COLORADO SPRINGS — When many workers were sent home from their offices back in March and students had to leave campus, online video chat platforms quickly became essential for business and learning during the pandemic. News5 learned why business experts believe these virtual platforms are here to stay and how standing out in virtual meetings is helping people to rebound.
Because of continuing coronavirus concerns many offices are still at limited capacity or even empty which means your chance to make an impression on bosses, clients, co-workers, or even potential employers will likely come through a video chat.
Business experts say you should be working to answer an important question about this virtual realm, what are you doing to stand out?
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Scott Carley made his living as a keynote and motivational speaker working stages from coast to coast and feeding off the energy of a live audience.
"And then all of a sudden I started getting these notices, hey Scott the mayor just shut our city down. So we're going to have to cancel. It was a big deal. It really paralyzed the speaking industry," said Carley.
Investing in training, Carley learned ways to make his virtual presentations memorable and compelling. It's allowed him to keep working and to reach audiences during a difficult year.
"All I had was a camera. I didn't even get to see the faces that were there, but the feedback I got back from the presentation was this... Scott's presentation gave us goosebumps," said Carley. "Now that is what you're looking for. You're going to be amazed with how powerful your presentation can become through that camera."
Deb Mendelson is one of the millions of Americans who found themselves looking for work in 2020. Attending meetings and doing interviews virtually, she was frustrated with the virtual space.
"I really wasn't feeling it across Zoom. The backgrounds were crazy, the lighting was bad. Sometimes all you would see were people's forehead or chin," said Mendelson. "I was like, wait a second here, I feel no connection with these people whatsoever and I'm sure they feel no connection with me."
Mendelson decided to work with former TV news journalists turned media coaches Kim and Mike Barnes to make some changes. She improved her lighting, audio, and overall presentation in virtual chats and it brought quick and positive results.
"One of the things I'm comfortable doing now is as I'm going to maybe send resumes out I going to also send a video along so they can see who I am and have that connection. Before, I would've never felt comfortable doing that," said Mendelson.
Michelle Lopez runs a business with most of her work in these virtual spaces. She offers this advice as she also works to make changes to help connect with people worldwide.
"So it's not about busting the bank. It's taking your time, finding what works for you, asking other people what they're doing because so many people are doing this every day now," said Lopez.
Barnes Team Media says it's all about getting your set up right and making plans to operate in virtual spaces for years to come.
"Take care of the lighting, the background, the camera angle so you're not shooting up your nose and that type of thing. Once you get that out of the way it's second nature. You realize I'm going to set up the camera, flip on the light. I'm ready. The background looks good. I look good. I'm going to be a success," said Mike Barnes.
"To be relevant in today's world and the future world being on camera had never been more important. Back in March so many people thought we just need to get over until summer and then we will be fine and what we're finding is it's not going away and I think companies will continue to embrace it," said Kim Barnes.
If you feel making some changes to your presentation in these virtual meetings and video chats could make a difference for you here are some professionals you can connect with to get some advice and guidance.
Pikes Peak Workforce Center
Barnes Team Media
Key Note Speaker
The Change Energizer