I had my first Skype video meeting with a potential client recently and it made me think about some of the important things to remember. Here are my top tips:
1. Check and test the technology first. There is a facility on Skype to test both the image and the sound.
2. Check that the background in view of the camera is consistent with the impression you want to create.
3. Avoid distractions – interruptions – both visual and noise, e.g, turn your phone off
4. Be on time and allow time for Skype to open and for you to find the contact (remember that you will need to invite the person to connect with you via Skype in advance of the meeting).
5. Remember that your appearance and first impressions are important – possibly even more in important when you are being seen on a computer screen than in person.
6. In the absence of a physical handshake, plan your verbal handshake – perhaps a welcoming smile and greeting.
7. Rapport and small talk are just as important on a video call and there is a danger that you may be tempted to get down to business too quickly without the physical side of a meeting.
8. Follow the normal stages of a meeting with a formal or informal agenda.
9. End the meeting with clear next steps and a positive verbal handshake.
10. Ensure that you have ended the call – you don’t want them to see or hear what happens afterwards!
While I don’t think this type of meeting can really replace a face-to-face meeting, it can certainly help to reduce travel costs, carbon footprints and help to connect you when your diary commitments mean that there would be a long delay in finding a time when you can both meet.
Have you got any tips to add?