Virtual meetings are thriving right now and helping businesses communicate with employees as they adapt to this new way of work. Meeting transcription services ensure that the recorded interactions are accurately documented. Keeping participants engaged is a major challenge when hosting online meetings. If people are not paying attention, it can lead to miscommunication and affect work. Using visuals effectively is the best way to get your message across.
Research shows that visual communication has several benefits over words:
- Allows complex information to be presented in easy to understand format
- Text-driven communications that include graphic elements are processed more quickly by the brain
- Pictures are easier to recall than text
- Processes and procedures can be demonstrated in a much more effective manner with visuals than with words
- Powerful images create strong impressions
- Holds participants’ attention and motivates them
- Visuals can be used to encourage participation and generate interest in the next meeting
While visual content offers all these advantages, using the medium effectively is the key to effective communication. Here are 5 strategies to make the most of visuals in virtual meetings:
- Use live visuals: Using real-time visuals comes with many benefits, according to SmartDraw, such as reducing average meeting time by more than 25%, attaining clarity and consensus faster, and doing away with the need for revisions and follow-up meetings. One survey showed that audience engagement is 8 times higher with live video than with recorded video. Today’s video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting allow personalizing conversations to promote audience engagement.
- Leverage screen sharing: Screen sharing is also a great way to cut time spent on verbal explanations. Share both slides and video. You can plot numbers on a chart or graph, play a video clip, or share an image on the screen or share a Power Point presentation. In addition to enabling the team to understand what you are talking about, screen sharing allows editing of documents in real-time, helps solicit feedback quickly, improves training sessions, and makes it easy for people to share status updates.
- Use simple presentations: When you are designing slides for presentations, SHRM.org recommends keeping file sizes small, avoiding the use of animations, and ensuring that there are no complex transition techniques between slides. Use large fonts, high-contrast color designs, and a lot of white space, and avoid putting material near the edges of the slides. This is especially important for people who might be viewing the online presentation from smaller laptop screens or even on mobile devices, according to Ken Molay, president of Webinar Success, a web conferencing training and consulting company in Cary, N.C.
- Use charts and graphs: Charts and follow-up notes are effective options for summing up a discussion and listing the action items. North Star Facilitators points out that Sam Kaner’s Gradients of Agreement Decision Making Scale is a great tool that helps meeting participants see where others stand in terms of a decision on an important matter. Including icons, illustrations, and other creative graphics can break up text, make your information look more visual and interesting, and help explain your point better, according to presentation creation expert Visme.
- Banish boredom with a quirky theme: Brighten up your video conference with a quirky theme or dress code. In a Forbes article, Ken Gibbs of Viacom says that asking attendees to wear a special hat or scarf and discussing this on screen can help liven things up. The idea is to make the meeting more engaging by breaking monotony and keeping boredom at bay.
You can get professional help to create visuals for your meetings. Experts can help you design a great online presentation to convey your message.
Checking web cameras, online tools, software features, meeting links, etc. well ahead of your meeting is important to identify potential challenges and find solutions. Test the various visual options to know what will work best to engage participants and overcome any hassles that may occur. Recording and sharing visuals before and after the meeting will help participants retain things better. Send out the digital graphic recordings will provide a concise visual record of the meeting’s achievements and next steps.
When using charts, tables, graphs, videos and other forms of visual communication, minimize the use of text and use it only when necessary. At the same time, digital transcription of meetings is important to ensure error-free documentation of the critical points of the discussion for decision making and future reference.