More and more teams are working remotely. With new tools and technology, this is now easier than ever before. Yet one thing can derail highly effective teams. Find out how to guarantee success of your remote teams.

With the evolution of tools and technology, distributed teams are becoming more and more commonplace. It’s possible to work from anywhere and connect with a click.

Among the hottest tools for team communication are tools, which simplify mobile connection:

Smart Scanner is an iphone app that captures and recognizes scanned materials. You can scan articles, printed reports, or whiteboard sketches. Once you scan, you can copy and edit text. The application recognizes phone numbers, URLs and more.

Mobila Headset is an iPHone/iPod/iPad app that records calls and acts as a headset for PC or Mac. It works with numerous VoIP applications such as Google, Skype and more.

IM + Talk enables you to make Skype calls from your smartphone. You can receive calls to SkypeIn, check who is online and chat with other Skype users.

But one big question remains. What are you saying, showing and doing? How well is your team communicating? Is the quality of your communication matching the ease, simplicity and convenience of the technology tools?

In more than one team we’ve helped, the answer before presentation skills training was a resounding: “NO! We need help!”

Here are a few tips for communicating with impact within a distributed team.

1. Give an overview
As tempting as it is to jump right in, don’t. Give an overview of what you’ll cover in each meeting. By framing the scope of each meeting, you’ll help manage expectations—and hold focused online meetings.
2. Stay ‘hands-free’
If you’re used to talking with your hands, explain your gestures. Some team members may be dialing in and won’t be able to see your active hand movements.

Use words to replace the gestures you’re making. This feels funny and awkward at first, but you’ll get used to ‘pointing’ things out with your verbal descriptions.

3. Smile
Yes, it’s true. People can hear when you’re smiling. And if you’re on Skype video, they can see it too. It’s a lot easier to have an open conversation with smiling team members than with folks who are grimacing and frowning.

4. Recap and summarize
As good as the technology and tools are, there are interruptions. Static, poor connections and distractions on location can interrupt attention. Recap and summarize what you’ve covered. This helps late comers and everyone involved stay on point.

5. Check for understanding
Check in for confirmation from participants. Use chat, emoticons, and polls. Ask for verbal feedback. Include everyone on the event.

The more you work remotely, the more you’ll find communication skills to keep things moving forward. When in doubt, ask for feedback. Get high quality virtual presentation skills training. With new options in online training, it’s a whole lot easier to get better at bridging the gap. By staying open to new ways to work, your team will grow critical skills and improve communication in record time.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: