How To Ace Virtual Communication In Any Situation
Virtual communication has become key to businesses in today’s special times. With most communication happening online – audio or video – it is important to modify our communication styles to suit this situation.
Which is why I did a Linkedin Live broadcast on the topic earlier this month. The excerpts are here, in case you missed it. You can also watch the recording by clicking the link in the first comment.
Some of the important areas where effective virtual communication is critical are:
- Team calls/con calls
- Calling existing clients
- Virtual sales calls
A VIRTUAL COMMUNICATION CHECKLIST
A few common things that apply to most virtual situations are:
- A steady internet
- A quiet corner
- Audio and video check in advance
- Prep content before the call
- Watch your posture. That’ll show in your voice and confidence
- Log in a few minutes earlier so that you are ready on time
- Set your camera at the right angle
Let’s now look at tips for specific scenarios.
HOW TO ACE VIRTUAL INTERVIEWS
Interviews are stress inducing as it is. But having to do it online can only add to the awkwardness.
Here are a few tips you can use to help you put your best foot forward online:
- As in real interviews, practice your answers well. If there is no video, pay special attention to voice modulation and clarity of speech
- Make sure that you have a plain background free of distractions
- The main source of light should be in front of you and not behind you. I use an additional lamp at a higher level and in front of me when I do my live sessions on Linkedin
- As mentioned, earlier, check your audio and video properly in advance. You don’t want to go “Check, check! Can you hear me just before an important interview.
- Dress up, at least the top half, if you have a video interview. It wouldn’t hurt to dress up anyways to get into the proper frame of mind
- Sit comfortably but alert. Your posture will reflect in the way you talk.
- Make sure your answers are direct and to the point. Online conversations don’t have the luxury to hmm…and haww as you ponder since the non verbal cues might be absent and you’ll only sound weird.
- You can always ask things like – I hope that answers your question – Just to make sure that the interviewer got your answer.
- Watch your energy levels – find a sweet spot. It is easy to feel low energy sitting in one’s home instead of a formal interview room. You’ll need to muster some extra energy to convey that through your voice.
HOW TO ACE VIRTUAL TEAM MEETINGS
Team meetings might or might not be on video.
If your team prefers video, remember the pointers I mentioned earlier about running a tech check and getting the camera right.
I will jump straight into tips for effective communication:
- Make sure that you are heard loud and clear at least once during the call. This is especially important if you it’s an audio call and people can’t see you
- Be on time even though it’s an internal meeting and dress appropriately
- Pay attention to your voice and its modulation since that alone will project you as an effective communicator
- Learn active listening since it’s easier for the mind to wander when people aren’t physically present around you
- If you are going to talk about a project – or have the main speaking role – in the meeting, make sure you make it really interesting.
- If you want people to listen, make them!
As a speaker, it’s your job to hold their attention – rendered more difficult in a virtual situation
HOW TO ACE VIRTUAL SALES CALLS
Whether you are prospecting or talking to existing clients, making a great impact in a sales call is not optional.
Sales calls as it is need a lot of preparation. The good news is most of the things you’d do for a real call apply on phone/video call too. You need to bring in the same presence – if not more – on a virtual call too.
- Be well prepared. Practice what you are going to say and get into the flow since pauses on an audio call will be especially glaring
- Make your pitch interesting. Don’t just show slide after slide if you are making a presentation. That fails to hold attention even in a conference room scenario.
A few key things that will make a huge difference on a virtual sales calls are:
- Enunciation: Be very clear in your speech. Don’t mumble.
- Articulation: Long, winding style of speaking in virtual modes fails to hold people’s attention. Be clear about what you want to say. Structure it coherently.
Here is a detailed post on how to develop your articulation skills
- Rate of speech: The biggest challenge in audio communication is that people can’t see your facial expressions to complement your communication. So speak slowly so that people get it the first time.
- Voice modulation: Droning on in a monotone is boring even in real life. To make an impact and convert sales, it is critical to use your voice in the best possible manner. Add vocal variety to sound human.
In every virtual situation, cross check if you were understood and only then move on.
If you have any tips from your experience – for any situation, please do share them in the comments so that all of us can benefit from them.
Do join me on Thursdays at 6 pm for Linkedin Live.