We answer your questions, Part 5 of 5:
“Once we are back in the office, what is the best way to present both in-person and with a remote audience at the same time?”
PowerSpeaking, Inc. Master Facilitator Melinda McGrath offers some tips.
The answer involves deciding beforehand the type and mode of meeting you are having, and being intentional in your setup.
If it is to be primarily virtual – Invite those who are back in the office to join from a private room (or an open space using laptop headphones), and to log on with their cameras on. This ensures that each individual is seen and heard by you and the group. If that’s not possible, have the office employees join from small conference rooms with no more than three people at a time so each person can easily be seen and heard. If you have a large group in a conference room, ask one person you trust to be the spokesperson for any questions in the room. Prep that person in advance to watch for signs of disengagement in their group, and to let you know if you need to make adjustments.
If it is to be primarily in person, including you, as presenter – Make sure you’re squared up in front of and can speak into the camera, and at the same time, can see those joining virtually on either the conference room screen or a laptop. This can be difficult to do depending on the room layout and technology. Alternatively, you can also ask a co-worker who is in the room to manage the online experience. That includes fielding questions, watching for nonverbal communication, responding in chat, and ensuring the presenter is interacting with the online attendees for maximum engagement.
In either scenario, make sure the attendees who are the most under-represented get called on and involved in some way. Ask them if they have questions. Check for comprehension and test volume and video settings with them. Make sure you or your helper is watching for questions, issues, etcetera.
Final Advice: Being back together again in the office is a wonderful prospect! Creating an environment that ensures a quality meeting or presentation experience for all attendees requires thoughtful preparation and intentional involvement and awareness.