Messaging Operations team development

6 Things to Remember When Communicating Virtually


If you’ve been in virtual meetings or trainings during the past 12-months, you know the benefits and pitfalls of using a video conferencing platform as part, (a BIG part), of your communications tool-kit. The availability and quality of the top platforms have made quantum leaps over the years. Once mastered, however, the video conferencing medium, and multi-media illustrations must be used properly to be of value to your members. When focusing on OKR (Objectives and Key Results) Here are six things to keep in mind.

1. Keep it topic-driven.

Focus on such things as points of emphasis, new operational objectives, and mechanics or other areas of common concern. And just because it is a multimedia presentation, it doesn’t mean you can’t have handouts or use a PowerPoint deck to help teach as well. These well-placed resources will often complement your message and provide invaluable takeaways.

2. Mix in the good with the bad.

It’s important to show operational examples that might have been better handled, but showing team members who got it right helps drive home the OKR objective just as well. Remind your audience that we’ve all made mistakes and the purpose of the presentation is to inspire and educate, not ridicule anyone.

3. Know who is in the audience.

If you’re showing specific examples (‘good’, but especially ‘bad’) involving members of your group, give them a head’s up before the meeting. This is especially important if the team member got it wrong. You don’t want to ambush your own people. Rehearsing with all involved in advance of the team presentation gives everyone a chance to explain why he or she handled the situation the way they did and, if it’s an error, what they learned from the experience. Demonstrating this grace and growth is key to cultivating a culture of mutual success throughout your organization.

A recommended flow is to illustrate these “good” and “bad” scenarios is to start with you and an OKR ‘miss/bad’, then transition to an example of an OKR ‘win/good’ by a fellow team member, etc. This accomplishes a number of key leadership objectives. 

4. Keep members focused.

You selected the key points you’re focusing on for a reason. While a certain amount of debate or discussion is healthy, don’t let team members continue to bring up “what ifs” or dwell on unrelated topics. Those questions can be answered following the meeting. Keep the presentation on topic and moving along. Research shows that your window for change-making educational input, especially over a virtual platform is optimally 12-20 minutes.

5. Keep it level-specific.

This is tricky. As a leader we always want to strive towards the axiom of; “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day – Teach a man how to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” However, operational objectives need to be communicated with crystal clarity and built upon concrete cornerstones of your organization’s mission, vision, and values.  Mixing into too much background philosophy or rationale may not resonate with all but a few top-achievers. Better to K.I.S.S. and offer up continued discussions off-line to all wanting to dig deeper.

6. Don’t make your presentation too long.

Video and related multi-media presentation tools are exciting and a great medium to take learning beyond the straight lecture format, but too many visuals can make it lose its luster. S3 Solutions strongly supports the “10 20 30 Rule.” Keep your presentation short. You want them wanting more at the next meeting!

Mastering messaging on a virtual platform often requires help

Contact S3 Solutions to assist you with communicating your best message  

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