Productive Communication Skills for Virtual Meetings

With the surge of online-virtual meetings comes a need to review our communication skills. When the novelty of the first live virtual meeting is over, most of us would agree that while helpful, it might not have been the most productive time spent. This technology is not going away anytime soon, so it is best to maximize your skills to match the technology.

There are several points in this article that could help facilitate more productive virtual meetings; the role of the Moderator, ways to eliminate the ahs and ums of public speaking, non-verbal communication, and proper etiquette.

Role of the Moderator
In my experience, the person who sets up the meeting is usually considered the moderator. However, that might not be the best idea. Depending on the size and scope of the meeting, we should have an organizer who sends out meeting notices, keeps attendance, and monitors the session. The moderator should be focused on content and keeping the dialogue going. The organizer should focus on the mechanics of the call, monitor incoming chat and text feeds, and help those having technical difficulties.

Public Speaking
Many people have issues with filling space and time with fillers such as ahs and ums. This can be frustrating to the speaker and to the audience. Some simple advice to eliminate public speaking fillers is to simply breathe. No one can continually speak without a break, yet for some reason our nerves can get the best of us, and we forget a very essential task: breathing. It also helps to think in terms of the written word where we use commas and periods. It  comes down to complete thoughts, like a sentence in a good book. A comma provides a short rest and a period indicates the conclusion of a thought. In public speaking, you would put a short breath for a comma, and then when you finish your thought, a long breath. Fill those spaces with breathing rather than ahs and ums.

Another way to think about this is through the eyes and ears of your audience. As viewers and listeners, we need to process what you are saying. We need intermittent short breaks while you are breathing to comprehend and retain the information. So breathing is beneficial for the speaker and the audience; a Win-Win!

Non-Verbal Communication
Most of us have been frustrated at one point or another with “overtalk” during virtual meetings. Even with the ability to view other participants, overtalk continues to be a frustrating aspect of virtual meetings. My recommendation would be for the moderator to ask all participants to raise their hand when they want to speak. While awkward at first, it allows the moderator to manage the flow of communication and enable more effective participation. I wouldn’t count on this idea working during a casual Happy Hour type of gathering where the conversation is free-flowing. A business meeting needs to be productive and this is an easy way to help facilitate healthy communication amongst all attendees.

Proper Etiquette
It seems like every meeting takes 5-15 minutes to start due to issues signing into the platform. So why not set a timer at quarter of the hour so we can start on-time. The second request of your users is that they immediately mute themselves once they are logged in so the moderator can keep track of people as they get on the call. This also sets the tone for the moderator to introduce the basic rules of the call, ie, raising your hand and being able to mute when they have finished their comments.

I would be remiss of if I didn’t mention the Takata Recall. Several current business factors set the stage for removing them from inventory; 1. VOLUME – the volume of vehicles coming into their end-of-life might be declining so you need to squeeze every buck out of what you get 2. TIME – the average number of parts orders has declined so that dismantlers and parts pullers have more time than ever to remove airbags 3. OPPORTUNITY – most Recyclers want to retain people, so why not raise your airbag recovery program up a notch 4. SHARING – gives you something to talk about on your next Virtual Meeting. Be well and stay safe! For more information on airbag recalls, call Paul the Recall Guy at
401-458-9080 or email

Katie the “Recall Gal” and Paul the “Recall Guy” represent the RAS Recall Team. Their Mission is to rid the planet of defective Airbags.

Want to join the Mission? Call our Recall Team 877-829-1553 x 160