Creogram Out & About 13th November 2016

Effective communication through Skype

by Katherin Bednarz
11

We live in a technological era where distance or different time zones are no longer barriers for communication. Someone that lives in any European country can have a business conversation with people in Japan, New Zealand or Canada. The tools that are available online, such as Skype, can help us achieve this. We all know how to make video calls, don’t we?

According to a well-known theory by Albert Mehrabian, the main elements of communication are: the message, tone of voice and non-verbal communication – gestures, appearance and posture. He introduced the percentage of impact each of these elements have on how one sees the person, with who he/she is talking to. He stated that:

 

 

Words (the literal meaning) account for 7% of the overall message
Tone of voice accounts for 38% of the overall message
Body language accounts for 55% of the overall message

Here we can see the superiority of our body language over other factors. Video calls do not allow us to use this element, which is why it is important to prepare yourself, so that the conversation is successful.

Below, we present, what in our opinion are the most important tips that will help you to prepare yourself for a Skype video call.

Prior to the call

Time zone

It may seem trivial, but checking the time zone of the person you will be having the conversation with is essential, and should be done prior to the conversation.

Agenda

As in face-to-face meetings, during the video call it is good when everyone taking part knows the topic of your conversation. Thanks to this, you and the others taking part in the conversation will be more prepared for the meeting.

Testing

Test your equipment beforehand. Double-check that everything is working well: headphones, microphone, camera.

Eliminate possible interruptions

Make sure that no one will interrupt you during the call. Check your surroundings – make certain that you don’t have a window behind you and the place has good lighting. Turn off notifications on Skype and other apps.

Be prepared

Gather all links and materials you would like to share with the client during the call into one place, remember the Pareto rule: 80% preparation, 20% presentation.

Appropriate clothing

We all like to joke that during a video call one does not have to put on clothes below the waist. However, you would not like to be caught without your pants on, would you?

During the call

Focus

Focus on the conversation, look at your partner and don’t multitask. Keep your back straight, try not to slouch.

Check for understanding

Do not assume that the person you are talking with understand everything. Paraphrase to facilitate understanding.

Show initiative

Smile and keep the conversation going by using wording like: Are you with me? Do you know what I’m saying?. And very important: SMILE :)

Be consistent

Briefly go through the agenda, summarize all agreed points. Look directly into the camera, especially when you’re talking about crucial topics (introduction, etc.).

After the call

Follow up

Follow up with a thank you e-mail, summarize the agreed points and further steps that need to be taken. Suggest a date for the next call.

Remember, video will be a crucial communication tool in the future — we need to be prepared for it!

Want more information? Here you can find the article and infographic.