Executive Presence on Video Conferences
Part 1: Video Conferencing Pro Tips

Video conferencing is a great way to coordinate remote workers to present trainings, deliver important information and engage in productive team discussions. However, virtual correspondence between several parties is not without its challenges, especially for the executive or leader in charge of the meeting. In this first article of a three article series, we will highlight several pro tips for running a well-organized, stand-out presentation and demonstrating leadership before, during and after the call. 


  • Diligently prepare for your video conference. If you are new to virtual meetings, prepare for the challenges in communication: awkward pauses, people speaking over one another, etc. Also prepare the visual presentation. Never underestimate the value of a high quality powerpoint presentation, as this will be the main visual aid that your audience will see. Finally, prepare a meeting agenda beforehand so you stay on track and your audience knows what’s to come. Use a printed version if possible to limit the number of tabs you need to juggle on your computer screen.


  • Introduce yourself early and speak up. The best way to assert your presence and demonstrate leadership is to introduce yourself when first speaking on a video call. This sets a precedent for others to follow, allowing everyone to better engage with the call participants. If you know the names of the participants, it is also a good practice to address others on the call by their names when engaging in conversation, as this shows a commitment to getting to know workers personally.


  • Keep the presentation engaging. You may need to be extra conscientious of the level of engagement by your audience, as it can be easier for a participant to feel disconnected over video versus in a conference room. Continually check the facial expressions of your participants to see if they are engaged or disengaged during specific parts of a presentation. Prepare to steer the conversation in the right direction during discussion or questions, as it can easily fall off topic. Establish hand signals early, so that if the discussion is lively, you can direct their attention back to you to continue on. Utilizing Q&A is a great way to prompt discussion, transition topics or to allow participants a chance to clarify things they did not understand at the end of the presentation.


  • Use visuals to support your content. Sharing your screen is a great feature that allows you to reference a powerpoint presentation, relevant websites or documents. If you do plan to share your screen however, make sure your desktop is organized and you only have relevant tabs open. You can also utilize your webcam to share visuals: for example, if you are speaking about a specific product, you can hold the physical product up to the camera for participants to see. 


  • Avoid distractions to enhance the conversation. Distractions such as technology or unwanted noises that get picked up by your microphone can inhibit productive discussion in a video conference. Do your part to limit these interruptions: silence your cell phone, keep email turned off for the duration of the meeting, find a quiet room to take the call and mute your microphone when you are not speaking (and encourage others on the call to do the same). 


  • Record your meeting. One way to keep a record of your meeting would be to assign a notetaker prior to beginning the presentation. These notes can be compiled and sent out to participants after the meeting so that they can reference the parts they missed or be reminded of the most important information. Another way to do this would be to record the video and audio of the presentation — if your video conferencing platform has this feature. This allows you to send the full presentation out to participants afterward, or upload the video somewhere for those who could not attend. If choosing this option, remember to let all participants know that you will be recording before beginning the presentation.