Originally published at Skookum.com

In light of widespread COVID-19 related self-isolation recommendations and active restrictions in some areas, many workforces are now having to adjust to a remote-first environment. In the coming weeks and months, online collaboration and virtual coworking will become the new normal. As a remote-first organization, we put together some best practices we’ve learned over the years. 

Remote presenting can be challenging for a number of reasons. People have a higher tendency to multitask, technology introduces issues, and humans use a significant number of non-verbal cues when we communicate. These challenges lead to less effective communication of concepts when we speak and may strain our ability to listen effectively and make our teammates and clients feel heard. Here are a few quick ways to improve this:

1. Be a Trailblazer with Video

At Skookum, we leverage Google Meet or Zoom which supports video chat. Often, participants will take cues from others who join first. If you turn your video on, others will follow and it makes it easy to make up for some of the lost nonverbal cues and will help form connections. Not every call needs to be via video, but it’ll help when you’re presenting. Be sure to test your setup beforehand and have the plugins downloaded before a call starts. Other options are GoToMeetingBlueJeans or others. 

2. Be Prepared

Practice with your team before the meeting and assign roles. Make one person the facilitator, who should direct questions to the appropriate person during Q&A and hand the speaking roles to other team members.

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