After months of lockdown across the world, we have all had to adapt to the new normal – working from home and utilizing video conferencing platforms to communicate with our employees and stakeholders. The issue many of us struggle with is how to convey empathy and build connections authentically, when our only point of connection is a camera trained on our face.
Earlier this week we were delighted to catch up with a number of our WDP Alumni and our friends from Manulife’s internal women’s network and male allies, for an enlightening webinar on ‘How to video conference in style”. This timely session was led by the fabulous Angie Lau, formerly a Bloomberg TV Anchor and now Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.news.
Angie shared her top tips including:
· Consider what is in the background of your shot – know that the visual attention isn’t always on you
· Find your light – ensure you are not backlit, face the light source and light your face equally
· Be camera ready – show your best self, stay present and assume your audio and video is always on
· The importance of good framing – aim to look at your camera straight on at eye level, with your head one inch / 3cm from the top of the frame
· Get the right equipment – elevate the experience for others with an HD webcam tripod, AirPods and clip-on microphone
· Presenting is a mindset – be your authentic self. Present to the camera and don’t break eye contact. The camera is the window to your audience – share your energy and bring your full self
· Storytelling is a key skill – don’t be too scripted. Present like the professionals by focusing on three key messages you want to convey, talking about them in your own words in a natural conversational style.
For more advice, please read this article on Forkast.news authored by Angie.
Our audience asked some brilliant questions that kickstarted a conversation around the future of work and in demand skillsets for leaders.
New technologies and hybrid events
In Angie’s opinion, COVID-19 has acted as the true catalyst for digital transformation. There is no returning – this is the new normal. Companies are increasingly moving away from the old model of ‘business as usual’ and adopting new ways of working to inspire, motivate and galvanize their employees and stakeholders. The outbreak has enabled companies to see that work can be managed differently and technology is at the forefront of that revolution.
Hybrid events will become the new standard, with some people in the room and others joining remotely. Technology that allows for this will be in hot demand and new platforms and ways of delivering content in multiple forms simultaneously, will emerge.
Communication skills vital for future leaders
Employee engagement has always been a top priority for businesses, but now it is mission critical. Leaders need to be mindful that peoples’ time is precious and needs to be respected. Hosting mundane online gatherings and webinars in the name of collaboration and transparency will only serve to damage employee relations. Leaders of the future, where online communication is the norm, will need to develop their storytelling and broadcasting skillsets in order to fully engage their people wherever they may be.
Welcome to the new normal! We look forward to hosting more webinars in the coming months.