We have spent weeks on telecommuting. Work routines have transformed into home office conditions and many have gained more experience from remote meetings than in the last year combined.
With face-to-face interaction turning into data streams, speech and listening skills have taken on a bigger role in communication. One must be able to listen to what is happening at the other end of the connection and give time both for answers and silence. The old saying “A picture says more than 1000 words” is also very true: the better the presentation material, the easier the remote meeting.
At Enerity Solutions Oy, we quickly shifted from meetings to remote meetings. Since March, there have been several dozens remote meetings in total. So, based on recent experiences and observations, we thought about sharing our own tips for a successful remote customer meeting.
- A picture says more than a thousand words
Use visual elements whenever possible. Avoid using PowerPoints that are full of text. Endless slideshows are not tolerated by anyone and with the focus on them, your speech will be easily ignored.
- Give time for answers, be sure to listen
Communication can be trickier when speakers do not see each other. Be sure to listen and give enough time for answers. Generally, the more people attending the meeting, the longer everyone is waiting the answers from others. If you know who is the best person to answer, ask him or her directly – it is the fastest way to get an answer.
- Use the webcam whenever possible
Everyone prefers to see the speaker instead of a blank screen or endless presentations. A remote meeting becomes much more personal if the speaker can be seen. Communication is also easier when the visual connection can be used to anticipate the conversation.
- Apologize if you talk over
Even when trying to be careful, you can sometimes talk over. In that case, apologize as soon as possible and offer turn in a conversation.
- Follow the course of the conversation and guide it if necessary
Although time must be allowed for listening and answering, the remote meeting must be completed on schedule. You also want the goal of the meeting to be fulfilled. Be prepared to take steps to keep discussion on topic and moving towards the goal.
Marketing Designer Karita Tommola