Recently, I facilitated an online workshop for a remote team that often participates in and leads meetings via Zoom. Other members of the team are together in a conference room and they float over the conference table on a 60 inch flatscreen. It's weird. And it's the new normal.
The workshop was ostensibly about public speaking and facilitation skills. We ended up spending a fair bit of time on how to optimize ‘leadership presence’ when working over webcam. Since then, I’ve participated in a few webinars and have been floored by how awful many of us are at working with the vocabulary of camera presence.
In other words: being in a room with people is vastly different than relating over webcam. Body language works differently, facial expressions may be highlighted, etc. and so on.
Here are some things to keep in mind for your next webinar or zoom conference, particularly if you are the facilitator:
Video conferencing has dramatically expanded the geographic reach of meetings, webinars, and workshops. It has also introduced a new set of tools and variables when it comes to conveying a sense of presence, participation, leadership, and authority. When well applied, many of these tools and techniques will be invisible to everyone else on the call, but their impact will be felt.
I’d love to hear about your experiences working over video. What have you noticed? What works for you? What doesn’t?
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