Is Hybrid Speaking in Your Future?
“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, Carl Loveland (He is allowing me to use his name in this newsletter), the other day. Carl is the President of the Fairfax Resolves Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution organization.
He recently held a meeting that was simultaneously online and in-person. I have certainly talked in my newsletters about speaking in-person and speaking virtually, but I have not talked about doing them at the same time in the same meeting until now.
Virtual and in-person presentations have their own unique requirements. When your meeting is simultaneously virtual and in-person, there are a number of considerations. Three of the most important considerations follow:
People who call into a Zoom meeting on a phone, introduce a delay between what they are saying on their phone and when it comes across on Zoom. This usually is not a problem when the session is only virtual. However, when the meeting is simultaneously virtual and in-person, it can cause delays. What should you do?
The first thing you can do is realize this will happen in simultaneous hybrid meetings. Understanding the problem is half the solution. If you are the host for the virtual meeting, wait a second or two for an answer from those on the phone.
Anyone in the in-person meeting and anyone in the virtual meeting will not notice the time delay. Don’t announce it to either part of the meeting.
I talk differently depending whether I am in a virtual or in-person meeting. When the meeting is simultaneously virtual and in-person, you have to decide on a compromise way to approach the audience.
Catering to Virtual or In-Person Audience
When you are in an in-person meeting, the audience can see all of you. Your body language is a major contributor to your message. In a virtual meeting, your body language to a large extent goes unseen.
You have to compensate in the virtual world for this unseen body language. How can you do this?
First of all, exaggerate your vocal variety and facial expressions which your virtual audience can see. This will actually enhance your presentation before the live audience also.
You most likely will be standing for the live audience. Ensure the camera window contains your whole body. Body language is the majority of communication.
Finally, call on the in-person and virtual audiences equally to answer questions. You may want to favor the virtual audience slightly since it is much more difficult to stay connected to them.
We’ve covered the delay introduced by phone calls into the Zoom meeting and catering to virtual and in-person audiences. Finally, we will talk about how you can handle in-person questions and questions from your virtual audience.
Questions from either a virtual or in-person audience are challenging enough. However, when the situation for you is answering questions from both audiences at the same time, it can be challenging.
As I mentioned above, always give a slight favor to the virtual audience. They are the audience with whom it is hardest to stay engaged.
Make sure the moderator or host of the virtual session keeps an eye on the chat box. Most of your questions from your virtual audience will come from there.
Always repeat a question before you answer it. If you don’t repeat the question, it will be like a Jeopardy game for each audience being given the answer, but wondering what the question is from the other audience. They may hear the answers to a question they have not heard. This is more important to repeat the question for the in-person audience because many of the questions from the virtual audience may be in the chat box.
We’ve covered the delay introduced by phone calls into the Zoom meeting, catering to virtual and in-person audiences, and how to handle in-person questions and questions from the virtual part of the meeting.
Although most of you are familiar with separate virtual and in-person meetings , chances are you are not familiar with a meeting simultaneously in the in-person and virtual worlds. I behooves you to really think about how you will handle as the host of both meeting methods.
Now that the world has seen what the virtual world offers to businesses, organizations, and to all of us personally, there is no turning back. Simultaneous virtual and in-person will become more common as time goes on.
Learn how to handle them or be left behind!
Call to Action
Expect a delay in audio from people calling into a virtual meeting and work with it
Because it is harder to establish and maintain engagement with a virtual audience, cater to them more than your live audience
Repeat audience questions before you answer them and be careful to not neglect virtual audience questions in the chat box.
“We all have a life story and a message that can inspire others to live a better life or run a better business. Why not use that story and message to serve others and grow a real business doing it?” – Brendon Burchard
DiBartolomeo Consulting International’s (DCI) mission is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence.
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