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Team VODIUM | January 13, 2023

Even Virtually, Executive Assistants Need Soft Skills More Than Ever

Even Virtually, Executive Assistants Need Soft Skills More Than Ever
(5 min. read)

The days of executive assistants only requiring good typing skills and knowledge of shorthand notation are long behind us. Today’s executive assistants are required to possess a wide range of skills, everything from the ability to compose and edit speeches for their boss to the ability to lead small teams of employees in the accomplishment of their tasks. Even beyond these skills, today’s executive assistant is also almost always required to have capabilities that extend to the virtual space, a

The days of executive assistants only requiring good typing skills and knowledge of shorthand notation are long behind us. Today’s executive assistants are required to possess a wide range of skills, everything from the ability to compose and edit speeches for their boss to the ability to lead small teams of employees in the accomplishment of their tasks.

Even beyond these skills, today’s executive assistant is also almost always required to have capabilities that extend to the virtual space, and soft skills that extend into that space such as multi-tasking and effective communication or collaboration.

Here, we’ll talk about a handful of executive assistant soft skills and how they can be aided by a virtual tool like a teleprompter.

4 desirable executive assistant soft skills to have

Communication

Communication is the bedrock upon which all other executive assistant skill sets are built. This is especially true in a virtual world, where you have to make yourself clear and understood without the benefit of being in the same room with other people.

Elements of good communication in a virtual setting include the ability to clearly speak on the topic at hand and make yourself understood, as well as the ability to communicate non-verbally with the other person. Other elements include reading comprehension and the ability to write clearly, as much of an executive assistant’s virtual life will be spent responding to emails or fielding texts or instant messages.

The ability to listen well is also a key component in effective communication. Listening to clients and team members effectively allows you to understand concerns and address potential problem areas, as well as simply comprehend the issues important to your clients or team members.

Organization

The hallmark of an effective virtual assistant is organization. This is not just making sure information is in the correct place and easily accessible; it includes the practice of effective time management skills and the prioritization of tasks.

Elements of organization pertinent to executive assistant include making and editing schedules as needed both for yourself and your boss, setting deadlines for projects, and following up on them to ensure they are on track.

Especially important in a virtual space is ensuring that files and documents vital to your business are properly stored and easily accessible by any who might need them. Often this will mean keeping them in a cloud storage system.

Collaboration

No one is an island, and this is especially true in the virtual spaces of today’s highly competitive business world. In your job as a virtual assistant, you will find yourself working in collaboration with all manner of individuals, from team members within your organization to contractors outside to even clients who need specific input.

As a virtual assistant, you will likely have to coordinate and manage multiple projects and deadlines across multiple teams. In doing so, you’ll also have to have at least a passing familiarity with the individual strengths and weaknesses in the various teams so that you can manage them effectively.

Multi-tasking

A truly effective virtual assistant is one who can multitask. Events don’t occur in a nice orderly manner during the busy workday, and there will come moments when you have to attend to multiple tasks at once without dropping the ball.

This soft skill requires a firm grasp of time-management skills and the ability to remain organized. Almost paradoxically, it also requires you to understand that you will not be able to do everything at once.

Much in the way a doctor must triage patients to get the most important cases finished first, a virtual executive assistant must be able to assign priorities to the most critical tasks and work to get them completed in order to move on to the next-most critical set of tasks.

Improve your soft skills with a virtual teleprompter

It may seem daunting at first knowing that the four skills listed above all need to be present and utilized at the highest levels for the effective virtual assistant. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools out there designed specifically to make your job easier and to help you be as efficient and effective as possible.

Examples of these tools range everything from calendar apps like Calendly or Google Calendar to inter-office communication tools like Slack or Google Meetings. Project management tools like Monday can help you track and organize the various teams and projects in your company. Even simple cloud storage tools like Dropbox can help you stay organized and give you off-site backups of vital data.

One tool that may not spring immediately to mind is a virtual teleprompter app like VODIUM. Teleprompters are things more often associated with TV anchors or political speeches, but they can be absolute game-changers, especially for the virtual executive assistant looking to elevate their game.

What is a virtual teleprompter?

A virtual teleprompter app like VODIUM is a purpose-built app designed to function in much the same way as a real-world teleprompter. It takes pre-written and pre-loaded scripts and displays them as an overlay atop a portion of the video window of programs like Zoom or other virtual meeting software.

They tend to be cloud-based for ease of access to the required scripts, and are usually available across numerous devices, both mobile and computer. Specifically, VODIUM allows easy creation and editing of scripts in real time and allows note-taking. Further, it comes with adjustable scroll speed, allowing you to control the pace at which you deliver information to your audience.

What soft skills can be improved with a virtual teleprompter?

Virtual teleprompters like VODIUM truly shine in any situation where you need to keep track of multiple key points or have to deliver prepared speeches to an audience. For a virtual executive assistant, a teleprompter app can help you improve communication with teams by allowing you to appear confident with pre-prepared presentations.

VODIUM also helps you control the pace of meetings with its variable-speed scrolling feature and frees you from the need to focus on memorization of key points. This frees  you up to pay attention to how you are delivering the information and how it is being received by your audience.

For organization, VODIUM is a cloud-based app that allows for easy uploading and storing of scripts and notes online where they can be accessed from any device as needed. This helps you upload and update any scripts well before they need to be used, and they can be provided from anywhere.

Executive assistant soft skills are easy to improve with the right tool

Soft skills aren’t just a list of items on a job description. They’re a mindset that helps you conduct yourself well in your position. As an executive assistant, you need many soft skills, but there are tools out there to aid you.VODIUM is the premiere teleprompter app for today’s busy virtual executive assistant. It can help elevate your soft skills across the board, making you a more effective and efficient virtual assistant. Come by our website and start your free trial of VODIUM today to see how we can help take your abilities to the next level!