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How To ROCK Virtual Engagements!

How To ROCK Virtual Engagements!

By Alistair Davis
This podcast is for anybody who wants to take their virtual engagements to the next level. I will be interviewing masters in this space, people who know technology, future technology as well as business and personal opportunities in this space.

If you would like to be interviewed or for more information, please email me at

Business, personal and environmental benefits are there for all to see.
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Currently playing episode

The top 3 tips to become a Digital Nomad or a remote working guru for yourself or your company!

How To ROCK Virtual Engagements!

The single most important thing to consider if you want to implement a successful remote working strategy
In this episode, I interview Ryan Roghaar who is a remote working trailblazer and the founder of He is an entrepreneur, creative director, podcaster, remote work advocate, consultant, author, and speaker committed to building authentic end-to-end relationships for his clients - from top management to top consumer.  His unique philosophy puts specific importance on human relationships and their inherent value in both business and in life.  We  talk about technology saturation, about forced remote work vs remote work by choice, flexible remote working practises and the single most important thing to consider for remote  working.
August 12, 2020
The top 3 tips to become a Digital Nomad or a remote working guru for yourself or your company!
Ali Greene is full-time digital nomad, logistics guru, and remote work expert. She has ten years of startup experience and four years leading remote teams while travelling the world full-time.  She is the founder and CEO of Cohana whose mission is to educate, inspire and engage teams to create efficient, effective, and innovative frameworks for the future of work, regardless of where (or what) their "office" looks like. We talk about her journey from PR in New York to becoming a true Digital Nomad.  What are the best remote tips for improved remote communication, what is remote work, how remote meetings can be used as a connection tool and the top 3 tips to become a Digital Nomad or remote working expert! Reach out to her if you need to know how to make this a reality for yourself of your teams!
July 26, 2020
Lessons in empathy and connection for remoter workers from an Emotional Intelligence guru!
In this episode, I interview Sandra Thompson, who is a Director "Exceed all Expectations". She is also a Lecturer of People Management and Leadership, Professional Behaviours (emotional intelligence) and Customer Management at Pearson College London. Sandra is also a customer Experience consultant for brands like Vodafone, Arsenal Football Club and the Open University.  She is also the 1st Emotional Intelligence Coach in the UK. We talk about emotional intelligence, active listening, the 3 types of empathy and how to build empathy, charisma and how to reduce stress in these Covid 19 times! How to be a better virtual engager! Oh yes, and she loves skydiving and once met Prince Philip by accident!
July 14, 2020
How to easily save 4 hours per week using Microsoft Teams! If you already use, or are planning to use Microsoft Teams, this episode is for you...
In this episode, I talk to Michel Bouman who is a "Territory Channel Manager Modern Work at Microsoft." His focus is on Microsoft Teams Meetings, Calling and Devices; Michel is an MS Teams "guru". More importantly, he is a father of four and his mission is to set up the possible future for his children which they can all benefit from.    We talk about locationless meetings, pins, planner, how to use the search bar, noise reduction, hybrid meetings, Microsft Teams Rooms (MTR) systems, content cameras and the book 'The Four Agreements by 'Miquel Ruiz'. Fun fact: He finished my bachelor degree, cum laude, at the age of 40! A real cracker of an episode, enjoy!
July 1, 2020
Why customer avatars is a good thing in marketing, the benefit of outsourced marketing and the power of live streaming events
In this episode, I talk to Vicki O'Neill who is  Fractional CMO at her own business, KenKay Marketing. Vicki is a marketing whizz! She worked in the corporate world for 20 years in various industries and various marketing and sales roles. She started KenKay Marketing in 2011 and she helps small business owners who struggle with growth by identifying the root cause and if it's marketing, she creates a strategy that helps them connect the dots between where they are and where they want to go. 
June 25, 2020
4 Ways to avoid Digital Fatigue and becoming a ZOOMBIE!
This is episode is one for all you suffering from virtual meetings burnout and the dreaded ZOOMBIE! In the interview, I speak to Dr Annemarie Lombard who is Founder, CEO and Thought Leader of Sensory Intelligence Consulting. She has a PhD in Healthcare/commerce and has over 30 years of experience.  She loves earrings and has earrings associated with events in my life, people, milestones, etc. We talk about digital fatigue, remote working, sensory matrix assessment and personal self-care.
June 17, 2020
How to make Tracy Chapman cry and also how to save costs by employing a Virtual Chief Operating Officer!
In this episode, I interview Victoria Grulke who is the founder @ Firebird Futures which is a Virtual COO, Virtual Retailer & Virtual Property Agent.  Talk to her if you have a start-up or mature business problem and she will get it done at an affordable rate.  She is an expert at 'polishing diamonds' or driving excellence in everything she does. She is obsessed with people and client love, and has worked for a wide range of companies over the last 20 years, in the USA, UK, EU, and SA. From tiny startups like Fish4 (a search engine before Google!), to some of the great giants like Microsoft, NBC Universal and Cognician.   Fun fact: She once made Tracey Chapman cry....details inside the podcast!
June 11, 2020
4 Simple things you can do to connect meaningfully in a virtual meeting and SMART criteria for making a request!
In this fascinating episode, I interview Professor Wayne Baker, who is a Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He is the author of ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK: HOW TO MASTER THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL FOR SUCCESS( published in 2020), and co-founder and board member of Give and Take, Inc.   We talk about his new book(he has written 6), the reciprocity ring, SMART criteria for making a request, meditation and 4 simple things you can do to meaningfully connect in a virtual meeting. Wayne is also a keen sailor and has sailed the Great Lakes and circumnavigated the Eastern US coast(America's great loop).
May 29, 2020
4 Things you can do to improve your virtual presence!
In this episode, I interview Deirdre McGinn who is an Executive and Style Coach, she specialises in Executive Presence and Personal Branding.   We talk about the 4 things you can do to improve your executive virtual presence, the role of colour when dressing, embodied leadership, poise and meditation. Deirdre founded StepUpStepIn to support leaders and their teams to step up and into more senior roles, unlocking their potential to build and develop executive presence both internally with their teams and externally with clients. Deirdre has over 25 years’ experience in global multinational technology companies like LinkedIn, IBM, and Oracle. 
May 22, 2020
3 Things fully remote working companies like Github, Trello and Hubspot do exceptionally well.
Some companies are remote only and have been from the start, in this episode I ask remote working expert Rowena Hennigan what they do differently like trust and transparency, documentation and expert communication. We talk about communication charters, deep work and what some of the latest research on remote working says. Rowena is a Remote Work Skills Expert and Lecturer. She is passionate about best practices in remote work and supporting learning and development in the area. Why? Because remote work has afforded her an amazing work/life balance, it is sustainable and better for the environment.
May 22, 2020 - the future of life-sized 2 way video communication that really engages!
One for those of you interested in the virtual communication technology platforms of the future! Tonari looks like a very cool and interactive communication technology platform that can add a considerable level of communication quality to virtual engagements! Tonari is for engineers and designers; teachers and students; doctors and patients; children and grandparents. It can be in your office; at a local cafe or library; or even in your home. As a social venture, they are backed by a ¥50M annual grant from The Nippon Foundation to fund research and pilots, while building a platform that can scale to partners and customers around the world. In this interview, I interview Alisaun Fukugaki whose pseudo nickname is "good vibes only". She was a finance goofball, community-builder, and co-founder of the Straylight collective. She has worked in finance since 2006 in Japanese equity sales at Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, and most recently, Macquarie Capital Securities. Alisaun is a startup enthusiast, and in 2014 created Startup the Party, a Tokyo meets San Francisco technology, music, and arts conference. Their website:
May 7, 2020 - Saving massive costs for virtual worker's physical equipment requirements!
In this interview, I interview Chris Herd who is the Founder & CEO of Firstbase, a platform that helps companies supply and manage all the physical equipment remote workers need to do great work at home.   The solution represents a MASSIVE cost saving for companies looking at remote working options.  Chris obtained his Masters in Architecture from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen in Scotland. Fun fact - Chris bootstrapped the business while continuing to play as a semi-pro soccer player to pay the bills.
May 6, 2020
How to easily develop virtual intimacy on a business call and the virtual facilitation of complex subjects!
This was a cracker of an interview for those of you who like communication Psychology and hearing good stories! In this episode, Dr Vogelman(Lloyd) shares his road from leaving South Africa to Australia because of PTSD to getting his Doctorate in organizational psychology, how to develop virtual intimacy on a business call, what works for virtual facilitation of complex subjects, bias, the LUN framework, abundance to scarcity mindsets in this COVID19 world and how he overcame stage 4 liver cancer. A really fascinating chat and jam-packed full of value. Lloyd is a recognised global expert in the realm of Complex Selling and developed the Corteks Advance Business Adviser Methodology which has been adopted by numerous leading companies. Corteks Methodologies are now accessed in over 30 countries.   Dr Vogelman qualified as a clinical psychologist and received his doctorate from the University of London in the field of organizational psychology.  He is also a published author of approximately 50 publications in a variety of mediums and played a prominent leadership role in human rights in South Africa and was the founder and director for the Centre for Reconciliation. As part of the Centre, Lloyd established one of the largest trauma centres which provided treatment for victims of Apartheid violence.
May 1, 2020
How to "bulletproof" your virtual business!
In this interview for "How to ROCK virtual engagements!" I interview Scott MacDonald who was born and raised in Toronto Canada.  I met Scott on my podcasting course, "Broadcast Yourself" from    He is a dynamic go-getter and we talk about the how-to bulletproof your virtual business, the concept of "omnipresence" which is what every business needs today whether they are physical or virtual and our experience of doing podcasting; avoiding perfectionism.  Personally, podcasting has "expanded" my world in more ways than I can say and we talk about these benefits.    Besides an excellent voice, he is the founder of  Ontario Hockey Club and the host of "The Real Xperience" Podcast.  He played hockey, baseball and Australian football growing up. His passions include entrepreneurship, business, hockey, coaching, podcasting, and personal development. Fun fact - he was a better actor than an athlete growing up, but never pursued it - as Toronto is the Mecca for hockey in North America.   Enjoy!
April 30, 2020
How Virtual Reality(VR) Meeting Rooms can take your virtual meetings to the NEXT LEVEL! {MUST LISTEN}
This is a MUST LISTEN episode for those who are really looking to take their virtual meetings to the next level. In this episode, I interview Jonny Cosgrove who is the CEO of which is virtual reality(VR) meeting room solution.  It is a fascinating chat - we talk about virtual reality, how virtual reality meetings are perfect for meetings of 3-20 that need high levels of engagement and participation. How virtual reality is NOT going to replace the traditional meeting rooms platforms. How each virtual meeting room space can be customised with different background, sticky notes, apps, whiteboards etc.  How the application changes the audio direction depending on who is talking, the importance of voice and being in a distractionless space In essence how this technology can take your online meetings to the next level! Jonny is passionate about sustainability and has an MBA from Trinity College, Dublin with a background in events, marketing and technology. Jonny is convinced technology will contribute beneficially to the structural changes underway in the world of work.    As a kid, he dreamed of being a professional wrestler/vet/power ranger - all at the same time! ENJOY!
April 27, 2020
Virtual coaching: advice on changing careers, managing isolation, empathy and connection in these COVID19 times
A treat for all of you that are dealing with possible career changes and uncertainty in these times. I interview lifestyle coach, Anthony Astbury. Anthony is a former City worker who spent 20 years on broking and trading floors before leaving to find a life more fulfilled. He started off down a journey of personal development, spent time in London, Miami and Tenerife learning from Tony Robbins, and retrained as a lifestyle coach.  In 2018 he co-founded the Whole Man Academy and is now the CEO of that initiative which encourages guys to get together and talk.  Fun fact: he can juggle up to 5 objects at once! In this episiode, we talk about virtual coaching, the importance of breathing to help manage anxiety, things to consider if you are looking to change careers or if you have been made redundant. The importance of empathy, breathing and the extreme importance of really LISTENING when on a virtual call or coaching session. Anthony has a lot of wisdom to impart and has a relaxed and easy style. ENJOY!
April 19, 2020
How to perfect your virtual prospecting in a complex sale.
This episode is a treat for all you thinking sellers out there. I interview Rob Bruce from his secret "hideout" in the Scottish Highlands.  Rob has three decades of enterprise software sales and marketing having worked for Schlumberger, Oracle, BroadVision and many other early-stage fails, mediocre's and rocketships. At the moment he is on sabbatical, however, his last job was VP of Marketing for Kimble. Fun fact: He is a mountaineer and rock climber. In this episode, we delve into the correct way of doing a "discovery" call for complex sales, the attitudes that virtual sellers need to to have, the idea of extreme curiosity and how sellers need to deeply understand their client's challenges and then matching these with differentiating factors from the vendor.  Again the attitude of empathy comes to the fore. It is a fascinating chat and really highlights the attitudes modern virtual sellers need to embrace in order to be successful. 
April 19, 2020
How virtual technologies are shaping global business outsourcing(GBO) functions, virtual meeting etiquette and the skills required for the 4IR.
In this episode, I interview Andy Searle, the CEO of BPESA, South Africa.  Andy has worked in the global business services sector since 1998 focusing on the economic growth of the sector, job creation and skills development. We talk about why empathy is a keen component in the services industry, what are the 4IR skills we need to develop, virtual meeting etiquette and why South Africa has had phenomenal growth in this space.  Andy is a keen athlete and has overseen a sector that has had phenomenal growth in the last while.  The numbers do the talking. The GBS Operators in the BPESA network added 12,243 new jobs in South Africa in the first three quarters of the year bringing the total number of new jobs created since January 2018 to 23,410 against the Jobs Summit target of 50,000 by 2023. With 89% of the new jobs being for youth, 64% for women, and 10,4% being specifically for excluded youth, the sector is making a very positive contribution to addressing some of our key socio-economic challenges.
April 12, 2020
Why mentoring virtual learning is so important, the 20m, 20ft, 20 second rule and how to bring gaming into corporate meetings.
In this episode, I interview  James O'Hagan, the Director of Digital & Virtual Learning at Racine Unified School District in Wisconsin, he is also a Doctoral Candidate at Northern Illinois University in the field of Instructional Technology, and the host of The Academy of Esports Podcast. He oversees a virtual learning program which involves all facets of learning that involves digital means. He has also launched two large school-based esports programs, and still plays rugby! We talk about how mentorship is key to keeping people involved in digital learning,  they this is so important, ideas for bringing gaming into business meetings, jackbox games and the 20m, 20ft, 20-second rule for eye health! James has a wealth of knowledge in virtual learning and gaming. 
April 10, 2020
How to dial trust up 20% and 3 other nuggets to make virtual meetings more FUN!
In this episode, I interview Ian Spandow, who is the Global Field Readiness trainer for Ian has adopted over 100 dogs and is an avid music player and all-round master trainer with a speciality in making online meetings FUN! He shares his tips in this entertaining episode!
April 9, 2020
How to perfect your web cam performance and really engage your audience with video.
In this episode, I interview Grant Swanby, who is an actor, producer and acting coach that has been in the industry for over 25 years. Oh and I can write backwards! He is the Academic Head at Act Cape Town Film Acting Academy and also Producer at Haas & Kaas Productions. In this episode we talk about overcoming performance anxiety in front of the camera, authenticity, how to "make love" to a camera and his framework for communication L(isten), O(bserve), V(Validate)and E(nthuse) or L.O.V.E.   So much good stuff in there specifically for business people who find this webcam thing a but much!
April 3, 2020
How to negotiate like a pro in a face to face and virtual context.
In this episode, I interview Alan McCarthy who has been an independent sales consultant since 1987. He worked in 55 countries, in 25 of the 50 US states, He is a Director of 5 businesses,  one of which is a tattoo studio run by his youngest daughter and her husband. He has also written and published 5 books on conflict resolution and negotiation. Alan is a master of conflict resolution and negotiations and we unpack the 4 stages of negotiation, Rule no 1 and rule no 3 of negotiations, tone of voice, mirroring and much more.  Alan is truly a master of his craft! Enjoy
April 3, 2020
What 1 thing you can do to make a virtual engagement more engaging
In this episode, I interview Seamus Byrne,  Irish born in the US (both passports), he went to school in Dublin, London and Limerick and lived in Paris for 7 years after college, his wife is French/Spanish and has two great and exhausting kids and he has immediate family in 5 countries.  If he wasn't so naturally modest, he'd called himself a citizen of the world.  Seamus is passionately fascinated by how humans think, interact and make decisions.  Big influences are the work of Daniel Kahneman, Jonathan Haidt, Sam Harris and Steven Pinker.  Stimulating, challenging, exhausting, exasperating and sometimes even inspiring are descriptions he is willing to share.  Fun fact: Danced Bollywood for charity in front of a 1,000 strong audience  and made a bunch of amazing friends. Seamus also has 20 years HR and Recruitment experience working for big tech firms; he is also a Director of and is affiliated to SNP Communications. Episode highlights include the 1 thing as sellers we can do to make a virtual audience feel more engaged, dialling up the charm, the elephant and the rider, Brad Pitt and charm and bringing entertainment into virtual meetings to make them more fun!
March 31, 2020
How to rock virtual engagements - why I am doing this podcast and what you will get out of it!
A brief introduction of myself, your host Alistair Davis, and why I am so keenly interested in virtual meetings, engagements, training and entertainment. How virtual has impacted my personal as well as my business life! The business, personal and environmental impacts are there for all to see!
March 18, 2020