Three key themes we talked about this week around creating memorable and impactful virtual calls are what I term in my book – Effective Virtual Conversations – “Death By Conference Call” or today’s term of “zoom fatigue” were:
#1 - Invite people to interact and get active – Conversations are not meant to be a passive endeavor. They need to be active. Talking at people one way is not having a conversation. Be sure to use the “engagement levers” available to you – from chat, to annotation, polling or breakouts. Different size virtual rooms, and different platforms will provide different options available.
Task: Review one of your current presentations this week. What is one way you can create more active focus on the part of participants? Note incorporating this every 7-10 minutes is often a good rule of thumb.
#2 - Improve your questions – Leadership in the remote and virtual space is via influence. This is another reason why conversational skills become so important virtually. Consider what questions will elicit the response and action you are looking for.
Questions are usually asked one at a time, only 4 to 6 words in length, and the most open-ended questions usually (but not always) start with WHAT. Why questions may put people on the defensive if trust levels are not high. How questions will move people into a process orientation.
Asking two questions at a time is often referred to as stacking and may lead to people not knowing which question they should refer to.
Task: Spend some time thinking about and reviewing the questions you want to ask in an upcoming presentation. Are they clear? What do they invite people to do – connect the dots, look to the bigger picture, etc?
#3 - Consider the visuals – One of the main channels we have in communication is visual. What are the visual elements you are using in your presentation or conversation? Is there an opportunity to create a metaphor to make a more complex topic simpler? Or a graphic or illustration which could synthesize new ideas.
Task: Consider your visual elements this week – photos, colors, metaphors and images. What is important to note about your visuals?
Just a reminder, that this week we are starting the Stand Out Virtually Fall 2020 Incubator.
If today’s blog post is a topic of interest to you and you want to learn more about creating WOW conversations for the corporate arena, I’ll be hosting a seven week virtual learning series this fall on Mondays from 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET called the Fall 2020 Stand Out Virtually Incubator. Each week we’ll host a live learning call, you’ll participate in viewing some micro-learning and you’ll also be paired with a peer accountability partner to support you in building out and positioning your work. Whether you are external or internal to an organization, this program will build your tools, clarity and confidence around standing out virtually. Click here to learn more and register.
The program runs from Monday October 19th to Friday December 4th.