Setting up your virtual space:
Paris starts by acknowledging the importance of a well-designed virtual space. Using a virtual background can be a game-changer, adding a touch of fun and excitement to video calls. It keeps the energy high and eliminates distractions, creating a more professional atmosphere. Although virtual backgrounds are not available in all software, platforms like Zoom offer this feature, allowing participants to feel like they are in a different setting altogether.
Engaging whiteboarding with tablets:
Virtual whiteboarding can significantly improve engagement during meetings. Paris recommends using an iPad or tablet as a whiteboarding tool, enabling presenters to visually explain concepts and ideas. He highlights the use of Procreate, a fantastic app that recognizes dual monitors, hiding the tools from participants, and presenting only the finished product. This technique enhances audience focus and boosts collaboration during virtual sessions.
Interactive polling for reinforcement:
To gauge understanding and actively involve participants, Paris emphasizes the underutilized polling feature available in most video conferencing software. Whether hosting a coaching session or training, polling is an excellent way to gather feedback and ensure comprehension. This interactive element enhances participation and promotes a more engaging virtual environment.
Ensuring smooth communication:
Managing audio is crucial for a seamless virtual meeting experience. Paris advises using headsets with wireless capabilities, such as AirPods Pro, for superior audio quality and mobility. Default laptop microphones may not suffice, especially in a dual-monitor setup, causing a drop in volume when speakers turn away from their laptops. Employing high-quality audio devices enhances clarity and ensures that participants can follow the discussion effortlessly.
Optimizing screen sharing:
While screen sharing is a common practice in virtual meetings, it often results in the loss of the gallery view, disconnecting the presenter from the audience. Paris suggests exploring the capabilities of the chosen software to maintain a gallery view while sharing content. Alternatively, participants can join the meeting on a separate device, ensuring they can still see the presenter's face. By preserving eye contact, presenters maintain engagement and energy throughout the session.
Embrace frequent breaks:
In the digital era, constant video calls can be mentally draining. Paris recommends incorporating frequent breaks to allow participants to recharge and avoid fatigue. These breaks can be in the form of stretching exercises or bio breaks to encourage physical movement. Additionally, engaging participants through interactive features, such as polling or breakout rooms, every 15 to 20 minutes, keeps everyone actively involved and reenergized.
In this era of remote work, mastering the art of virtual meetings has become essential for productivity and effective communication. Paris's webinar provided valuable insights into enhancing the quality of video meetings from home. By following his seven expert tips, including creating an engaging virtual space, employing interactive whiteboarding, using polling, managing audio, optimizing screen sharing, and incorporating frequent breaks, professionals can elevate their virtual meetings to new heights. Embrace these best practices, and you'll experience more productive, engaging, and successful virtual interactions.