1 Million Cups advocate and speaking coach, Cindy Skalicky, urges honing authentic communication skills with tips for better virtual interaction, offers free webinar
Compliant companies and organizations are striving to work within the new norms of how to conduct business now that entire teams of employees used to collaborating over a conference or pingpong table are now WFH (working from home). As we all strive to keep our social distance, everything from business meetings to court proceedings, job interviews, presentations, real estate transactions, classroom instruction and more are being conducted virtually. Even those who have been comfortable using video conferencing — or simple phone conversation — may need to step up their game to project full-on credibility in the virtual realm.
It may be tempting to think our non-verbal communication is less important on phone calls or in virtual meetings. In reality, this is far from true. Our credibility transcends our in-the-flesh presence. As we all launch into a new way of doing business — which will be nearly 100% virtual for several weeks at the least — the strongest communicators will be those who have either already mastered virtual credibility or those who take the initiative to hone important virtual communications tactics and skills.
“… we are going to need to do things differently. The entrepreneurial community of experts has very valuable, specialized skills. They are giving their time and expertise to help businesses survive and learn to thrive in the new normal …”
Jana Sanchez, executive director of LaunchNo.CO, organizer of 1 Million Cups.
It is worthwhile to consider:
- What contributes to our credibility in person and virtually?
- What specific steps can we take to maximize our virtual credibility?
Audience members (defined as one or more) rarely expect perfection from speakers. Data actually supports the concept that audiences are more satisfied with a blend of authenticity, storytelling supported by facts and professionalism. Olivia McDonnell of ConfidentSpeak enumerates ten must-learn guideposts gleaned from acclaimed author power speaker Brené Brown in order to become better presenters. Topping that guidepost list: Cultivating Authenticity — Letting go of what people think; to be willing to let go of who you think you should be to connect. Brown followers attest that her conversational style and personal transparency combine with her recitation of research data translated into stories to be very effective. Brown’s TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability is rated among the most popular of all time.
Closer to home, Cindy Skalicky, owner, northern Colorado-based On Point Communications, coaches presenters to embrace authentic moments with audiences — either through recovery when something goes amiss or by building such into one’s story. “When speakers mis-step, it’s like hitting a dead spot on a call and cell service drops. It happens – and audiences understand. At the same time, the speaker’s recovery matters. Whether in-person or virtual, they need to be prepared enough to hold a comfortable, easy conversation that builds professional rapport,” said Skalicky.
Skalicky, an active member of 1 Million Cups, is part of a growing number of northern Colorado entrepreneurs and business owners reaching out to provide pro bono services to help businesses and organizations continue to adjust and thrive through our new WFH normal.
“Obviously, we are going to need to do things differently. The entrepreneurial community of experts has very valuable, specialized skills. They are giving their time and expertise to help businesses survive and learn to thrive in the new normal. This is what a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem does. It is people contributing in the best way they know how for the benefit of the entire community,” said Jana Sanchez, executive director of LaunchNo.CO, organizer of 1 Million Cups.
Skalicky will be hosting a free webinar entitled “Mastering Virtual Credibility” to help all employees master the nuances of 100% virtual communication. Skalicky will dig into five specific tips for building virtual credibility during the interactive webinar. Participants will learn tips to run virtual meetings with ease while maintaining credibility, participate in virtual meetings with a ‘tour’ of Zoom functionality, and hear about the importance of strong verbal and non-verbal communication.
The webinar is free and takes place on Zoom on Monday, March 23 at 1 p.m. MDT.