How do I visualize the virtual displacement

5 practical tips for virtual meetings

Conducting virtual meetings differs from face-to-face meetings in a number of ways. In online meetings, the technical feasibility is an important criterion, but above all the following 5 points must be observed, which are decisive for the success of online meetings!

Create a focused environment.

Who does not know that? You are sitting in an online conference, in a presentation webinar or in a telco and you keep glancing at your smartphone. Or you can even actively process e-mails and do a few "important" tasks while an online meeting is in progress. You would probably not allow yourself to do that in face-to-face events.

But why in online meetings?

What's wrong?

The danger of distraction in online meetings is significantly greater than in face-to-face events. At the same time, the actors are reluctant to allow themselves to be distracted. The actors are not under direct observation and what they are doing or not doing is difficult to control. Participants in online meetings are quickly tempted to deal with other business correspondence at the same time.

Therefore: If you lead the online meeting, actively ask to turn off the sound of incoming mails, to put the cell phone out of range and to turn off the ringtone. Ideally, the participants hang a sign on their office door that they are currently in the online meeting. In addition, make the online meeting activating and actively address participants again and again. This way you ensure that they are less distracted.

If you are a participant in a virtual meeting, it is helpful to create an undisturbed environment for yourself and to focus on the topic. It is easiest if you also implement the above tips.


Put anchors and visualize.

In a now very controversial study by Mehrabian and Ferris "Inference of Attitude from Nonverbal Communication in Two Channels"States Mehrabian that when giving presentations to groups:

  • 55 percent of the effect is determined by your body language, i.e. posture, gestures and eye contact.
  • You achieve 38 percent of the effect through your voice pitch and only
  • 7 percent through the content of your presentation

It is undisputed, however, that the way of presentation in a face-to-face event can be the ace up the sleeve and determines what you perceive in context.

Face-to-face events have the advantage that different sensory channels can be addressed in a situation and the brain is thereby actively stimulated.

In particular, thoughts, models or other information and findings can be easily visualized on flipcharts or recorded in text form. Recently, sketchnotes have become a very popular visualization method.

For successful online meetings it is helpful to create other solutions to activate the thought process in the participants and to keep the attention span high.

Often it is only our voice and factual content that we can use to address people directly in virtual environments.

How can we best do this?

With the help of pictorial language, we can stimulate the images in the listener's head and thus make it easier for the listener to think along with them, e.g. when telco. Another plus point is that the Powerpoints at web conferences are much more enriched with images that support the messages. You set visual anchors and the conference participants can follow more easily and retain significantly more in and after an online meeting.


Virtual communication takes place between people.

That is an old saying and it will stay that way even in times of digitization. Regardless of whether it is Skype, webinar platforms or the telephone: they are all just carriers of communication.

People communicate. They speak or write. But the general conditions are still slightly different - they are virtual. It's like virtual communication is different. People in online meetings behave differently because, for example, they do not always have direct eye contact, they are less binding and feel less encouraged or addressed than in face-to-face events.

So make sure you communicate more clearly. Say clearly what you want, what are your expectations. But also express your appreciation and positive perceptions directly.

Be human in virtual space too!


Perceiving people in a virtual environment.

As already indicated above, fewer sensory sources are available for virtual events. Your intuition, your perception will therefore become an important success factor.

During telephone conferences we try to hear from the pitch of the voice, modulation and speaking speed what the “mood” is. Even pauses and breathing are more strongly perceived and interpreted. The situation is similar with web meetings.

It is important to train the perception and to perceive the "nuances". But be careful: this is your perception. But that is not a fact. To find out whether a person really feels that way, whether he means it or something similar, you should ask specifically. Classic questions and paraphrases help here.


Create commitment and credibility.

Let's be honest: is the content you convey in face-to-face events more important than in online events?

If not, how is it that virtual meetings are postponed or canceled at short notice more often than face-to-face events?

If you tend to postpone online events because they are easier to organize, then there is a mistake in thinking.

You suggest to your employees that what you say in online conferences is of no real importance. Due to the virtual framework, the time together is already tight. And if you keep postponing online meetings, your get-together with your team isn't important. Then why should they prepare for a meeting and concentrate on online events?

Create commitment and credibility!

If you schedule an online meeting, the appointment remains. Ask your employees to prepare and prepare yourself professionally.

That has something to do with mutual respect!

Kind regards, Stefanie