Strengthening Interpersonal Communication Skills in the Virtual Space

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session Blended Blended Research Equity and Inclusion

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The movement to the online educational space has been challenging for many of us. During this virtual event, attendees will be guided through specific communication techniques and skill sets that ensure you are presenting yourself in an effective way virtually, and getting the most out of future online events.


Ingrid Stobbe is an award-winning Visual Media Artist and Educator. She creates a diverse range of artwork including both narrative and experimental pieces that embrace the artistic medium as a vital component of effective storytelling. Her work poses questions of self-identity, feminism, and perception while investigating the most effective manner to convey meaning in artistic dialogue; whether that finds expression in film, paint or writing is dependent on the nature of individual stories. Her work often exists at the intersection of genres, asking engagement from the viewer as questions arise concerning the relationship between presentation and observation. But always, the art maintains and celebrates the unique properties of included media, while commenting on form and its implications in storytelling. Ingrid's films have screened and exhibited nationally and internationally, and recently featured in International Encounters Traverse, Boston Voyager Magazine, and Palaver Journal. Her writing can be found in a variety of publications, including Mantra Wellness Magazine, Psychology Tomorrow and The Glossary. Her film Orange can currently be seen in SoAnyway Magazine's 2nd Volume and on exhibit at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture, while select paintings were recently chosen for 'The Art Edit,' Condé Nast's curated advertorial campaign showcasing independent two-dimensional artists in House & Garden, UK. She is co-author of the upcoming book Being Creatively Limited with William Pace (Focal Press, 2021), and is currently in pre-production on her short film The Dog Star, and media installation Contextual Bodies. Ingrid is an Assistant Professor at Lesley University's College of Art & Design in Cambridge, in the Department of Digital Filmmaking. She is on the board of Women in Film & Video New England, as well as the editorial board of the Journal of Film & Video, and previously served on the Marketing Committee for the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the US National Committee for UN Women. She has comprehensive experience designing curricula for the visual arts, and in 2020 her pedagogy was internationally recognized with the University Film and Video Association Award of Teaching Excellence. She is a frequent juror for numerous film festivals, and regularly speaks at various institutions about media production's evolving landscape, and its broader social impact.

Extended Abstract

“Strengthening Interpersonal Communication Skills in the Virtual Space” 

Whether you’re a teacher, professor, speaker, or attendee, the movement to the online space has been challenging for many of us. No small part of that is the loss of most non-verbal communication cues. During this virtual event, attendees will be guided through specific communication techniques and skill sets that ensure they are not only presenting themselves in an effective way virtually, but that they know how to get the most out of future online lectures, classes, or presentations.

Non-verbal communication makes up 70% of how we understand one another. It’s important to not only acknowledge how to best compensate for that loss in our online communication, but to also know the toll that energy can take and how to manage boundaries around our virtual time to allow for rest and prep. Attendees will leave this session with strategies for maximizing their time, virtual communication skills, and the effort involved in maintaining efficacy in this new and continuously developing landscape. 

During this three-part talk, attendees will accomplish three primary goals:

1) Develop an assured understanding of the difference in verbal and non-verbal communication sets, and correlating cues. Importantly, they will learn the overwhelmingly disproportionate role of non-verbal communication in our understanding of one another.

2) With this foundation set, we will move forward to clarifying what happens when these non-verbal cues are not available us in the virtual space – and the effect on our bodies (fatigue!). Do we have any left? Yes! But they are few and far between. We will discuss how to maximize their effectiveness to our advantage.

3) Finally, we will discuss targeted strategies for Listeners, Speakers, and General Users, as we continue to move forward in this primarily digital learning environment for the time being. These tips also serve those taking primarily online courses in general as well, no matter what age or subject.

Special Notes:

• Resources for research referenced as well as Closed Caption resources will be available in the slides, a copy of which will be available to all attendees for future uses.

• The presentation itself has engaging and active slides, as well as several specific moments dedicated for thoughtful, open discussions and trouble-shooting strategy sessions. Every one of us has experienced this level of online exhaustion, and discussion sessions are designed to allow our mutual experiences and questions to help one another.