getting your messaging right, looking your best and delivering with impact are subjects we specialise in at Word + Pixel. We can tailor a course (over Zoom or Teams of course!) to help you stand out and make the most of meetings virtual or face-to-face.