Friday, May 8, 2020

From Skype to Zoom and Back



We are running our businesses, jobs, companies, families and friends on screen now.  My iPad is jammed with FaceTime, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, Lifesize and Webex.

After all these years I have finally become a Screenager.

As far as meetings go, I’m busy learning how to do it all – the technology, the etiquette, the preparation, the rhythm and beat, the flow and the aftermath.

There are quite a few guides / how to’s out there, so here’s mine – a mixture of my own experience – averaging six hours per day on on-screen, multi-person meetings, and a guide to virtual facilitation by Gwen Stirling-Wilkie.

1)    Remember the Six P’s (Proper Preparation Prevents Pretty Poor Performance):
·         Ensure all participants know how to use the tech.
·         Have a tech rehearsal for any live-streaming.
·         Brief the meeting purpose well in advance.  Be clear.
·         Circulate pre-reads / pre-views in advance.

2)    Make it Count:
·         Open up the call 10 minutes before start to help people settle in.
·         Start with a two – three minute check-in if you have time.
o   How are people feeling – maybe in three words,
o   What’s on peoples’ minds,
o   What’s making you feel happy.
·         Run the meeting for up to an hour.  For workshops keep them at three hours max.
·         Be more direct as a Facilitator – ensure everyone contributes and is heard.

3)    Before you check out:
·         Have everyone wrap up:
o   What did you get out of the meeting?
o   What did you want to say, but didn’t have the chance to?
o   What’s the key thing you’re going to do now?

4)    Making the most out of the meeting:
·         Be on time – five minutes early!
·         Have video on; voice on mute when not speaking.
·         Close down all other disruptive screens.
·         Be concise and clear.  Don’t ramble.

5)    Presenting your best self:
·         Raise your screen to eye-level.
·         Keep your head and shoulders visible on-screen.
·         Be in natural light – no backs to the window though.
·         Check your image out – nothing embarrassing behind you that may appear on screen.
·         Stand Up and Fight.  Look smart, focused and ‘on’.  Dress accordingly.

KR