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In the previous article last week we talked about how important a virtual meeting is and how it can help in securing that new career or new employee.

Aside from the benefits of timing and convenience you have the ability to present yourself directly to your next employee or employer, virtually anywhere in the world.

To be successful in a virtual meeting you need to remember that the key strategies to use are the same as in a face to face meeting.  

Here are the REJS “5 S’s” strategies that we hope can help you prepare yourself for that virtual meeting, ensuring that you are ready to go and fully prepared.

Secure the date of meeting

It is very important to know the date and time of the meeting. Make sure that you will be ready at least 5 – 10 minutes prior to the actual meeting time. Also remember that unlike a face to face meeting, a virtual meeting can span several different time zones. You need to take this into consideration when you are securing a virtual meeting.

Secure your environment for the meeting

It is also very important that we have to select a suitable meeting environment for your virtual meeting to avoid distractions and interferences. Use backgrounds with solid colours and make sure that it is clear from any objects that may distract your audience, such as pictures, posters, and so on.

At REJS we have had meetings where the person has been in a bedroom or areas where they are numerous objects to distract without any thought of what the person at the other end of the video link will see. Remember this is meeting is just like any other and first impressions count …. always.

Settle/have an objective for the meeting

Identifying the purpose of the meeting is critical as all parties (remember there may be multiples attendees) need to know the reason/purpose so that all attendees know how to construct their side of meeting and deliver effectively in the meeting.

Is this a meeting for an initial job interview, are you meeting a prospective buyer, seller, tenant or landlord. You need to know what the meeting is about prior to setting it in your schedule otherwise this will be a meeting of no value.

If a third party is organising the virtual meeting the rules are the same however they will or should organise the details i.e. log in details, the method of the meeting, the time date etc. make sure of there is someone organising this on your behalf that you have everything emailed to you prior to the meeting.

Supply or make sure you have appropriate equipment and materials needed for the meeting

Sounds basic however at REJS we have had people “turn up” for meetings and they have no video available even though this has been organised well in advance! Since it is virtual meeting you need to make sure that you all have the appropriate equipment available to make this happen.

To do this you will need to have a laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone available as well as appropriate software installed on the device you are using e.g. Skype, Facetime or FaceBook video, go to meeting, Google hangouts etc. They key is to make sure everyone is using the same platform.

Then test your equipment to make sure that everything is working prior to the meeting, then test it again, if it is not going to work the meeting will obviously be a failure. Also have a backup plan ready in case the equipment fails during your meeting and also have a way of taking notes for the meeting, either electronically (best) or on paper.

Show your best self

Yes I know this sounds really crazy however how you present yourself is really important and the virtual meeting will be just as important, if not more important than if you met face to face as you normally only see half of each other.

When you appear on screen via a Web or video conference, you need to consider how your appearance will affect the meeting. Wear conservative clothing that doesn’t draw attention away from your face. Wear pastel colours rather than bright colours, because pastels broadcast better. Avoid striped, checked, or patterned clothing. Make sure your clothes contrast with your background colours.

You only get one chance at that important first impression!

Preparation is vitally important for all attendees to virtual meetings, at REJS we have seen many webinars (just another form of a virtual meeting) where the presenter is not prepared and people will just leave the meeting fast.

I hope that these preparation strategies have assisted you if you are undertaking virtual meetings. Visit this REJS space next week for more information about virtual meetings and how you can give this your best efforts.

Richard Taylor & Nikki Taylor – Directors REJS

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