The rapid onset of the Coronavirus is forcing businesses to adapt to new conditions: canceled meetings, offices closing, and working remotely.

There are ways to keep business running smoothly under these new working conditions. Whether on a conference call or video meeting, these Standout strategies can help increase attention and engagement:

  • Call on People: Have a list of participants in front of you during the conference.  When you call on someone, put a check next to their name.  Tip: Don’t wait until you run through the participant list to call on someone a second time.  Keep participants on their toes.
  • Limit Your Time and Content:  Limit your conference to 30 minutes and your objectives to no more than two key points. Tip: Be efficient and concise; as a result, people will want to pay attention and welcome future calls. 
  • Use Direct Questions: A direct question is when you call on someone specifically, i.e. “Barb, what are your concerns about the project timeline?” Versus an overhead question to the entire group, like “Team, what do you think about this timeline?”  Tip: Prepare your questions in advance and only ask one question at a time.
  • Check Your Tech: Nothing brings a productive virtual meeting to a halt like slow video speed or bad audio. You’ve connected teammates from countless locations – make sure you have the right technology to keep them there. Tip: get on the call 10 minutes prior and/or have your tech team on the call when it starts to make sure everything is running smooth.
  • Add a Fun Factor: Your audience might be feeling stressed and overwhelmed.  Give them a hand and try to add some fun and levity to your meeting.  Tip: have a contest, give some recognition, etc.

These strategies are challenging to implement but will prove invaluable in keeping communication productive.  If you do it well, people will be engaged and more productive, even while dealing with the rapidly changing work environment.

For more comprehensive training, schedule a Virtual Presentation Skills Workshop with us. This program was designed specifically for individuals and teams working in a virtual environment, whether from around the corner or around the globe.