Each of us has a unique style and personality, which reflects in our brand. Previously, before all the virtual meetings, we were conscious of our clothing, hairstyle, mannerisms, and environment. We understand the vital role these items play in who we are and how we are viewed by others – our brand.
In business, your brand message is important because it is the first thing seen by your prospect. In any virtual meeting, the same is true. How you show up and present yourself reflects directly to your brand message. With the increase in so many online virtual training, seminars, and workshops available to us now, these provide many opportunities to meet new people who are also prospective clients in many circumstances. When we attend live conferences and events, we do so with the intent of making connections with others either for networking or potential clients. The same is true for all these virtual training and events we attend. These are new opportunities for us to network and find new clients. Viewing these meetings in this regard will have an impact on your success.
Just as you would spend time preparing for a live event you would attend; you should do the same for virtual events. I have been attending a variety of virtual training and workshops with other entrepreneurs and professionals, and it is surprising how many are naïve to the brand message they are sending. Others are watching and observing you on these calls and formulating impressions of you. These impressions then determine your credibility, likeability, and trust level by others. For more information on snap judgments, read our article “Seconds Count.”
Here are three areas to review before and during your next virtual encounter to build a powerful reputation and brand for yourself.
1. Appearance – Your clothing reveals a lot about you. You want to wear similar clothing as you would when attending the event live. If you don’t typically wear T-shirts, then rethink your shirt. What you wear from the waist down is not as important because people will not see that until you get up and move around. If you are one who does move around and not in the habit of turning off your camera, you want to make sure you are wearing something appropriate.
a. Your face is seen more so on virtual meetings than in person, a key element to keep in mind. Women, if you would typically have some makeup on, then do the same for these meetings. It will not only help you feel more confident, but it also reflects on others. Men, if you usually shave, then do so. Showing up scruffy doesn’t reflect a polished, professional image if that is what you typically reflect in your style.
b. Hair – preparation here will reflect positively on the camera. Do what you would typically do with your hair. And right now, since none of us can get a haircut, we see more hats and other creative techniques to manage our hair. We still serve our best to reflect our style in a positive light.
2. Environment – what others see in your background. Just as we would look around at our surroundings at a live event, people do the same in virtual meetings. The difference is that the surroundings are what appear on your camera. If the statement you want to make is one that you are polished and professional, make sure your background is congruent with this image. If you have a cluttered, messy table or desk behind you, this is contradictive of your brand. Simply move all the “stuff” out of the camera view. A little preparation here will go a long way. Before you join any meeting, critique yourself, and how your video looks. If you aren’t pleased with your surroundings, you can easily change them before you join the meeting. You don’t need a lot of space; you can easily create the corner of your house, which reflects the personal brand you want others to see.
3. Actions – This refers to your body language, gestures, and other movements you may do during the meeting. If you are one who takes notes typically, continue to do the same on your virtual meetings; just make sure you look up at the camera periodically; otherwise, the only thing others will see is the top of your head.
a. Movement – if you need to get up and get something for any reason, always best to turn off your camera or video as you do so. This way, you don’t leave that “empty chair” view, which leaves others wondering – where did he/she go? Did he/she leave the meeting? And all other sorts of questions going through other minds. Be honest with yourself; you do the same thing. And make sure you have a nice photo of yourself that will show when you do turn off your video, people still want to know who is at the meeting and it still presents yourself well. The best option is to stay on the meeting the entire time, attentive and present which shows respect to others on the call.
b. Multi-tasking – it is simpler to do other tasks while attending virtual events. Always keep in mind what it reflects about you and your brand. If you were at an event, would you be on your treadmill or bicycle? Not a good idea in person or at a virtual meeting. If you do find it necessary to do so, again, just turn off your camera, this way you won’t be a distraction toward others.
Throughout every virtual event, we are making observations of others on the call. Many of these meetings include people from around the country, if not the world. Just like you select whom you want to talk to and connect with when attending a live event, you do the same in a virtual event.
It is so easy to look up the person on LinkedIn to discover more about him or her, and if you want to connect. You never know who or where the next key influencer in your career will be. It all begins with how you present your brand toward others.
Creatively communicate Inc. trains and coaches’ professional salespeople about how communication skills impact your success. The words you use in communication are essential, although how you say it has a more significant impact.
Connect with us at www.creativelycommunicate.com