More tips for maximizing success in online mediations

In Part 1 we discussed office configuration, lighting, internet speed, and using PowerPoint to integrate photos into your video-conferenced mediations. Let’s explore how visual communications can further enhance your negotiations.

Capitalize on show-and-tell
Don’t make the mistake of being a talking head, orating about your client’s issues while eyelids grow heavy. As your comfort level with the online experience increases, up the impact of your presentations by inserting medical illustrations, animation clips, video footage, timelines, etc. As we all know, a digital interface isn’t as up-close-and-personal as meeting face-to-face, so using visuals to engage others, while explaining the complex medical facts of a file, creates a richer connection. Medical illustrations will catch and hold attention and put you firmly in the position of being the source for relevant and reliable information.

Keep all eyes on the ball – your client
One potential pitfall of video conferencing is that your client can appear postage stamp sized on screen – a problem when you want the session to be all about them. To ensure everyone keeps focused on the heart of the matter, include a photo of your client, and their name, on each of your slides. This provides a constant visual reminder of “Mr. Smith” and his trauma issues.

Tell me a story
Visual storytelling allows for not only an enhanced emotional appeal, but also provides a path for others to follow along. Visuals should be kept simple, with each slide showing one clear concept. Make the slides build on each other, telling the story one ‘paragraph’ at a time. Educational researchers refer to this as scaffolding (Pea, 2004). A presentation that builds will show the full arc of your client’s story, demonstrating evolving trauma issues, surgical procedures, or deterioration issues, in a step-by-step manner that will vividly communicate what they had to endure.

Knock it out of the park
Wrap up your client’s story with an overview chart or full-figure illustration that drives home their injury complications. Summary visuals combined with before and after photos will leave a lasting impression that’ll maximize outcomes and help resolve the file successfully.

We hope these tips will invigorate your mediations to help you get the most from your online negotiations.

Reference: Pea, R., & Mills. (2004). The Social and Technological Dimensions of Scaffolding and Related TheoreticalConcepts for Learning, Education, and Human Activity. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(3).