Virtual meetings, conferences, events, and social networking are all here to stay, and it’s important to create an environment that emulates professionalism and productivity. Everything from choosing the right platform, to the paintings on the wall behind you, will leave an impression on those interacting with you. In order to keep your attendees or guests, and yourself, interested and undistracted, you’ll want to make sure that there are no issues with your setup.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you create a professional virtual experience:
1) Turn off any virtual distractions, such as notifications and sounds on your phone and computer.
2) Sit with the lights in front of you and make sure to not sit with a window behind you.
3) The camera should be at your height, showing from your chest/shoulders and up to your face, as if you are sitting face to face with your attendees. It’s best to focus on the camera if you can.
4) Use a clean background! Ensure you are in a secluded room, and are aware of your surroundings (This can be anything from a dog barking in the room, to posters hanging up behind you, make sure it all looks professional).
5) Prioritize clear audio. Your audience needs to be able to hear you clearly so that they can understand the information, and stay connected. If you have poor audio, people are more likely to leave the session, or get distracted by other things.
6) Remember, you’re still talking to people! Even though you’re behind the screen, it’s important to play up your personality, and use hand gestures. This will keep your attendees interested, and give the feeling of being in an in-person meeting. It also shows them that you are engaged and interested in what the topic is, and in what they have to say as well.
7) Familiarize yourself with the platform you’re using, before the presentation or meeting. It’s a great idea to do a runthrough 15-30 minutes prior to your virtual experience. This way you can see if there are any technical kinks to work out, and you’ll know exactly how you’ll look to your audience!
8) Make sure that you are using the strongest Wifi access possible. The last thing you want is to cut out mid-sentence and have issues re-entering your platforms.
9) Make sure everyone has the log in instructions. It’s a great idea to send a calendar invitation to all guests with the clear login information, to ensure no one is left behind
While we’re all adjusting to working from home, we must remember that we are recreating a professional work environment. So, even though you might be in your bedroom, with the kids, or in the kitchen, you want to leave a good lasting impression, and ensure your attendees that you are still focused on them.
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