We’re no longer in the throes of an economic shutdown, but the virtual meetings that
resulted from it are not going away. Online conferences on platforms such as Zoom and
GoToMeeting will remain part of the way we do business, if only because they’re easy to set
up, convenient to attend, and require no gas purchases at today’s inflated prices. Virtual
meetings can be an effective way to share information and make presentations to clients
and customers, staff, and outside organizations you work with.

Like it or not, online meets are a part of business life today. Therefore, you want to be as
skillful handling virtual meetings as you are in all the other aspects of your work. To make
meaningful connections in these online confabs, here are some things the experts say you
should focus on.

Get involved with organizing the meeting.

Make sure the meeting has an assigned host and put together an agenda. Be sure to leave
five to fifteen minutes at the end for people to engage in informal conversation. With larger
meetings you can set this informal time up as smaller groups in breakout rooms.

Be comfortable in front of your webcam.

Instead of thinking of your computer webcam or the front-facing camera on your tablet or
smartphone as a thing to talk to, think of it as a person you want to have listen to you.
Imagine the camera is someone in the virtual meeting—a client, prospect, external partner,
or someone on your team. Or, think of the camera as someone outside the meeting whom
you want to impress—a mentor or even a spouse, for example.

Keep in mind what you’re trying to do.

You won’t achieve your goal in a virtual meeting by just conveying information. If that were
the case, you could just text or email people the key facts. You’re meeting with folks
virtually to communicate the value of what you’re proposing. You want to come across as a
dynamic communicator people can connect with.

Take advantage of online presentation tools.

The platforms for virtual meetings can include pointers and tools that let you make
comments on slides and highlight text. You can also avail yourself of whiteboards to get
your points across and to let those at the meeting collaborate with each other in real time.
Also, take advantage of the chat box. When you’re making a presentation, don’t be afraid to
break off every so often to respond to a comment you see in the chat.

Use props.

To keep people’s attention, break up the cascade of slides in your PowerPoint presentation.
Cut away from the PowerPoint, go back on camera, and bring in some physical objects to
make your points.

For more ideas on virtual meetings, check out this site.