Nothing is more annoying than ending a call before realizing you forgot to mention that one super important piece of information.
But just the way you don’t want to be reading off a script when you speak to someone in person, having an elaborate outline for your call is never a good idea. It causes you to sound stiff and rehearsed, when we’re all hoping to sound fluid and natural.
This is particularly the case for video calls, where people can see you and expect you to be looking at them.
Since video calls are all the rage these days, it’s high time we invested some time getting really good on these platforms.
Today we’re sharing a simple, powerful strategy for ramping up your video conference skills.
What is super important to do right before you hop on a video call?
Well, it comes down to three letters.
Yes just three letters.
That stands for your Minimal Talking Points.
Your MTP is what you’ve distilled all your major talking points into. All of the content you’d like to cover in your call, whatever the topic, is now distilled into just a few points. Keep it to just a few words per point. Treat them like memory triggers for what you are going to say on the call. The purpose of those keywords is simply to jolt your memory, allowing you to elaborate in a natural manner.
The catch is that in order to be able to do this effectively, you need to be highly familiar with the content. But that shouldn’t add any extra prep time, per se, because you should always make a point of being familiar with the content you are responsible for, with or without points.
MTP forces you to think strategically about your upcoming call and compress your objectives into a compact form factor. During the call, it ensures you address all the key points you intended to address, and that you do so in the most logical and compelling order.
So having your MTP ready is time well spent, because you know what we say, clear thinking begets clear communication.
Great, so now that you have your MTP, get it on a lightweight text editing software like Notepad or Microsoft Sticky Notes. Now shrink down that editor pane so that it’s just big enough to fit the content of your MTP. It should only take up a small portion of your screen. This is why we say the shorter the better.
Once minimized, drag that pane as close to the web cam on your device as possible. On most laptops, this will be the top center of your screen. By putting it here, when you look at your MTP it will appear as though you are looking right into the camera, which is what you want. That’s the digital equivalent of eye contact, and we all know how important eye contact is.
Okay, let’s quickly recap:
- Take everything you plan to say and distill it into a few very short bullet points: these comprise your MTP
- Put the MTP into a small text editing program
- Shrink that pane down and position it right next to your camera lens
- Ace your call
This one strategy will force you to get a whole lot smarter about how you prepare for and conduct your video calls. When it comes to complex activities like human interaction, simple is always better.
Try it out and I’m confident you’ll see the difference. Your communication will be clearer and your thoughts more organized, and for icing on the cake you’ll be able to maintain confident eye contact the entire time!
Even cooler, the MTP approach is something you can use for informal and causal talks with friends, too. It’s a surefire way to ensure a richer, more meaningful conversation.
So now that I've shared our thoughts, I’d love to hear your own ideas for preparing for a video call. What insights do you have for making it a smooth process? What challenges have you encountered?
Share that with me and the Explearning community in the comments down below.
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With that, have an awesome week, Explearners.
Thank you so much for joining me and I’ll see you next time for your next Explearning lesson.
Happy Explearning ⚡