Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Michelle Kaplan
"The New York Radio Girl"

Do you find yourself on a lot of Zoom calls these days?

Do you often struggle with how to make these more meaningful or successful?

Trying to create effective and successful online interactions can be challenging, but there are some things that can help tremendously.

Today we talk about how to create successful online interactions, and how to keep the people you’re talking to engaged in a positive way.

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We have a question from our listener about about words or phrases to help your online conversations.

Hi girls!

I just came back to Japan, but am always looking for opportunities to use my English whenever possible here. This week, I was part of an online international conference, which was good but a little tough. It’s hard to talk through a PC, but I did get a chance to moderate a session using English. we had an online international conference on Webex (a software similar to Zoom).

Eventually, I noticed that I was trying to talk like you guys probably to try to brighten up the atmosphere. I was able to learn not only English but also how to talk online at conferences! Because of this situation, I feel that there will be many more opportunities to talk online. This brings me to my question for you ladies. Do you have some words, phrases, or tips that you can share with us to improve online conversation?

I’m also curious if you guys ever feel awkward or lack motivation when it comes to recording yourself in your podcasts. It can be challenging when somebody can’t see you, and yet you are trying to get them to respond or get excited about what you are saying.

Any tips that you have would be so helpful and appreciated! Thank you very much as always.

Sincerely,

Keisuke (Website Wizard Club)

Managing Online Interactions

This is a great question from our listener, and it’s very timely.

So many of us are conducting business strictly in an online environment, and it can be good but also have some drawbacks.

You want to be prepared and make the most of these interactions because then they can add true value.

We will share some tips today, particularly one big key tip that will help you tremendously.

We don’t feel awkward talking in this environment when recording, but we have also been doing it for awhile.

The more that you practice this and get used to it, the less awkward it becomes.

Everyone is zooming these days, especially with more people working and going to school online.

We have had many conversations recently with students about how to get a better response over Zoom from colleagues and classmates.

Some people say they don’t feel confident. But there is something that can really help you with this issue.

Michelle is going to share something that she has noticed today which may help tremendously.

The key is to be bigger!

What does she mean here?

There is a lot to convey over the computer, and like the phone, it is totally different than being in person.

So that means that you have to make up for that lack of real face to face time by being bigger.

We’ll get into what that means specifically, but use this to move you forward and to focus on what will make you truly successful.

What Does It Mean To Go Bigger?

You hear that you need to go bigger when it comes to being successful in an online environment, and you can perhaps start to visualize that.

What does this mean though?

Think bigger in an online environment, as it will really help to get your presence known.

It will make people want to tune in and listen to what you have to say.

There are a few key elements to focus on when it comes to going bigger in an online environment, and these are all helpful and important to keep in mind.

  • Volume: If you are sitting right next to somebody in a room, you can speak a little bit quieter because they are right there. This is of course different in presentations overall, because you need to speak up. If you are talking in an online environment though, use your voice to make up for what you are missing from not being in person. Talk louder and clearly, and assume that you have to make up for volume in this way. Don’t overdo it, but do speak up at a louder volume than you would if you were face to face with somebody.
  • Energy: You want to be sure to show more energy online than in your face to face interactions. You want to really be sure to showcase your personality, and to make people interested in what you are saying. It can be really easy to lose interest in something online, and so you need to bring some serious energy to be sure that doesn’t happen. Think of a bouncing ball and the constant output of energy that shows–try to let your voice be like that ball in a fun and effective way.
  • Facial expressions: This this goes along with our other tips because you need to try to make them bigger. You might not think this matters because people aren’t actually in person with you, but it contributes to your voice and presence overall. You don’t have to be like a cartoon, but a little extra goes a long way and helps with volume and energy as well.
  • Don’t forget about eye contact: Even though you are online, this still matters. Lindsay had a zoom meeting- it wasn’t with a student or with a colleague- but with a friend, and she kept noticing them looking away. When somebody isn’t looking directly at the screen, it comes across as if they are distracted. Understand that people can see that and feel it when you look away. When you see somebody’s eyes moving away, it makes you feel like this person isn’t interested in what you have to say. Make sure you keep the eye contact going, because that’s very important in this environment!

All of these things can help you to be successful in an online environment.

These elements can all help you to stay focused, keep the listener engaged and motivated, and make the online interaction much more successful.

Keep Up The Positive Momentum

Have you had any positive or negative experiences with online meetings with people?

Do you think bigger is better and can you apply these concepts to your own online interactions?

Is there a time where someone can be too big, to where it is actually goofy?

These are all questions to think through so that you consider what is important for success in this environment.

There are multiple things that you can do to come across well when you are presenting online, and these are very helpful.

Now let’s shift our focus to what you can do to warm people up in this online Zoom environment.

You get onto the Zoom call and then you want to engage the person on the other end.

So how do you warm people up?

How do you get people to respond favorably and stay engaged with what you have to say?

There are a couple of thins that you can say to warm people up, and they are excellent ways to break the ice and get the conversation going.

  • I’m really happy we’re ….meeting/talking: You are coming right out and saying that you are happy to see them or to take this time to meet. It’s a nice gesture, and it’s not too over the top. It states a fact and it immediately puts the other person at ease. It makes them feel good and shows them that you are trying to start off with a positive tone.
  • Great to see you: It’s quick and to the point, but it’s a nice way to break the ice. It helps them to feel appreciated and as if somebody is feeling favorably about their presence. This is a wonderful way to start things off, and can lead to a positive interaction overall.
  • If you are leading a meeting, do something fun: You want to do your part to keep it fun and interesting. You don’t have to go overboard, but there are some fun activities you can do to keep the mood light and positive. You may hear of people doing group stretches, games, and even dance parties with colleagues. It all depends on the company culture, and the personalities of the people you are talking to. Know your audience, but keep it fun and entertaining for an overall great meeting.

Always remember to smile because it puts people at ease.

These are all measures that can make for a positive interaction and a successful Zoom call in an online environment.

Takeaway

Zoom or other online forums can be tough, so you have to be mindful of the type of presence that you have in this environment.

Be sure to think about how you can connect more with body language and being bigger with your gestures and movements.

Remember eye contact, to smile and engage, and to put the other people on the call at ease.

Consider what it means to create a more positive interaction, and how you can contribute to that in this online environment.

Let us know what other ways you have tried to improve your relationships on zoom, as this is a timely matter that won’t likely go away anytime soon.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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