Here is some simple and powerful advice to ensure better remote meetings, enabling executives to be more productive and impactful, both internally and with clients.
Before you do anything else, be clear what your objective is. You should be able to state this in a few words only. Remote meetings require tighter objectives than face to face.
Send invites early, and double check the technology details – tel. numbers, host and participant pins, video website links, etc
Limit the number of attendees, wherever possible.
Prepare a clear start. Purpose, Process, Payoff, Check is an excellent approach for all calls / VC’s, providing clarity on the objective, clear leadership of the call, and underlining the behaviours required.
- Purpose – Welcome to the XYZ call.
- Process – I’ll cover marketing efforts, Mary will talk about new clients, and John will take you through the ABC service launch. We need to wrap up by 1145. Please hold your questions to the end / wait until each speaker has finished / interrupt at any point. There are 15 of us on this call, so please state your name before asking your question. Minutes will be sent out by
the end of day.
- Payoff – If we stick to the plan, we will all be in a good position to start conversations with clients about the ABC service by the end of this week.
- Check – Does that sounds like a good approach? Anything missing that we need to cover, before I start?
Find the camera. When we make a point, often at the end of a particular idea or sentence, we naturally find someone’s eye. With VC, their eye becomes the camera. The audience will have a greater connection to you when they see you ‘looking at them’ directly. Looking at the screen will place your definitive, impactful eye contact either at their hair or their chin – depending on where the camera is.
Sit up, turn to face the screen, be present. Fiddling with pens and papers will be amplified at the audience end. Use your hands naturally.
Slides and exhibits
Think carefully about how you deploy materials. It’s a very powerful trick to describe your point, and any exhibits particular aspects of the slide, before you show it, to avoid your voice competing with their eyes, and the message being lost. The more you set context and control the message for any exhibit, the more likely it is that they will get it.
“We estimate a 60bps improvement in gross margins over the next six months. We’ve laid out the key elements and timings in this chart” (then put it up)
Conference Calls (preparation as above)
Equipment, voice and clarification
Handsets are best. Unless you have others with you, avoid using a speakerphone. It destroys the nuances of tonality for both sides, depriving the speaker of impact, and denying the listener vital emotional insights. People very often feel ‘spoken down to’ when subjected to speakerphone. If you have a good WiFi signal, facetime audio is very often a superb quality line.
- Low, slow, and keep it calm.
- Lower tonality is better received and more authoritative.
- Slow down, pause deliberately, check in and clarify often. Use names to keep the audience engaged and aware
that they may be called on.
- Keep it calm, watch out for stress raising your tone – no one likes needy or pushy.
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Templar is fully web enabled, and we are running courses in best practices for remote meetings, as well as all our other content.