We were the first in the UK, and possibly globally, to recognise the need for a new way of communicating during video meetings that effectively combined the use of signs and active body language with the spoken word. We developed Video Sign Language (VSL) to enable this.
To help everyone have better,
video calls and meetings.
Connected - with ourselves, with each other, with nature, with the present moment
Honesty and integrity - we stand by what we say, we do what we promise
Unafraid - to try things out, to explore, to fail, to learn, to be wrong
Kind - to ourselves, to each other; we forgive, we inspire
Joyful - we are grateful, compassionate, we smile, we laugh, we cry
Video Sign Language was devised by Paul Hills, an expert in online meetings, leadership and team development. He has over 30 years' experience working with over 200 client organisations. He is an experienced event facilitator and coach. To find out more about Paul, connect on Linkedin.
What our clients say:
Paul introduced us to some great tools to help improve our virtual meetings. The team found the sessions really enjoyable and engaging. The use of the signs is very powerful but even more importantly the work on values and behaviours, meeting etiquette and the role and skills of the team leader has opened up the whole debate for us about what we could and should do differently to make our virtual meetings more productive and engaging, with a positive impact on wellbeing.
Programme Director, Unlocking Potential
‘My team are very keen on the signs and they are actively using them, which has helped to create a more natural engagement and flow to our meetings. The signs make it easier for everyone to have an active involvement and contribute more. They also give people permission to interrupt and a way of doing so which does not disrupt the meeting flow. In face-to-face meetings I felt I could 'read the room' but this is very difficult on Zoom, However, now with everyone contributing more and being more active I can more easily tune in. I am getting more feedback and seeing more body language.'
STEPS Service Leader, SEND Outreach Services, Royal Borough of Greenwich
Alexander Technique Teacher
Experience of a video call on Zoom using hand signs for the first time, September 2020
‘I was amazed at how the signs allowed us to create a much closer connection amongst the people on the call. I was sharing my experience of lockdown which had been difficult. I was concerned about talking to others who I didn’t know really well. However, soon into my story I noticed several people making the sign we had learned that says ‘I have had a similar experience’. This was very powerful for me. As I continued talking, I could see everyone on the call was either making this sign or a second sign that told me they had not had a similar experience - some had really enjoyed lockdown - but they were touched by what I was saying and wanted to show me kindness. This made me feel less alone and afterwards I said I felt I had received a big hug from the group. I never expected we could create this kind of emotional bond so quickly on a video call and I’m sure we couldn’t have achieved it without the signs.'
Feedback from recent workshop attendees:
'Thanks for the brilliant session today! This came at the end of a day that was completely filled with meetings but what a great way to end it. I love the idea of establishing hand gestures to facilitate conversation and connection, it will make such a difference in how we communicate in these meetings.'
'I liked your demo of the video meeting values. I can see how it would be useful, as a team, to come back to this in subsequent sessions and work out a protocol for online meetings together.'
'Thank you for the session today, it was really great! I had a lot of fun and it was really useful. I find it hard to talk during meetings so the use of hand gestures/signs was a particular favourite.'