All businesses are being shaken by the impact of the global coronavirus. The travel bans, meeting bans, quarantine and lock downs that have been happening worldwide are necessary but are not helpful to business progress.
However, the good news is that we have the technology to be able to adapt. We may not be able to travel much, if at all, but we are able to continue with meetings, presentations and discussion via the magic of webinars and conference calls.
BUT people will say, webinars and conference calls are no substitute for meetings and live presentations. In some respects, I agree, the power of a face to face interaction is unquestionable, however much of the reason people feel remote meetings and presentations are much less valuable is partly because they are often executed so badly. Be honest; How many times have you sat through a deathly dull webinar with 56 overloaded slides and a monotone presenter droning on in a voice that should be bottled and marketed as a cure for insomnia? Then of course it’s only fair if you react by turning off your video/ muting your line and getting on with your emails with the droning going on in the background.
At Archimedes we’ve developed a programme to help people with remote meeting and presentations skills. Remote meetings and presentation skills are similar to those for face to face events but actually require much more skill, For example, your voice. In a normal meeting or presentation, you have to ensure your voice is audible and engaging but you also have your body language to help you get your message across. Probably most people are familiar with the research that suggests body language is responsible about 50% of the message we receive and the words themselves are only responsible for about 7-10% of message received. What that means for remote presentation is, you have to work twice as hard with your voice to ensure you are clear and engaging in order for your message to be heard and understood. What is needed to execute that, is to be able to skilfully deploy your vocal pace, pitch and modulation. Typically, this is very different from day to day speaking and can therefore feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable for people. As a consequence without proper training they don’t do it and unfortunately, they end up sounding very dull and losing their audience.
As well as vocal skills, other aspects of remote meetings/ presentations we look at are; ~
- What good content and structure looks like and how it differs from F2F events
- How to handle the technology and avoid or mitigate against, the inevitable technical glitches
- How to leverage the functionality of popular platforms (e.g. Zoom, Skype, Go to meeting etc)
- How to keep your audience engaged (and stop them doing their emails!!)
- Physical delivery skills for video calls/ webinars
- How to hand Q&A’s effectively (and what to do if no one asks questions!)
- Avoiding the top 10 pitfalls
We deliver these programmes remotely (of course!) and as well as Zoom we use a unique coaching software to enable each participant to remotely practice their webinar delivery and get detailed, asynchronous feedback.