Virtual meetings can often feel impersonal, awkward, and isolating, but there are ways to make them feel more intimate.
For starters, if you’re the host, arrive a bit early to the video conference so you can greet people as they pop up on your screen and engage in a bit of friendly small talk. Encourage attendees to turn on their video — let them know ahead of time if it’s a requirement so they have time to prepare (or look presentable). Use people’s names and invite them to participate, if they feel comfortable doing so. Create warmth by looking directly into the camera to make “eye contact” with your participants. And make sure that the camera angle is at a comfortable level for others to see you — you don’t want your audience to have a great view of your nostrils! Remember to smile, insert an occasional laugh, and convey a friendly, engaging tone. It might feel awkward at first, but it doesn’t have to feel phony.
You’re creating an inviting atmosphere and helping people feel present and connected during a trying time for all.
Make it a great day!
Source: Harvard Business Review