Camera On. What we’re missing is the real deal – to see a whole person, in-person. Emulate as much of that as possible starting with making sure others can see you. It’s about them as much as it’s about you.
- Quiet Space, Microphone On. Emulate in-person with the auditory AMAP. As Much As Possible.
- Check-in, log-on, join early. As in, 3 – 5 minutes early. It’s a golden opportunity to meet, reconnect and connect before a program begins. If you do it in person, do it virtually too.
- Linger after. Ask the host if they’ll allow for people to chat, mix and mingle after the program is wrapped up. We would all linger in person, as a minimum, we would want casually out of a room – not abruptly race out! 15 minutes of post-event connection significantly deepens the experience and your events.
- Be intentional. Intend to connect with one person who was also part of the event. If the event has private message capabilities, use that to inquire. If not, then use the public chat as suitable. If you’re not allowed, ask the host. Sometimes we simply forget to enable the chat.
- Chat it up. Share your platforms and invite others to connect with you. I love hosting and encouraging people to “light up the chat.” As a teacher I want the guests to know they are welcome to do so – chat with others, as it’s rare that someone abuses the invite, disrupting the event. Be prepared to advise a thunder-stealer to shift or invite them to leave.
- Follow up. With the teacher (gratitude notes rock), with other attendees you were inspired by (LinkedIn is an excellent community to do so), read your notes and decide what you are going to do with them right away. We often take copious notes only to let them languish and not be utilized. Follow up done well amplifies your effort.
Virtual is a magic choice. We’re lucky we have an alternative, at every time, and especially now – in the throes of Covid 19, February 2021.
If your intention is set to connect, you will. If it isn’t, pass it up and decide when you will fully show up. Remember, connection requires two parties to work: you AND the others.
Use these practices to feel and be better connected. They’ll make a difference for you and everyone else.
Virtual events are still very much powered by connection. It’s up to us.