Getting Ready for virtual calls:
There are a number of things to consider that are essential tips for working virtually. We are likely to be working from home. We don’t have our colleagues, experts and our equipment close at hand. Here are some essential tips to ensure you are ready for a virtual call, whether it is a conference call, virtual meeting or even a one to one call. Ensuring you are focused and making an impact virtually.
When we are working from home, we don’t have others at hand to assist us. There is no IT person who can help if we can’t get the tech working; we don’t have a colleague we can check for specific information; we are feeling rather isolated because we don’t see our team regularly.
Based on conversations I have been having with clients and people on my webinars, here are some great tips for being prepared before you have a virtual conversation.
- Check your tech; if you have to upload slides or check the connection of your wifi, do this with a few minutes to spare. I always welcome those who are waiting for a webinar well before it starts. They are the individuals who are checking this.
- Also check your laptop isn’t going to need recharging half way through the conversation. I’ve seen that happening!
- Have all the information you need ready at hand. You don’t have the luxury of information readily available in the office or a colleague who can advise you who sits close to you.
- Have your cup of tea ready before you start
- Any stationery – pen that works, paper.
- If you are combining working with home schooling: lots of people are doing this, check the children are occupied before starting the call.
And here are some great ideas for preparing specifically for a meeting.
- If there is an agenda, check the points to ensure you have the information you need ready to hand.
- If there is no agenda, ask the facilitator for the agenda
- Check who else is going to be on the call; is there anyone you need to contact beforehand? Is there anyone you don’t know, so need to check about their background/skill set?
- One great tip I had from Penny Pullan who is the author of Virtual Leadership. She suggests you should create a document with the photos and names of everyone on your team; distribute it to your team who should print it off and have next to their computer. This means you are putting the human element to these calls, particularly if people don’t switch on their videos.
Essentially, it pays to be prepared. Being virtual almost highlights any lack of preparation. When you are face to face you can quickly get other advice; but someone leaving a call for a couple of minutes – and I have seen this happen – is a very long time for someone waiting. And it demonstrates you AREN’T prepared.