Since March 2020, the corporate world has undergone a drastic change.
Business as usual has taken a turn for the unusual. Where meetings were once arenas where we marched in dressed to impress, and negotiated deals armed with eye-contact, today those practices have given way to endless online meetings, mostly with the camera off.
With the number of daily online meetings growing by 200% in less than a month,1 it is more important than ever to not just acclimate ourselves to the new ways of doing business, but learn to use them to our advantage. It is time we re-learn the rules of power dressing for better impact on camera, or perhaps learn to use our voices to our advantage.
What we need more than ever is to re-imagine the tried and tested rules of success for the new world, so we put together 5 simple rules on how to emerge a winner in your next online meeting.
If you are showing up for online meetings in your pyjamas, you’re doing it wrong.
Studies have shown that dressing in powerful outfits from women clothing brands and the best clothing brands for men impacts self‐perception of productivity, trustworthiness, creativity, and friendliness. 2 Take control of your attire and bring power dressing to the virtual table.
Keep the constraints of the online platform in mind. Do not dress in prints, stripes, or bold patterns that will steal attention from what you’re saying. Be mindful of the background and use contrast to your advantage.
Treat it like an event
If you truly want to shine in the meeting, you need to treat it like your personal event. From knowing who all will be attending to addressing them by their name, look into each aspect.
Send the agenda to all participants before the meeting begins. Assign a separate time for conversation, the presentation, and follow up questions. Later, email a detailed synopsis to all participants to ensure everyone is on the same page. Your meeting will stand out for its focused and detail-oriented approach.
Engage in storytelling
Capturing people’s attention on an online platform is no easy feat, making it necessary for you to fine-tune your presentation skills.
Just like you would choose bright colours to stand out in a meeting, ensure your presentation stands out as well. Since attendees will spend a considerable amount of time viewing your screen, use minimal text and captivating images to tell a story.
Stay away from boring templates, take pauses, and ask questions every few minutes. Use engaging videos, interactive polls, and easy-to-read fonts to increase interest and engagement.
Tailor the environment to generate focus
In online meetings, you have an added advantage of being able to control everything. From the lighting on your face to the background behind you.
Place two lights behind and on either side of your laptop to draw attention to your face and outfit. Remove distracting elements from your background or use the blur feature to obscure things behind you. Keep your laptop elevated at eye level to avoid jerky eye movement. Shut all irrelevant tabs to maintain focus.
Let your voice do the talking
Your voice is your biggest asset in online meetings. Lead with confidence by modulating your voice to emphasise points you want to put across. Speak at a normal speed and volume.
Don’t directly jump into the conversation. Start with an ice breaker to put all participants in the same frame of mind. A few jokes here and there can lighten the mood before the meeting begins. Make sure to keep the mic off when you aren’t talking and raise your hand, virtually, to signal when you wish to talk.
Try these five simple steps to make your online meeting as good, if not better, than in-person meetings. Your attendees will not only leave with a positive impression of you but will also take your views into serious consideration.