Four Tips for Solopreneurs Holding their First Virtual Meeting
Dec 13, 2016 21:10
While more and more solopreneurs are embracing the digital nomad lifestyle and choosing to work remotely, there's no replacement for a good-old-fashioned meeting amongst clients and colleagues.
Although such meetings today are often happening virtually, there certainly is much more than goes to a meeting versus a simple email chain. Why are virtual meetings so necessary in the modern workplace? Consider the following, for starters:
•Efficiency: you can get more information across in a five-minute meeting versus a lengthy email chain
•Peace of mind: your clients and colleagues want to know that they're working with a living, breathing person with a personality versus someone they can't relate to
•Clarification: sometimes you need specific instructions or opportunities to ask questions for difficult or lengthy projects, all of which can easily be cleared up via meeting virtually
Even the shyest of solopreneurs can't hide behind the veil of email forever: eventually, you're going to need to come face-to-face with your clients virtually. Doing so is easier said than done, although there are some essentials you need in terms of your home office and tech setup.
The question remains: where do you get started?
The Right Room
If you've never been part of a virtual meeting before, you need to consider that location is everything in terms of where you broadcast yourself. Therefore, make sure your home office has decent acoustics to avoid needless echos and is well-lit.
For example, before getting on a virtual face-time call, make sure to adjust your blinds and ensure that no pesky light is ruining your video feed. Likewise, you should obviously be in a quiet place, free of distractions and interruptions before you get on-call. Bear in mind that's behind you while you're broadcasting, too: try to make sure your walls are free of clutter to maintain a professional vibe.
The Right Desk
Beyond having the proper place in your home to hold your meeting, your desk space should be decked out or dressed down accordingly. For example, keep the following in mind regarding your desk which may be easy to overlook:
•Make sure your desk fans and lamps are turned off
•Give yourself enough room for your microphone so you can easily access your computer in case a client needs you to hop on the Internet
Do not to go blindly into any of your business meetings, especially those held virtually. Review any prior communication and make sure you're familiar with whoever you'll be speaking to. Especially when you're juggling a ton of clients, it's helpful to look over your last email chain to understand the specifics of what you're looking to discuss.
Ultimately, being prepared will save you time. This also holds true for making sure your microphone and webcam are good to go (for example, you can test your setup in Skype prior your meeting) so you avoid any snafus during your meeting.
The Right Attitude
Finally, you should go into your meeting with the proper attitude. Even if you're pensive about your meeting, stay positive and dress professionally to give off a good impression versus coming off as a nervous wreck. Your first meeting might be a bit awkward, but that's okay: you'll improve in time.
Regardless, having the right setup and attitude in and of itself will take you far in terms of building your confidence and getting down to business. While you should certainly prepare for your virtual meetings, don't stress about them too much: any small mistakes you make the first time around can easily be corrected next time.
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