I’ll admit it, the first time I did a Skype meeting with a client I was scared to death. This was like making a video, but live!
After dozens upon dozens of business video calls, I love having conversations this way and actually prefer it over the phone. It creates a face-to-face connection and productive conversation that email can miss in a big way. The rapport and level of trust it builds is a huge benefit. Plus, it’s fun!
Whether you’re trying using Skype or Google Hangouts for the first time with clients, or you’ve always used it, here are 4 ingredients that make it always go more smoothly:
Use a real paper notebook.
You might think that if you are right at your computer you could take notes on it. But, writing everything in a notebook allows you to have a better connection with the person you are talking to by keeping engaged eye contact. Plus, then they will know that you aren’t getting distracted with anything else on your computer or email.
- Print out anything that needs referenced and keep it close by.
- Have a pen that works handy and your phone nearby in case the connection goes bad.
- Think through your conversation beforehand and write anything that comes to mind as a potential conversation topic. You won’t be caught off guard during the conversation if they bring up something you haven’t thought through.
- If you’re discussing something that is problem you are working through or something that is possibly a client issue, prepare yourself emotionally so you can respond in a level-headed way instead of just reacting.
Give yourself some buffer time.
Nothing is worse than being scatterbrained when you are trying to focus. Do these things beforehand so you can think more clearly.
- Wrap up other projects at least 15 minutes before to clear your head.
- Be ready at least 5 minutes before.
- Get a drink of water
- Sign in, check your connection and surroundings and take a deep breath.
Don’t be distracting.
- Make sure you are in a spot that is quiet and does not have lots of visual clutter or general messiness in the background.
- Try to cut speaking habits you have that might be a hindrance, like constantly clearing your throat, or wiping hair out of your face.
- Speak clearly and at an even pace.
I hope these 4 ingredients help you get more out of your conversations! Is there something you do to make virtual meetings more productive? Leave a comment!