If there were a few things we learned during the coronavirus pandemic, one of them is how to have better computer to computer meetings. I’ve watched the progress in this field with great interest. We have come a long way since I was running national meetings with people connected to the boardroom by telephone. I must admit though that not everybody understands the image they are projecting to people during these Internet events.
There are more than couple dozen of these programs offered these days and I expect most offer an opportunity to check your image on screen before being connected to the meeting. You should. I remember a remote meeting of a parliamentary committee one day when the chair of the committee looked like he was working from a closet. I was particularly concerned watching that meeting when I thought one of the members in Toronto looked like she lived in a slum.
And yet, that weasel Pierre Poilievre saw the opportunities from the beginning. He always looked like he owned the finance committee when he was a member. He had the perfect (false) book-lined background, wore his trademark glasses, white shirt, red tie and the perfectly pressed blue suit. In comparison, there was a chairman once who looked like he had been waylaid on his way to work in his garden.
Please people, think about the impression you are making.
But before you do anything else check your lighting. There was recent meeting where I was worried about this lady in the semi-dark who seemed to be struggling with something. I finally realized that she was doing her nails. Tell me, would you want to hold a meeting in your bathroom? Proper lighting can be as simple as moving a lamp to make sure you look alive.
The one thing that does not change though is the role of the chair. It was a Zoom program we were using the other day and I was delighted with how simple it had become to join in the discussion. It was also obvious that the chair’s job had become much easier. If your program does not make notes for the chair though, a piece of paper and a pencil can help keep you advised as to your next speaker.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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