The Oral Briefing Goes Virtual

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

In the recent pass, for an oral presentation, you could see the faces of the audience and even ask for questions.

Now all we see is a camera. Are there ways to make this situation easier?

Trying to convey and support a culture of trust and transparency can be a challenge for those working remotely. Here are some ways that might help.

  1. Setting the stage: Make sure the camera lens is adjusted so that listeners can see not only your face but also your arms and hands. We do a lot of non-verbal movements that aid what we are saying.
  2. Speak to the camera: It may be a good idea to start the briefing/presentation with new information and updates. This gives you an easy and natural way to tell them the latest news. In the interest of trust and transparency, workers like to feel they are on the inside track for the latest news.
  3. Facial expression: This can be a tough one if you have to announce a new policy decision (that you might not agree with). This may be especially true as long as the COVID-19 rules change. But as the leader it is your responsibility to explain the changes as well as you can, and be supportive of the decisions. Remember that smirks, raised eyebrows convey a different viewpoint.
  4. Provide a way for feedback: The safest way for you to be assured that your listeners have heard you correctly – or want to ask questions – is to provide them with ways to contact you. This can be by email, text, phone – just so they feel informed correctly.
  5. Remember the Donors: After becoming comfortable with these steps it will be easier to prepare the presentation for the donors – supporters who will likely be sympathetic to the challenges you have faced, but who are also curious about how the mission is going. Representing the same trust and transparency you have given to staff and workers will hopefully engender in donors the opportunity to extend their contributions. Remember that donors also like to be on the inside track with updates and newest information. Given the uncertain times we live in, it is just as important for them to know the conditions as it is for the staff and employees.

Author: Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org