On March 17, 2020, AmCham members and other invited guests from Finland and Slovakia got to participant in the 1st webinar on “Powerful Virtual Leadership” that was hosted by the Communications Expert from the USA – John Bates.
Unfortunately, John was not able to come to Tallinn that day due to the current situation with COVID-19. However, we are truly thankful that he has arranged this online session for our members and shared some really good tips that we can all use during the time of social distancing and working from home.
Here is the quick summary of his main points:
In the mindset that this is our current reality, this is the time and opportunity to show up as a true leader!
To project the presence of true leadership in an age of working virtually, here are a few key points to remember:
- Check the “setting” of your video conversation, meeting or presentation! Pay attention to the lighting, camera, and background – all the details are very important! If possible, invest in a good microphone and other equipment! This is your best and most important tool to project power and leadership with your voice and appearance! Also, while talking, look into the lens of the camera – it makes the attendees feel like you’re looking at them, not your screen! That way, people will experience a real conversation with you!
- Like never before, it is VERY important to hold people’s attention! If you are using slides, only have one idea per slide and don’t add too much text to it! Does it mean more slides?! Maybe! But it is important to keep your listeners focused! Remember – your presentation (slides) should need YOU!
- Amplify your voice and expressions! The camera fades out a lot of the impact you are trying to project! Never underestimate how much people are getting out of your voice! Even when you are trying to talk to someone over the phone, people can „hear“ your smile! Don’t forget that! Turn up your expression so people can perceive it.
- Authentic Leadership. People usually don’t connect with your success, they connect with your mess! In the current situation, authentic leadership is needed the most! Talk to people! Express your real feelings, concerns, alerts. Share the difficulties, and then… tell people how you are dealing or how you are planning to deal with them! Make it a safe space to be vulnerable and keep the focus on the learning and the positive next steps.
Respect that this is the new reality for what could be quite a while, and don’t miss the opportunity to learn something new and make the most of this situation!