It’s the beginning of a new year full of possibilities for business leaders. We still face many of the same challenges as last year, but with the rollout of vaccines worldwide, we should start to experience more stability in the market.
However, there’s still a ways to go, so how do we continue to adapt and maximize the opportunities in the year ahead?
We heard a lot about how to pivot our business in 2020. Now, we need to consider what that means to us in 2021. To do that, we should look at what’s affected everyone the most and how we can use it to up our game.
Consider the Rising Adoption of Business Technology
Recent reports have shown that the adoption of technology has increased significantly over previous years, with the use of video conferencing technology on its own rising by 35%.
It was no different for us here at Kryton as virtual meetings became a mainstay for our communication. Despite this change in workflow, our team did a great job in responding to our immediate need to conduct business virtually. We held meetings on Zoom, participated in virtual trade shows, hosted online webinars, and increased our presence on the web through social media posts and digital marketing.
While we personally have managed to step up our game in the digital landscape, I know we have only tapped into a small percentage of what’s available to us in virtual communications. And it’s not about adding more systems to the mix. It’s about fully utilizing the systems we now have in place, ensuring our skills keep up with the technology we have.
Every business leader should consider this because according to the World Economic Forum, the gap between technology and skills is getting so broad that we are in a global crisis. Part of it stems from a common conundrum in business where professionals invest in new systems but struggle with adoption.
If you look at this in the context of my favorite sport, golf, it’s like buying a set of clubs and then hitting the links with no training. You’ll manage to get some decent shots once in a while, but your score will be mediocre at best. To take your game to the next level, you need training and practice.
That May Mean Working with Video Conferencing Technology More Often
With the global workforce moving to a work-from-home model and more meetings being held online, remote tools, like video conferencing, have become an essential component of the modern business world. That hasn’t always been easy for most of us, I imagine. But through trial and error, our team at Kryton has learned some of the best practices that all of us can apply when using video conferencing technology.
To Start, You’ll Want to Mitigate Potential Technical Difficulties
You don’t want to have to delay a meeting with an important client just because your video conferencing system isn’t working properly. Solving technical difficulties can take up valuable time, so it’s best if you make sure the technology can run smoothly before you head to the meeting. That includes checking your Internet connection, software, camera, microphone, and other technical devices for any issues. You’ll also want to log in early, if possible, so you have the time to troubleshoot. It’s especially critical to do that if you’re the host as that ensures your meeting will start on time.
Stay on Mute When You’re Not Talking
Most microphones can pick up minor background noises like typing and coughing. These sounds can easily distract other video conferencing participants and potentially even cause annoyance. So make sure you mute yourself when you’re not taking part in the conversation.
And Ensure You Treat These Meetings as If You Were There in Person
While it’s easy to get distracted with checking your inbox and browsing online during a video conference, you probably shouldn’t. Treat it as though you are attending a meeting in person. Also, look into the camera instead of the computer monitor when you speak so you appear to be looking directly at the person.
There are many more tips to consider for video conferencing, but the key takeaway is to treat it like it’s a meeting in person. For instance, being on time, dressing properly, and paying attention are all expected for in-person meetings, and it’s no different for remote ones. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you would do the same thing if you were in a physical meeting.
Don’t Let Technical Difficulties Hold You Back
It’s typical for users to only learn as much as it takes to achieve the meeting, but not go on to become proficient with the tool. This can be a big mistake and missed opportunity. I’m encouraging my team to go pro and master the skills needed to fully benefit from these communication tools. And I encourage all business leaders to do the same. Don’t let your technology hold you back or limit you in any way. As a business owner, consider the time and training needed for your employees to learn new systems. Training sessions, peer groups, manuals, and briefing documents can all support the adoption of new technology. As a user, commit to taking the time to practice and learn. This will benefit you now and in the long run as virtual communication becomes a permanent part of the business landscape.