June 10

2024’s Top 10 Virtual Meeting Mistakes: Are You Guilty?

In 2024, capturing and maintaining attention in virtual meetings has become more challenging than ever. With AI tools at our audience’s fingertips and the sheer volume of online interactions, the competition for focus is fierce. Sellers and leaders cannot afford to make avoidable virtual meeting mistakes that hinder their ability to connect and build trust in these settings.

Top 10 Virtual Meeting Mistakes of 2024

  1. Avoiding the Camera.

    It’s well known that eye contact is key to building trust and connections. However, in virtual meetings, many people still fail to look at the camera. Instead, they stare at their screens, leading to a lack of direct engagement. Your virtual audience feels overlooked and disconnected when you don’t make eye contact, making it harder to build rapport or maintain attention.
  1. Poor Framing and Composition.

    How you appear on screen significantly impacts your first impression. A poorly framed shot, such as a floating head or extreme close-up, can be distracting and unprofessional. Ensure your camera is positioned at eye level, showing your head and shoulders with some space above your head. This framing makes you appear more natural and approachable and places you on equal status with your audience.
  2. Trying to “Read the Room”  

    Fact: The larger the meeting the larger the odds of actually catching any meaningful body language from individual audience members. In fact, once you are at four people or more, it’s like trying to catch a shooting star. And, it’s one of the main causes of Shifty Eye Syndrome (see #7).  Instead, pin the most important person in your meeting on your screen and learn how to leverage your peripheral vision to read the virtual room.
  3. Misreading Audience Cues.

    People behave differently in virtual settings compared to in-person meetings. Misinterpreting these behaviors can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication. For example, someone looking away might be checking notes, not ignoring you. Improving your understanding of virtual behavior is a must-have skill for 2024.
  1. Engaging with Participants Even When Their Cameras Are Off.

    It's common to feel uneasy when participants turn off their cameras, but this is often due to virtual fatigue. A blank screen can be intimidating, but it doesn’t always mean disinterest. Learn strategies to engage off-camera participants, such as asking direct questions or encouraging them to use the chat feature. But believe it or not, you can connect easily and confidently with those who are not on video with a few of these 7 tricks up your sleeve.
  2. “Look Ma, No Hands!”

    Keeping hands hidden on video is terrible advice that can make you appear stiff and unnatural – especially if you’re a natural gesturer. Proper hand movements can make your message more dynamic and help build trust. Practice using gestures naturally to enhance your communication and keep your audience engaged.
  3. Shifty Eye Syndrome.  

    Since many people now work from two screens, it’s common for them to shift their gaze rapidly – and repeatedly - from screen to camera, camera to slides, slides to images, images to screen, etc. Unfortunately, shifty eyes contact is associated with nervousness or a guilty conscience.  Learning the technique for managing all these inputs in a way that doesn’t make your audience doubt your credibility or competence is a vital new skill for sellers!
  4. Failing to Warm-Up.  

    Many people don’t realize that the camera takes away a big chunk of their energy, resulting in dull virtual presentations and meetings. To project as much enthusiasm and energy as you do in person requires the same thing an actor or athlete does before a performance:  A good warm-up. The result is increased energy, greater expressiveness, more varied intonation and a more engaged and attentive audience.
  5. Lack of Active Listening.  

    You may be paying rapt attention to your customer, but without eye contact, a change in facial expression or other on-camera listening cues, your virtual audience will not feel heard. Learning how to actively listen in virtual meetings is vital for building virtual relationships. Find out more here.
  6. Talking Too Much.

    Many people fear silence in virtual meetings, which can lead to speaking continuously without breaks. This habit can overwhelm your audience and prevent meaningful dialogue. To overcome this, sellers need to learn how to embrace pauses of an often-uncomfortable length and encourage interaction in proven ways.

Eliminating these virtual meeting mistakes is just the beginning. Resolve that 2024 is the year you raise the bar on your virtual presence and influence in meetings – and check out our programs for a fast track to success!


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