For executives who regularly speak in front of live audiences, transitioning to virtual CEO Town Halls can take some getting used to. The good news is many of the same best practices that apply to in-person events also apply to Live Video. We spoke to CEOs from Access Intelligence, Maynard Leigh Associates, MVF Global, and Stasher, as well as Kollective’s own Dan Vetras, to get expert tips on how to prepare for your next virtual CEO Town Hall meeting.
Tip 1: Know Your Audience
“Currently, all internal and external face-to-face meetings are cancelled, meaning that video conferencing tools like Google Hangouts are essential in helping us feel like we are still all together. Most importantly, it maintains a sense of normality in what are uniquely challenging times.
“We already used Zoom and Hangouts daily, but at the moment we fully rely on them. Without Slack, Google Hangouts and Zoom we would really struggle to continue to work as a team in the current climate. These technologies are great at keeping things efficient – sticking to quick agenda points and fast-paced decision making (especially with functionalities like screen sharing).”
Jacob Wedderburn-Day, CEO of luggage storage platform, Stasher
Tip 2: Own the Agenda
“As with ‘regular’ in-person meetings, the key to productive virtual meetings is to be prepared with the key points you want to make and what you want people to take away from the meeting. This helps you make sure you cover what’s needed and make it useful to your audience. There is no doubt that it is more difficult to see how people are responding to you when the meeting is over video but preparing and, if needed, consulting with those joining the call beforehand, really does help.”
Joanna Arnold, CEO, Access Intelligence
Tip 3: Be the Talent
“As long as AV and logistics teams are given enough time to deliver, added tools such as a visible timer or a confidence monitor can help provide reassurance and motivate speakers to keep going and learn what to do better next time.”
Dan Vetras, CEO, Kollective
Tip 4: Commit to Getting Better
“If, like me, you’re used to speaking to your teams in person, then it can feel odd not getting any reaction from your audience. To get used to this, we started off with pre-recorded messages as it allows you to see what you look and sound like when you’re speaking to the camera — small things like remembering to smile can change the delivery of your message. Once you have done this a couple of times, it feels a bit more natural.”
Michael Teixeira, CEO, MVF Global
Tip 5: Put in the Work
“Whether you are pre-recording a video or leading an on-camera meeting, it is good practice to have thought through what it is you want to say and how your audience might react to it. It is also vital to rehearse out-loud, even if just to yourself, allowing both your mind and your mouth to get around the phonetics, the phrases, and the facts of what you are trying to say.
“In our presentation courses, we always have participants prepare both physically and vocally so they can communicate powerfully. This is even more imperative when presenting on camera. The vitality and authenticity of your voice, facial expressions and hand gestures are the springboard to maximize your impact and make your communication more engaging.”
Stuart Mackenzie, CEO, Maynard Leigh Associates
Tip 6: Have Fun
“We've found that what really works for keeping ‘work families’ informed during such challenging times is being able to use a range of tech to maintain their usual process for catching up and staying in contact. This has seen teams move to set up Monday coffee catch ups and Friday ‘drinks trolley’ over video chat.”
Joanna Arnold, CEO, Access Intelligence
Download The Visible Boss White Paper
Although being a comfortable, confident presenter plays an important role in hosting a virtual CEO Town Hall, there is much more that goes into the preparation for it. In our new white paper, The Visible Boss, we share with you the essential information you need to know before broadcasting your next Live Event.