Event Write-up - Own the Room

On July 16th, Own The Room's founder Bill Hoogterp led a very interactive session where attendees learned best practices and proven techniques that will help them improve their virtual engagement and efficiency. The focus was on teaching the essential skills to exude executive presence on-screen, hook listeners from the beginning, and keep everyone motivated as if they were all in the same room.

Jim Panos, FWSIM President, started the session with an introduction and welcome, pointing out the relevance of this session -- especially during these challenges times as we face the world-changing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following is a summary of some key takeaways to leverage when you are participating in an online video-enabled session:

  • Try to avoid having the light source behind you -- instead, ensure that it is in front (to the left or right), which will eliminate silhouettes and glare.
  • Position yourself in such a way that you fill most of the video frame.
  • Raise the camera so that it is slightly above your eye level.
  • Look directly at the camera when speaking.
  • Concentrate not only on the content but also on your voice tone and body language -- be conversational.
  • Use techniques known as"body poling," such as "thumbs up" and "show me on a scale of 1-10 with your fingers" as a great way to engage with attendees.

Virtual Ninja Techniques
Source: http://otr.link/ReissmanCheckbox


A series of breakout sessions were conducted in which each attendee had the opportunity to practice their newly learned skills. The natural hesitancy most experienced with these unfamiliar techniques are part of our chapter's efforts to help our members to grow, to experiment, and to do so in a supportive environment. We continually seek to help our members to feel safe as we encourage them to "break out of their comfort zones."

"To get to smooth, you have to pass through the valley of awkward" -- Bill Hoogterp

Upcoming FWSIM events:

  • Aug 26: Virtual wine tasting social event
  • Sep 17: "How to hack an election"
  • Oct 22: CIO Summit