Okay, not life threatening ... but fatal to any chance you have of influencing your listeners. You know that person that's dreadful to listen to on a virtual call? The person that makes you want to mentally check out when they speak? You don't want people thinking of you or your teammates that way. I've personally coached more than 5,000 presenters globally. During that time, I've seen many unintentional, but common mistakes most presenters make. Some mistakes are certainly expected and won't do much damage. What I term as "fatal" mistakes endanger your message, hinder the audience's ability to engage with you and could damage your reputation. Yes, your reputation as a speaker, collaborator or leader is at stake.
Insights for Working Virtually
This blog is for anyone who communicates in-person or virtually in the business world.
Recent analysis shows that over 70% of all offices have an open plan – no doors, no cubicles, and relatively few conference rooms. Open offices have been around since the 1950’s. The intent of this office configuration has been to increase opportunities for collaboration and casual exchange of ideas. In many cases that has been true. We've known since the days of "tiger teams" that putting a project team together in one place can efficiently produce innovative results. It is also great for the boss with a command and control mindset monitoring workflow. But how does this apply to a 21st century workplace?...
Now that I’ve got your attention, I want to clarify. We need to be crystal clear about the impact words have on a listener’s ability to understand what we are saying. When I say “devastate”, I can’t assume that everyone reading this is going to respond in the same way. Label this what you will, but word choice and how you say something will impact your ability to influence someone to take action - the action you want them to take.
The Same But Different
This simple equation, 1+1=2, does not always prove to be true when placed in a virtual environment. Presenters who are good in the face-to-face environment may or may not have the same level of expertise in the virtual environment. One great face-to-face presenter plus one virtual environment does not always equal one great virtual presenter. The same holds true for experienced instructors.
Let’s revisit meetings that suck. In Part One, it was observed that the “laptop up and mobile device on” syndrome would not happen during an in person meeting. (If you missed Part One, go here.) The contention was that “...there is a basic level of human respect that we afford each other when we are in another human’s presence.”...