April 28, 2020

Virtual Networking

Connecting Virtually

Every three months I attend a business owner’s conference (I’m not overly comfortable with the term ‘entrepreneur’) in Sydney. Hundreds of us get together to learn how to be better at anything business – better marketers, better leaders, better ‘selfs’.

Here’s what usually happens:


    • Pack
    • Leave for flight mid arvo
    • Check into hotel late at night
Virtual Networking

Thursday – Sunday

    • Walk 2-3 km to conference venue
    • Mingle
    • Attend sessions
    • Drink to excess
    • Walk back to the hotel
    • Sleep and repeat
Virtual Networking


    • Fly home
    • Catch-up on emails
    • Summarise the event take-aways
    • Get some rest
Fly back Virtual Networking


    • Still catching up on emails!


Virtual Networking

A 4-day, 30 hour conference practically takes a week.

Having 'networking drinks' virtually!

This week, due obviously to the pandemic, hundreds of people are connecting online instead.

We’re even having ‘networking drinks’ and there’s a few surprises in store. I’m actually looking forward to it. Wednesday registration consists of checking video and sound with the tech guy for 10 mins, then that’s it – online Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday.

Some of the speakers aren’t travelling from London, or Melbourne, or wherever. But they’ll be there. Online.

The money and time saved attending a conference this way is pretty huge, so I’m keen for it to go well. I’ll let you know how it goes!

How to stay professional while on video calls

Office meetings have gotten simpler too. Most of you are doing this now.

You’ve gotta agree, getting to and from the meeting is a whole lot easier (tho’ there are still ‘those people’ that connect in late!

But working at home doesn’t mean dropping the professional image. Here’s my tips to be a positive contribution on a video call.

    • Dress for work. Self image is a ‘thing’
    • Sit close to the screen. Your face should fill most of it.
    • Use an external microphone or headset.
      When you’re not talking, hit mute.
    • When you are talking, unmute!
    • Don’t eat during the meeting.
    • Act like you’re truly engaged. Nod your head.
    • Focus on the screen. Don’t get up and feed your dog.
    • Check your lighting. Perhaps move away from the window or pull the blind.
    • When you’re talking, look at the camera, not the screen.
    • When you’re talking, take your time.
    • Don’t walk if you’re using a phone. And if you’re using a laptop, don’t put it on your lap.
    • Don’t use an animated or funny background.
    • Eliminate household noises – shut your door, put a sign up
    • Silence your phone

These are obvious. But you’ve all seen people in your meetings not doing some of this. So it needs to be said!

There’s rumblings of a return to ‘some things normal’. When this is all over, how will you do things differently?

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