3 Tips for Leading a Virtual Workshop or Meeting on Zoom

When leading a virtual meeting or workshop, it’s difficult to re-create the richness of being together physically. As much as I love technology, it’s a simple fact that Brady Bunch grids of people on a screen can’t replicate the experience of being in a room with other human beings!

However, that doesn’t mean your virtual meetings or workshops can’t be engaging or that you can’t do things to help your attendees feel more seen, heard, and involved.

Here are a few tips:

1. Look and Sound Your Best on Camera

When I run workshops, I use a green screen with a professional virtual background, a nice lighting setup, and a professional quality microphone. But you don’t need all of that to look good on camera. What you do need to do is show up like a leader:

  • Position your face in the top 2/3 of the screen

Here is an example of positioning your head in the top 2/3 of the screen, positioning the camera at eye level, and a simple lighting setup (lamp behind my laptop). It’s not as nice as when I use my green screen, professional virtual background, and special lighting, but it works. It’s much better than these Zoom Don’ts I often see.

2. Make Eye Contact

This goes back to the second bullet in number 1 above — make sure your camera is eye level. But that’s not enough. When you want to command attention and make people feel like you are listening to them or talking to them, you need to look directly into the camera. This can feel a bit awkward, but practice will help.

  • Move the videos of your participants as close to your camera as possible. For example, if your camera is above your screen, move the videos to the top of the screen.

3. Encourage Interaction and Participation

The Reactions tab in Zoom is one way to get your audience involved. People can raise their hands, applaud or give a thumbs up, and even answer yes or no questions all while still on mute! If you don’t see these features in your Reactions tab, head over to your Zoom settings and turn them on.

I find these Reactions helpful (as well as using the Chat box at times) and I build in opportunities for my audiences to use them when planning a workshop. But I also use other tools to get people involved and to liven up meetings or workshops:

  • Ice breakers

The bottom line is that you want to give your attendees a reason to stay engaged — otherwise they won’t. Show up like a leader, give them your attention and eye contact, and ensure they can communicate with you along the way.

Originally published at https://www.wearecomvia.com on June 14, 2021.

On a mission to improve the business world through better communication.

On a mission to improve the business world through better communication.