How to be more human in the Virtual World

While we are spending so much of our time in an engineered virtual world, it’s important to remember our human side.

Emotions expert Camilla Tuominen and event futurist Noora Olsson talked about the importance of emotions in the virtual world during a fully contactless interview at NJ Virtual Studio.

Camilla and Noora discussed the challenges of virtual leadership, the importance of emotions and social interactions, being courageous, creating innovation and much more.

Would you like to know how to successfully lead yourself and others in the Virtual World? Here are our key takeaways:

1. It’s important to understand and lead emotions while communicating through screens

This will help you understand how to keep your customers and team members engaged. It’s also beneficial to be on top of our own emotions to utilize that energy to perform even better.

“What are your team and customers feeling?”

2. Surprise and curiosity are powerful, but often underused emotions

Surprise wakes up our brains. Curiosity opens us up to new information and ideas. In the Virtual World, this can be done by switching up formats, upgrading virtual event platforms, scripting interactive content, and using engaging performers. But don’t reveal everything right away – keep people curious to find out more!

“When we are curious, we are all ears open and eager to know more.”

3. Leave room for human interactions

Take 5 minutes from your meeting to crack a joke, laugh, and have small talk. Science says that laughter gives us an energy boost, clears our mind, and lowers our stress. It creates connections and trust between people. Best of all, it gives our brain free happy hormones!

“Laughter is free dope!”

4. Shut up and listen – two-way communication is key

By allowing people to talk, they can sometimes reach their own solutions. Let them interact and make them feel heard. In a virtual setting that could mean giving participants the opportunity to influence the content and flow.

“Pay attention and really be there for the other person!”

5. There are many ways to be brave

In the corporate world, it could mean speaking out, asking a question, or disagreeing.

“Courage is not just for superheroes!”

6. Have the courage to do things differently

There is a risk of embarrassment or being ridiculed when doing things for the first time. But it’s important to remember that right now we are all in the same boat and nobody is perfect.

“Try new things – test and pilot!”

7. Allowing people to feel “negative” emotions creates a safe environment

Disappointment, failures, and disagreements are all part of human nature. Allowing people to feel these things creates trust and allows innovation and new ideas to flourish.

“You cannot have innovation and ideas if you don’t have failures or disappointment.”

8. Innovation is born from good relationships, trust and being vulnerable

Innovation is not something that can be ordered from employees. It’s the result of a trusting environment. There are no wrong ideas or questions.

“Embrace the situation and just be human!”

These are unprecedented times for everybody. Leading our emotions is key to successful virtual leadership. We encourage everyone to be more courageous, try new things, leave space for emotions, and express them openly. Be more human to break through digital barriers.


Be courageous, curious, and imperfect!


Camilla Tuominen is an author, illustrator, keynote speaker and a true ambassador for emotions in the corporate world. Connect on LinkedIn and Instagram, visit her website at

Noora Olsson is an event futurist, creative director, and partner at NJ Production. Connect on LinkedIn.

Watch a clip from the discussion