Are you considering non-verbal cues in your virtual meeting strategy?

Businessman on a video conference call
Remote meetings are the future - but it's important to retain as many aspects of face-to-face communication as you can.

The world is changing quickly, and one of the biggest differences that many enterprises will have to adapt to in the coming years is a much smaller focus on business travel.

Indeed, one survey of Fortune 500 chief executives found more than half think their business travel will never return to its pre-pandemic level. But this trend doesn’t just cover travel between offices and heading out to meet clients or suppliers – it will also extend to the everyday commute, as more people recognise the benefits of working remotely.

The rise of the virtual meeting – and what it means for communications

As a result, remote meetings are set to become the new norm for how we interact with colleagues and customers. Whether it’s sales pitches to potential clients, internal one-to-one reviews, or team catch-ups and ideas sessions, hosting meetings via videoconferencing rather than face-to-face will be the standard option going forward.

But hosting meetings virtually can still be a challenge for many businesses. And in addition to the technical issues such as ensuring everyone’s mic is working and that they can be heard clearly, there are also other factors to consider. One of the most important of these will be how you ensure non-verbal aspects of communication are taken into account.

Gestures, facial expressions and even how we maintain eye contact all contribute towards how we get our message across, and these are vital in building trust. For instance, it’s thought that body language accounts for between 60 and 80 per cent of a sales professional’s impact when involved in negotiations, so it’s essential this isn’t lost when they aren’t meeting potential customers face-to-face.

The more people who are involved in the meeting, the more vital this will be. While it’s fairly straightforward to keep a face-to-face connection for a one-to-one video call, as the number of participants grows, it becomes harder to ensure everyone is visible and engaged.

Reshaping the workspace - The future of AV in the office

The right tools for the job

Getting the right technologies to support this is therefore vital, and this is especially the case for smaller firms who may not have extensive budgets or a dedicated IT team to deploy complex solutions.

Audio-visual tools should not only be able to give a high-quality, clear view of all participants but also be simple to set up and use and offer a reliable, low-risk option to businesses. Cloud Telephony options like Swift come equipped with Video Conferencing, making it easier for employees to collaborate internally and externally.

In this age of remote working, keeping as much of the social element of communication in place as possible could be the difference between success and failure for firms. Understanding that the words we use and our tone of voice are only a small part of this is a vital first step and should, therefore, guide your thinking when it comes to deciding which services to adopt.

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