The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we work.
Many things that seemingly required an in-person meeting have now gone virtual. For freelancers, discussions around current projects or initial meetings with prospective clients are all carried out via virtual meetings.
This meeting format can be unusual and uncomfortable for those who didn’t grow up with the technology. While Gen Z has quickly adapted to the new reality, Millennials and baby boomers are having a harder time. Lack of personal contact and the possibility of technical issues can undoubtedly come with a steep learning curve.
However, COVID-19 has forced us to accept a new reality. It’s also worth mentioning that most of the changes we’ve seen to the way we work will remain in place even after the restrictions are lifted.
If you’re someone who’s new to the concept of virtual meetings, this article will provide you with a thorough understanding of the benefits that virtual meetings can provide. After all, they don’t just save the time and costs associated with commuting; they provide a unique set of advantages that could make all the difference in your success as a freelancer.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
Controllability of the Situation
Virtual meetings, unlike traditional ones, give you complete control over your environment. You can make it comfortable for yourself, which will improve your confidence and reduce your stress levels during the meeting. Also, a sense of control will allow you to put your best foot forward and give the best impression of yourself during the meeting.
However, it’s well-worth carrying out a little preliminary preparation. Take time to turn on your laptop’s camera simply and see what picture is displayed on the screen. Is there enough light in the room? Do you look professional?
Also, pay attention to the noise levels in the room. The less noise there is in the room, the more-focused you’re likely to be during the meeting. Make sure you find a quiet and comfortable space to host your virtual meeting, which will set you up for the best chance of success.
Another little tip – clean the room! Sometimes virtual interviews are conducted without video communication. However, video is used more often than not. A clean environment will not only make you feel more comfortable, but also give the image of a professional and organized individual. After all, at least you’ve put in the effort to present yourself well!
During a virtual meeting, it’s all-too-easy to get caught up in the conversation and forget the important information we were hoping to share.
The attendees will of course see you and your background. However, the objects on the table directly next to the laptop are out of view. You can take advantage of this by making a short prompt sheet to keep handy during the meeting; this’ll ensure that you won’t forget anything important.
It’s important that the note becomes a convenient and easy-to-use reference for you. Therefore, it’s best to keep it simple. Write down all the important information, but make sure it’s concise. Highlight the key points you want to emphasize and place the note next to your laptop for reference.
When constructing a set of reference notes, it’s really important not to over-rely on them. If your attendees see you constantly looking down at your notes, this can demonstrate a lack of preparation.
This is arguably the greatest advantage of virtual meetings.
Although a traditional stand-up presentation won’t be a great fit for a virtual meeting, there are all sorts of useful presentation tools that can leverage. This presents a great opportunity to demonstrate your professional skills and achievements in a visually-appealing way.
In addition, you might consider setting up a small website for your virtual meetings. This is especially relevant if you’re taking on new clients via virtual meetings and want to point them to a comprehensive resource for your services. To do this, you can use a simple website builder such as Wix. You can also check out the best alternatives to Wix right now if you’re looking for something a little more tailored to your specific budget or personal tastes.
Remember that digital is the future; it’s well-worth taking advantage of the technology available to ensure your virtual meetings are as engaging as possible.
If you’re meeting with clients regularly, then you’re likely analyzing each meeting like crazy. Did the client seem cooperative? Was the discussion engaging and relevant to the project?
The great thing about virtual meetings is the ability to record them. This will not only allow those who couldn’t make it to catch up, but allow you to analyze the meeting to improve your technique.
Here are some things to look out for when watching the meeting back:
- Body language
By taking the time to analyze a virtual meeting, you can correct any mistakes and improve for next time, which should dramatically improve your conversion rate.
If you’re not used to them, virtual meetings can serve as a daunting prospect. However, they actually provide a whole host of unique benefits.
You can create a comfortable environment for yourself, prepare key information in advance and leverage digital tools to your advantage. However, the best thing about virtual meetings is the possibility of in-depth analysis. This will allow you to improve your technique and drive your conversion rate up with each and every meeting you take part in.