Are you finding it difficult to create the rapport virtually that you have when you make a face-to-face presentation? Uncomfortable that you are missing your prospect’s nonverbal cues, so you can’t sense their reaction and adjust in real time? With budgets tight, there is high demand for conference calls. And while a conference call allows professionals to connect instantly over long distances for a fraction of the cost, one has to agree that the ability to read guests’ facial expressions and body language is missing. So how can you close that gap?
Here are some tips:
1. Listen to speed and tone. Like body language or facial expressions, tone and speed can tell you a lot about your guests’ level of engagement. Are their words slow and monotone? They’re probably bored. High-pitched and emphatic? Now they’re interested. But high-pitched and drawn out? They’re not buying your pitch. Read more tips here Pop-up window.
2. Listen to voice inflection. Stressing different words in the same sentence gives you clues to their mood. For example, stressing the words “would you” in this sentence makes it sound defensive: What would you like us to do about it. But stressing the words “like us” hints that they are curious.
3. Identify multi-taskers. We all do it, and we can all agree it makes for less productive meetings. Who’s muted? Who’s in a remote office and not in the conference room with others? Who’s calling in from the road? Knowing this allows you to better gauge guest mindsets and get an accurate read on engagement.
4. Get ‘em talking. The best way to know what your guests are thinking is to let them tell you themselves. Ask questions. Plan activities that require guest participation. Tell an entertaining story. When you create an open, collaborative environment you’ll be surprised who comes out of their shell.
By Andrew Osterday, PGi Meetings Expert