Virtual meetings facilitate more engaging conversations and personal connections with the use of video. Though it may not replace the physical session, it is carrying very definite weightage in the present situation and future business or education models. So, considering the fact that we need to adopt the virtual meetings to engage, to educate and to socialize we need to be aware of certain aspects during our participation in the virtual sessions. In this blog, we have attempted to surface some of the key elements that may be useful for your effective participation in a virtual platform.
Please join with your Correct NAME:
Many webinars are offered through the proper registration process. In my experience, the admin team finds it difficult to identify the participants when they login with an user ID that is NOT their name, for eg: numbers. This difficulty starts from admitting them to identifying them after the admission. In the process, the admin team spends valuable time to identify such participants instead of starting the session on time.
Joining on time:
Your time is valuable to you and us. The host/presenter and the participants contribute their valuable time for a virtual session to take place and if the participants join after the session starts, they may not necessarily disrupt the presentation / conversation by logging in late, but they may miss important information or conversation.
We spend money and valuable time for our learning by attending virtual sessions. We need to fully concentrate and participate. It will be very difficult to concentrate during a session, if we are hungry. So, it is recommended that the participants, please have some refreshments before joining any sessions. You can eat during the session, but whether you will be able to concentrate and participate, something to think on.
Similar to us, our system or Phone also need good and full power to help us complete the session. So, please ensure that your system / phone has been sufficiently charged.
This is a Learning platform:
Our only objective while participating in any learning session is to learn fully and confidently. We may need to participate in conversations with a few new / unknown participants. Our focus should be on learning rather than researching the participants’ personal information. So whenever we participate in a learning session, keep our mind open and focus ONLY to LEARN.
Notebook and Pens:
Each learning session is a Gold mine. It is the participants’ responsibility to extract the Gold to their potential. While on the subject, one of the important aspects is to take notes. The notes will help the participants to understand or recreate while reading the notes or they can even go back with questions once the session is completed.
Achieve our Desired Outcomes:
When we meet our friends in a virtual meeting, we are so happy to speak with them. Absolutely it will be an enjoyable moment Or when we meet a new person, we take some time to speak with them and take the discussion forward. In both these and similar scenarios, It may consume some extra time to get back to the flow of the session. I am not prescribing any solution; however, it is important to be aware of these situations and take appropriate actions to move forward the session. This may help the group to achieve the desired outcome within the time limit.
Turn off your MIC when not speaking:
We always love to be heard. When an opportunity is presented to us to share our point of view and it gets acknowledged, it is a happy moment, but at the same time, we are responsible for being listeners to other participants. Many times, we would have observed that the admin would request the participants to go on MUTE. We may miss it if we don’t bring it out of conscious awareness.
I was conducting a session for my friend and their family members. One of his family members started to move from the living area to the kitchen with their video and audio ON. In another business session, another participant was moving from room to room with their video and audio ON. Other participants and I were experiencing distractions and were not able to listen and focus on the presenter. We need to be aware of such distractions we may unknowingly cause.
Your comments are very important for you:
All the comments are very important to the presenter and also to the participants. It adds value to the person itself. In our experience we had noticed that the comments sometimes are shared with some negative intent or with no relevance to the context. The participant needs to understand that it affects them first. Even if it is a feedback comment, it needs to help everyone to take positive actions.
“Hello, I want to speak…” :
Each participant wants to share his / her viewpoints, but it will become chaos if all the participants speak simultaneously. So, the admin would have kept all the participants on Mute. In this scenario, we can either use CHAT BOX and write Hello, I want to speak or use virtually RAISE YOUR HAND to get noticed. We want you to speak.
All of us would have experienced during the conversation with a customer service executive, we will hear a customary notice saying, “This call may be recorded for training and improvement purposes”. It really helps to learn from our mistakes and improve when we listen to our conversations. And it has become the norm even for virtual sessions. Once the recording of the session starts, the participant will receive a popup. You can choose your actions accordingly.
Another important aspect, we all need to be aware of is that we are also responsible in our appearance (Dressing) and while talking (Choice of words) because we are being watched by others.
When will you complete the session? :
We learn from others while they share their experience of the session. It is very important and best practice to convert those experiences in a document form. At the end of the session, we normally receive the FEEDBACK form. In the context of sharing, learning and contributing to improvement, we are also responsible to take a few minutes to complete the feedback form. Sometimes the presenter may reach out to you to understand your perspective of your feedback. Completing the Feedback form will complete your session.
Co-Presenter / Speaker preparation:
We have experienced in many situations that the co-presenter / speaker will start working by opening their slides, arranging their mic on their shirt, checking the sharing options with audio and other important aspects that consume all our valuable time. Again, we are responsible for our time and as well as the participants’ time during the virtual sessions.
How to prepare? You will know better than me.
Caring for our EYES
Attending virtual session without a break is said to be causing problems like dry eye syndrome and burning sensation of eyes. So, it is advisable to consult a doctor to understand the precautions. Also you may consider this suggestion. Take a short break after every forty-five minutes to close our eyes for two to three minutes for relaxing. We can avoid eye fatigue.
Awareness leads to choice, choice leads to change. Any change should start within. I am sure that the above aspects on Virtual Awareness will help you and others to participate effectively and get the best from every session here on. Also requesting you to share your feedback about this blog. Thank you very much. Happy virtual sessions.