Trying to be helpful in the midst of this mess is easier said than done. I thought maybe I’d write about masks. Upon further review—no. What about “returning to normal”? If you’ve read my articles, you know I’m a believer that change is inevitable and normal is wherever we are. What about youth sports and the raw enthusiasm of kids? Someone will blast that probably.
Let me give transformational virtual experiences a shot. We have done a lot on Zoom and there are many virtual platforms, so these ideas could work on most. Here are some ideas as a presenter on Zoom (or participant) that you might want to consider.
Transformational Virtual Experience (or how to stumble and bumble through Zoom)
- Homework (practice your presentation, especially the technology components)
- Be Authentic (glitches, pets and kids are part of the Zoom scene—it is okay to say Oops)
- Remind participants about the value you bring to them (why do it if there is none, right?)
- Use breakout rooms to make the session more intimate (it makes it a bit less formal, too)
- Offer ways to provide feedback (one-way presentations are boring)
- Use the chat window (Q&A)
- Around the Square (give everyone a chance like on the Brady Bunch squares)
- Going virtual is a VIDEO experience (keep video on or else just do a conference call)
- Dress appropriately (at least from the stomach up)
- Mute audio when not speaking (a signal to speak is when people unmute)
- Watch non-verbal cues from participants wanting to participate (leaning forward, lips/mouth opening, gestures, “raising” your hand)
- Will you “grade” participation? (more so in education but maybe as an evaluation tool)
- Do you have permission to record?
- Nose hairs and tiny heads (position camera correctly)
- Watch background photos (keep it clean)
- Take a photo of the screen and post on social media (with permission)
- Look into camera as often as possible (your earrings are beautiful, however)
- Restroom breaks (how often)
- Keep the presentation slides as cues (reading presentation slides is a turn-off)
- Don’t multi-task and I can prove you can’t do it.