Improve Your Virtual Meetings in 3 Steps

Posted by Sue Nicholls, CPSA Founder & President CMKG | Oct 9, 2020 9:13:40 AM

When the pandemic first started and most of us moved to our home offices, we didn’t really think it would be a long-term thing. But working at home and being effective in the virtual space is now required in today’s business world. I’ve compiled 3 tips for you to improve your approach to virtual meetings right now.

You Can Shine in the Virtual Space! Here’s how:

#1 — You and Your Workspace

The first thing that you want to do is make sure you and your workspace are ready for virtual meetings — planned and unplanned. In our move to a more virtual world, there’s an opportunity to build your own personal brand that resonates from impressions from your virtual meeting workspace– how you look, how you act, and how you engage with your peers / customers / managers / the outside world all set the stage for first impressions from which people can judge you. 

In net, it DOES matter what you look like – and if you don’t control your personal branding, your actions and those first impressions will control it for you.

 

Examples of how you might look in your next meeting

TIPS:

  • Regularly show up on time (book 55-minute meetings; space 15 minutes between meetings …)
  • Avoid regular technology issues (it may be the operator)
  • Try not to change links
  • Get your time zones right
  • Have a few clothing options close by for those unexpected virtual meetings

#2 — Meeting Logistics

Meetings represent a huge potential value to both companies and employees, so when planning and running meetings you should not wing it and hope for the best. Instead, earn a reputation for running efficient and successful meetings because it is good for you and your career.

Identify the type of meeting (updates / information sharing / decision making / innovation / brainstorming / team building / sales presentations)

Prepare for your meetings:

Quick tips for running the meeting or attending

TIPS:

  • Avoid back-to-back meetings. Allow a 15-minute break prior to and after an important meeting.
  • Schedule in your own meeting software whenever possible
  • Use calendar software to book meetings and show availability (for example, calendly.com integrates with your existing calendar and simplifies scheduling)

#3 — Prep for Your Virtual Meeting

A few days before the presentation, you need to plan and practice. Try to avoid the “making changes until the last minute” as much as possible.

Prep checklist before your next virtual meeting

TIPS:

  • Start your meeting with introductions and set the purpose(s) for the meeting.
  • Keep participants engaged by calling on them, referring to a previous discussion, asking them questions and sharing information that is relevant for them and will help them in their work.
  • Maximize virtual software for improved engagement.
  • Build your virtual sales presentations using storytelling and fact-based insights that focus on the audience and not on you and your business.
  • Pay attention – listen to what your audience says. And if they are saying nothing, it’s not a good sign.

BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN VIRTUAL SPACE:

Challenge

Opportunity

Being prepared

Personal branding, Plan for the unexpected meeting, and Prepare + prepare + prepare

Keep your audience engaged

Grab attention up front. Ask questions to specific people using their names. Use meeting software and apps for increased engagement.

Develop relationships and build rapport

Add value to your peers, teams or customers. Stand out from competition in external meetings. 

 


What are your biggest opportunities to improve YOUR virtual meetings?

Check out your Preparing for a Virtual Session TOOL available at: https://ispri.ng/JxXpl to develop your own personal brand and prepare for success in virtual meetings of all kinds.


VCT-Improve-Your-Virtual-Meetings-Now-Team-Training copy1920wLooking to prepare your team for virtual meetings? We can help. Learn more about our Virtual Classroom Training on this and other topics.

Topics: Virtual Meeting Skills

Written by Sue Nicholls, CPSA Founder & President CMKG

Category Management is my passion. Since beginning with P&G in the late 1980s, I have dedicated my work life to building and sharing this passion with others through active involvement in the industry, including long-term business relationships with large Retailer and CPG executives, development and influence on Category Management Association certification standards, curriculum, and conference education, thought leadership publishing and presentations at CSP News’ Convenience University, CMA’s Annual Conference and LinkedIn, and as a member of DePaul University’s Center for Sales Leadership Advisory Board, and Western Michigan University’s Food Marketing Advisory Board. Beginning in 2019, our catalogue of accredited training that my team and I have developed is part of the Category Management Association’s strategic education initiative for all member organizations. Always anticipating where the industry is moving and the skills needed to compete and stay relevant, I’ve helped to bridge the gap between data and insights pioneering the way we use storytelling and data visualization to better understand analytics and make effective decisions for the future. Using my years of experience, I coach clients of all experience levels in the Retail, Manufacturer, and Solution Provider industries to help them propel forward achieving both their learning and career goals whether in eCommerce, sales, or marketing and beyond. My specialty lies in leadership and engagement, networking and consulting with individuals and large companies from around the world to better improve and develop our curriculum and accredited training programs, like our leading-edge Master’s Training, utilized by CatMan organizations for strategic education. Through this blog and other channels, I share my years of expertise with our industry and believe that an open and ongoing conversation can improve any team’s capacity to implement business strategies that achieve their strategic priorities.