This Wednesday, September 18th, will mark the start of our first-ever open enrollment Executive Presence Training. In advance of this exciting two-day event, we’ve already given you a sneak peek on a few of the many topics that will be addressed on Day One, including First Impressions and Working a Room. In this post, we’ll offer a look at the topic that will kick off Day Two: Techno Communication Skills.
Our training on Techno Communication Skills goes far beyond just cell phone etiquette, as technology in many forms now pervades nearly every interaction we have. Still, cell phone etiquette – a persistently relevant topic – will be addressed, as well as other topics listed below. Join us next week to explore these topics further and more such as perhaps identifying your “online” personality.
Teleconferences and Videoconferences
Many businesses working on a national and international scale rely on teleconferences and videoconferences to connect with stakeholders working all across the country and around the world. Ensure your video and teleconference manners reveal the best of you and your company:
- Always test equipment well in advance of the conference. Synching all components of the conference (which could include sound, video, presentations, and dialing participants) at once can be chaotic – especially if one of these components malfunctions. Avoid wasting the valuable time of your stakeholders by ironing out glitches in advance. If you have IT personnel on staff, ensure that he or she tests the equipment with you and is on standby for any technical difficulties during the conference.
- Another key step in advance of the conference is to make sure that all participants know how to join the conference, whether they are dialing in via telephone, Skype, or other video or teleconferencing system. This will help to avoid any unnecessary stress or frustration from your stakeholders. Also, provide them with a contact number or email address to get assistance if they have trouble connecting, whether it is your contact information or that of an administrative assistant or IT personnel in your office.
- If the conference is a Skype or video call – yes, the participants will see you! Do dress the part with appropriate business attire and groomed hair and makeup (especially important to remember if you are working from home, when normally this may not be a top priority). Also check that the lighting and the position of the camera are set up properly. Also a good excuse to clean up you office perhaps. The background needs to look neat and organized. Your environment speaks volume about you.
- In teleconferences, since the participants cannot see one another, it is not always clear who has joined the call. Make sure you verbally introduce yourself properly, and if you are facilitating the meeting, also make time for brief introductions at the start of the call to ensure all participants are included and recognized.
Cell Phones and Tablets
By now, you are likely well versed in cell phone etiquette: turning off your ringer when necessary, ignoring calls when inappropriate to answer, or avoiding texting while dining. Still, we still see a number of frequent phone and tablet faux pas:
- If you are in a dark room – whether it is a presentation, a speech, or a movie – you cannot be discreet with a smartphone or tablet. The glow from the device will be noticeable, even if you are holding it below the table. This is disrespectful to the presenter in front of the room and to those trying to pay attention around you. Wait until the session is over to use your device again.
- Vibrate mode does not equal silent mode. Yes, sometimes it is necessary and acceptable during business functions to still be aware of incoming calls and emails. But for those occasions when complete silence is requested, ensure that your phone is on silent – because in a silent room, a phone vibrating in a purse or briefcase can be as loud as one with a ringer.
- If you are participating in a teleconference with your cell phone or even just engaging in a business call, make sure you find a quiet space to have the call. When you are trying to foster a poised connection, it will not help to have background noises like horns honking, cars driving, or the voices of others around you. Not only will this make it difficult to hear you (and for you to hear others) and will be disruptive to the conversation, it also will sound unprofessional.
We’ve just barely scratched the surface of the number of Techno Communication Skills we will address in our upcoming Executive Presence workshop, not to mention the number of Executive Presence skills themselves. Ready to learn more? Enroll now to take part in the training next week!