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A New Normal – The Importance of Online Communication

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The second blog post for EG2101 comes after the series of communication workshops done by CELC – one on online professional presence and the other on online networking. I will focus more on the first talk in this post.

This workshop comes at a critical pivoting point in our lives – COVID-19 has resulted in significant changes to the way we live and work, and many of these changes to come will have lasting effects. One major change in our lives involves the way we work, and how online communication platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have taken over many meetings as the default. In the professional context, it is particularly important for us to focus on the 3 Vs of communication: Verbal, Vocal and Visual.

In my efforts of crafting a professional presence online, I have built a website (hello!), and created a LinkedIn account. While these are important first steps to create a good impression, it should not mark the end of my online communication efforts. In fact, it is only the beginning. Some important next steps which I have chosen to start focusing on include:

  • How do I carry myself visually and verbally on online platforms?
  • How can I craft my content to be more suited for online presentations?
  • Are there any low-hanging fruits which are typically overlooked by most people (such as using a virtual background befitting my online branding)?

Update: I’m glad to have used these methods in my Zoom calls for my classes (at least to be more attentive and present), as well as developing good slide designs for several presentations to Prof Mandar, Prof Alberto and several others.

Eventually, I hope to build a personal brand of professionalism in engineering pursuits, while retaining a strong focus on effective leadership within my various projects (both in and outside of the NUS curriculum). This is something which I will be focusing on even past this semester, because this personal image carries with me not just for this module, but way further into my working life.

Interestingly, some of the pertinent points brought up in the sharing was about what leaders look out for when scouting for talent:

  • The first impression / self-confidence
  • Skills: such as communication and content
  • Whether the person can be trusted and respected

The last point brings about the importance of crafting my personal brand, and a method suggested was Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle – this is the personal pitch, one which is both concise and convincing. Perhaps I’ll give it a go below:

I am an engineering student developing skills in signal processing and machine learning so that I can create valuable solutions across multiple domains in the future.

Finally, with these points in mind, I aspire to become more confident in my skills and abilities, both technical and interpersonal, so that I may be able to better pitch myself to future employers.