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Face-to-face meetings are becoming the exception instead of the rule as sales teams and clients are spread throughout the US and modern day tools make it simple to communicate virtually.   While I believe that in person meetings are ideal, increasingly we are communicating – and leading – online.  Knowing how to captivate and communicate to your virtual audience is an essential skill, yet I’m not aware of a “Virtual Communication 101” class available.  If there was, I sure wish I had taken it!  So how do you become the person worth listening to?

CONVEY POWER THROUGH A PHOTO

An attractive, professional photograph can make an incredibly strong impression.  But to give yourself some character and personality, I also recommend a lifestyle photo or two of you being both human AND accomplished– perhaps crossing the finish line of a marathon.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO COMMUNICATE YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM

People who use social media in the best way have a point of view.  Are you passionate about reducing the number of homeless dogs and cats?  If the story of who you are is clear, then your tweets, posts, and updates will be connected.

BE AS CHATTY AS POSSIBLE

Because you aren’t in the same room as your audience, you can seem removed and difficult to connect with.  Especially if your subject is dry, being engaged and chatty will give you the human component you need to keep the listener engaged.

MODIFY YOUR CONVERSATION STYLE

Speak in shorter chunks than you normally do and check in more often.  I am fortunate to get to moderate several webcasts each year for APPA, and I find it critical to keep the conversation lively and flowing between the presenter and me. No one wants to sit and listen to one person drone on for an hour.  If your call is interactive, ask your listeners if they have any questions before moving ahead to the next subject.

MANAGE YOUR REPUTATION

Have you Googled yourself lately to make sure nothing negative comes up?  I just did and discovered that there’s another Carol Frank who directed a movie called “Sorority House Massacre”! If something negative does come up, publish photos of yourself, thoroughly fill out your LinkedIn profile, and write some blog posts.  That will push the negative stuff about you down the search engine results list.

Carol Frank of Boulder, CO, is the founder of four companies in the pet industry. As a registered Investment Banker, Carol specializes in pet industry Mergers and Acquisitions and strategic advisory services.  She is also the owner of BirdsEye Consulting, the consummate source for pet sector consulting expertise.  She can be reached at birdseye@carolfrank.com