10 Best Practices for Virtual Briefings

Ten Best Practices for Virtual Briefings

As we find ways to provide value during these difficult times, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings and delivering virtual presentations. For our colleagues with briefing centers, we know your world is particularly unique.

Courtesy of our team member, Karen Bintz, here’s a list of Ten Best Practices for Virtual Briefings.

Involve the customer in upfront agenda development to decrease cancellations. It’s easier to cancel when travel arrangements aren’t part of the equation. Involving the customer upfront creates buy-in from the onset.

Hold a practice run prior to the actual virtual briefing. It’s better to work out any technical issues before the day of the briefing. Host should be logged on via a primary and a back-up device.

Keep the agenda shorter than that of an in-person briefing. Attention spans are short in a virtual environment. Use clear, concise messaging. Adhere to the rule of 3. Have customer give an overview during briefing opening to foster attention/engagement.

Provide troubleshooting information including host site phone number to all participants in case they experience any technical difficulties. For high stakes briefings, consider using a producer who is available throughout to address any technical difficulties that may arise for participants.

Review platform functionality as part of briefing opening.

Use a briefing facilitator to introduce DLs and track objectives/action items. Facilitator’s primary focus is interaction. Interaction is even more important in a virtual environment.

Get customer participation Call on participants by names throughout with facilitator asking thought provoking questions.  Don’t put anyone on the spot.  If no response, ask if line is muted.  Better yet, call on 2-3 participants at the same time with the same question.  One will usually reply with another following suit. Use the available platform tools, e.g. chat, polling, annotation, etc.

Eliminate distractions in your background and on your screen (e.g. pop up messages).  Open and conduct introductions with cameras on.  Cameras can be off during content delivery.  Switch cameras on during Q&A and closing.  Eye contact can vary per platform.  Make sure participants feel you are making eye contact with them.

Follow -up with all participants post briefing – e.g. survey, action items, next steps, thank you note.

Practice empathy – In challenging times, how you can serve has a greater impact than what you can sell. Conversations may diverge.  Content may not be completely covered.  Remember that now more than ever the briefing is not as much about “what you tell them” as it is about “how you make them feel”.