Better Internal Communication via Video

One of the lessons of the current crisis is that it’s more important than ever for leadership teams to demonstrate good communications skills – for reaching both internal and external audiences.
Employees are being furloughed or made redundant and are worried about their futures. Customers and clients have either disappeared for the moment and need to be wooed back, or want to know whether you can deliver what they need in the new environment. In the absence of face to face meetings, the way you get your message across on video or via online meetings, when few of the usual non-verbal signals are available, is paramount.
Many people still just plough through what they want to say in a Zoom or Microsoft Teams meeting and just hope the message will get across. Much more important for those running such meetings is to really think what the purpose of each communication is – to reassure? To motivate? A call to action? Establishing the right style and tone to achieve this is trickier via video link, but is just as vital as using the right language if you are to ‘cut through the static’.  Shouty bosses will find that style no longer works.
A couple of weeks ago we ran a webinar for clients on getting the best from Zoom meetings, and the range of questions from participants showed how people are struggling to get to grips with the new way of doing things – which looks set to last, by the way.
Many of the points made in our last couple of blog posts  on ‘how to look good on TV when being interviewed from home’ also apply when communicating within the organisation via video.  In addition, here are our top 5 internal communication guidelines for business leaders to bear in mind if presenting via a video or Zoom meeting to their teams:
1. Keep it snappy.  Most people’s attention span for online videos tails off after around 90 seconds, unless they are really captivated. Make it clear why they need to listen.
2. Make the message you want to get across as clear and simple as possible.  ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ works better than subsequent more opaque government guidelines.  Avoid jargon which may confuse some.
3. Break up larger, more complex issues into smaller chunks, so people don’t lose the plot completely if they suffer a bit of wi-fi lag.
4. Show empathy – think about what your people might be feeling, and demonstrate you understand their concerns. Employees’ mental health is one of the top areas of concern for many firms at the moment.
5. Communicate regularly so people feel they are being kept in the loop. This reduces the chance of ill-informed gossip flooding the company Slack channels to fill the vacuum.  Have a unambiguous call to action so people are clear about next steps.
We can provide coaching via video link to help sharpen up skills in these online situations, and establish the style and techniques that will work most effectively for you, to increase the likelihood of a successful virtual meeting outcome. This is in addition to our standard media training and presentation coaching, delivered virtually. More details at