What now? What Preparation looks like in the time of COVID-19

If you’ve been following my previous posts, you’ll have seen I had done a blog post a little while back on preparation and some best practices in order to put your best foot forward.

All these tips can be adapted professionally as well as personally in your social circles. That said, the types of meetings and community interaction we are experiencing is not the norm, or at least wasn’t until a few weeks ago. And while it probably looks a bit different, I challenge you to still prepare for what lies ahead.

Whether that be virtual networking events, social happy hours, or client meetings, there are a few steps you should be take prior to any digital meeting. Preparing in a world of unknowns can be daunting, so I’ve included a few check lists below for you to follow as you navigate this new world.

For every online gathering, be sure to

1. Check your internet connection. Are you close enough to your home router that the connection will be smooth?

2. Check video connection. How does your lighting look? Place your set up so that your lighting source is facing you – not behind you!

3. Do you have a designated space and what’s in the background? Your bedroom pillows may not be appropriate for a professional call but could be welcomed for a friendly social call.

4. Does your sound work? If you are connecting with a separate microphone or a headset, ensure the proper input is enabled so you can be heard.

5. What platform or software is being used? Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts/Meet are popular ones right now. To use, do you need to have it pre-downloaded or can you join from the web?

6. Set your calendar reminder to join 3 minutes early. No one wants to be the video that pops up after they started or chimes the sounds notifying everyone of your entry.

For virtual networking events, take a moment to

1- Identify what type of event is it – are you socially engaging through breakout sessions, is it purely educational, will there be a time for Q&A?

2- Ensure you have access to a quiet space and a notebook or online digital space where you can take notes and engage with the online dialogue. Make sure you can make the most of this event and put yourself out there!