Our corporate landscape has changed immeasurably over the last few months and it has become more challenging to showcase your personal brand remotely.
Twitter recently announced that it is extending work-from-home indefinitely, while other companies are offering greater flexibility in where, when, and how their employees work. These shifts have made video conferencing our new reality. As I wrote in my last post, Protect Your Personal Brand While Working From Home, it’s crucial to remember that whether you’re in a Zoom room or a conference room, your personal brand is always on display.
Don’t Abandon Your Personal Brand Because The Meeting is Virtual
Just because a meeting is taking place online doesn’t mean you get to show up looking like you just rolled out of bed. Give yourself time in the morning to shower, brush your teeth, and dress the part. When you put effort into your appearance, you communicate to your team that you value their time and contributions.
Similarly, your posture sends a message about your level of engagement. When you sit up straight, you breathe better, speak more clearly and can confidently articulate your ideas. Make sure to look into the camera, actively listen to whoever is talking, and watch your facial expressions. Trust me when I say that people are paying attention.
Adjusting Content for Online Platforms
While behavior guidelines are the same, whether you’re meeting online or off, you will need to make some changes to transition content from the physical world to online platforms. It’s exciting to deliver a keynote address to five hundred people when you’re all in a room together. Feeding off the crowd’s energy can be exhilarating. But when you have to give that same speech from your home office to an audience that you can’t hear and often can’t see, it’s hard to tell if what you’re saying resonates.
Virtual meetings work best with smaller groups and benefit from more interactive content. Ask questions, encourage discussion and make sure that your material is as engaging as possible. It’s more important than ever to grab people’s attention immediately. If you don’t, and they’re not required to be there, they will log off.
Learn the New Etiquette
The shift to video conferencing requires that we all get comfortable with a new etiquette. Here are some best practices to make your next virtual meeting as productive as possible, whether you’re attending or leading:
- Stop multitasking: Put your phone away, close your browser tabs, and turn off notifications on your computer. People know when you’re not paying attention.
- Set an agenda: If you’re leading, tell people how long the meeting will last, who will be speaking, and the topics you’ll cover.
- Set boundaries: Do you want people to mute themselves when not speaking? Can they use the chat function? Can they eat during the call? Create guidelines that are clear and easy to follow.
- Tell people when you record: You must let attendees know if you are recording whether it’s a small team meeting or a webinar for hundreds of people.
- Be prepared: Make sure that any files you plan to share are easily accessible and in working order. Clean up your desktop, close any unrelated browser tabs, test your tech before the meeting.
- Set-Up Your camera: Align your computer so that your camera is at eye level. People should be able to see your face, not your ceiling or floor.
- Set Your background: Make sure that people aren’t looking at an unmade bed behind you. Place a piece of art on the wall behind you or use a virtual background.
- Set boundaries with your family: If you’re sharing space with family members, ask them not to disturb you when you’re on a call.
- Update your tech: Download the latest versions of all the video conferencing platforms you will be using. Test your equipment regularly.
Whether you’ve been using video conferencing for years or you’re new to the technology, you must take time to familiarize yourself with etiquette and best practices so that you showcase your personal brand.
If you’re unsure about how best to show up online and showcase your personal brand the right way, I can help.