It's a fact that COVID re-arranged the way we did business. Overnight, we were all getting used to meeting each other virtually. Now we are habitually using the virtual meeting space. Research tells that the meteoric growth of the virtual meeting room is increasing and is predicted to become a 30 billion dollar business by the end of 2026! Consider that before 2020 happened, just 17% of meetings were held on-line. In 2022, that number grew to 77%. That's staggering! How do you feel about virtual versus in-person meetings? Do you feel confident that you - and your teams - are showing up effectively, in ways that show off your best self? I recently presented a workshop on this theme at a Fortune 500 client company.
Here are just a few of the take-aways:
- Wear a professional shirt and pants. No pj’s or shorts. Goodness – no one wants to see your “other wear” when you’ve suddenly had to jump up for an emergency.
- Stay live on camera. No one feels engaged talking to a headshot. That feels like talking to you with your back turned.
- Have something relevant to contribute. Be prepared to weigh in with your idea or perspective. That says, “I’m confident I have something relevant to say.” Staying quiet says “I could care less" – or worse – "I have nothing to say.”
- Pets are adorable – in their place. Online they’re distracting.
- Hair? Groom it!
Now for research – you know I’m big on that!
- More than 10 attendees are too many. It's hard to have a productive, collaborative, engaged meeting when there are too many non-essential attendants.
- We know you’re multi-tasking. 90% do it. 76% do other work-related talks, 68% check emails, 50% chat with family or friend. Wow. My opinion? When in doubt – DON’T. How would you feel if asked to comment and you’d zoned out?
- The worst days for virtual meetings are Mondays and Fridays.
- Learn the platforms you’ll likely use. Teams for employees, Zoom for 55% of the market share, etc. If you’re forced to learn a new platform – learn it well. (I lost a client once because I couldn’t get the technology to work. Eek).
- Nearly half the employees surveyed are experiencing virtual meeting fatigue, while 79% of working professionals feel virtual meetings are equally or even more productive than in-person ones. Just keep the number of required meetings realistic.
What are some of the difficult issues and challenges you and your teams are facing during virtual meetings? I would LOVE to hear your experiences!
There has been such a great response to my new workshop: Mastering Brand Presence in a Virtual World. It can adapted and run to suit your needs, so please do schedule some time with me and we can plan together how I can support you and your teams.