What is your virtual meeting persona?
September 21, 2021
Throughout the pandemic, most of us have switched from face-to-face meetings to video conferencing and virtual meetings. And as we transition to the post-pandemic world, it is predicted that almost 70% of meetings will continue to remain online. This means that, almost everyone has had some sort of exposure to web conference software and screen sharing apps like Zoom, Teams or Google Meet. The funny thing is that, although the apps might be different, the virtual meeting experience is almost identical. Every meeting blurs into the next, every day blurs into the next; you might even feel like the main character from the movie “Groundhog Day.”
How different are your meetings? In the best-case scenario, someone might begin with an ice breaker conversation or a persona story that is memorable, but ultimately, every meeting ends up with the host presenting PowerPoint slides while the audience minds their own business.
Based on a lot of meetings and research, I differentiated four types of meeting attendees and wanted to share my thoughts.
Do You Multitask During Your Online Meetings?
This type of person is very productivity during remote meetings, not listening to you! They keep the screen sharing app open but their camera is off as they work on other things. Their slogan is: “Get the work done.” They might be working on business and personal duties, switching from checking emails to creating a shopping list and searching for products. As the multitasker is not paying attention, you usually call out their name a few times to get them to respond or unmute themselves! We have all been there.
According to a Wired article multitasking can be a coping mechanism to zoom fatigue and there are ways you can combat this. Our own survey indicates that almost 43% of meeting attendees are multitasking. How do you stop the multitasker and get them to focus?
Famous Multitasker quote: “I’m sorry, I missed that last part. Do you mind repeating it?”
Multitaskers don’t want to waste time. Most PowerPoint slides can be a huge waste of time. When PowerPoint was invented, its purpose was to be a visual aid to the presenter. These days when we present a full screen slide and talk non-stop, we quickly lose our audiences’ attention and make it hard for them to focus. Most people can scan the slide and process information faster than you can read it out loud! If you are just repeating the information on the slide, you will quickly lose the multitasker.
So go back to using the slide as a visual aid. Don’t fill it with your entire talk track and just repeat the lines. Next, realize that people connect with other people, and we resonate with conversations and not the presentation. Reactiv SUITE allow you to pin your camera and make yourself as large as your content, so your multitasking audience connects with you. It lets them feel like they are having a real conversation with a person versus passively listening to your presentation.
Are You the Gamer?
Are you one of the remote meeting gamers? Come one, admit it. These days, we are all trying to not fall asleep during virtual meetings, but some of us are brushing up on our video game skills and are trying to get to the next level just to keep ourselves occupied.
According to this article on Vox , games like animal crossing have exploded in use during virtual meetings. Almost everyone of us suffers from some level of ADHD these days and games can help us to focus and occupy our brains when the meeting gets boring.
Famous Gamer quote: “Hold on for a second….”
To connect with these individuals, you must make your presentation dynamic and interactive. Realize that humans are visual learners, and our brains need visual stimulus. Staring endlessly at static slides is not going to cut it. Reactiv SUITE allows you to create a dynamic presentation that is not only interactive but engaging to your audience; even the participants with the attention span of a four year old!
Have a conversation with your audience and pull up content and media dynamically into your presentation. Use ink and highlight important information. Fluidly move and arrange your content to create visual interest. Doing this can create a rich visual landscape that augments your presentation and helps focus your audience so they don’t have to resort to other techniques during your meetings.
Are you the Ghost?
Our research shows that is the most popular type of people during online meetings. These people attend the meetings but rarely turn on their camera and have their microphone muted for the entire time. They are truly speechless, and you never hear a peep out of them! You can feel their presence, as their user bubble is right there, but there is no proof that they exist!
Famous Ghost quote: […silence…]
By definition most online presentations are very passive experiences. The host takes over and just presents. In order to engage the ghosts, we have to start having conversations. We need to be able to ask questions and show them that their voice has a value. Keep your static PowerPoint presentations to a maximum of ten minutes. Ask questions and direct them towards your audience. When they answer, show that their opinion matters by giving them visual feedback.
Reactiv SUITE allows you to create an online whiteboard where you can write down their questions and thoughts. Ask a question and write down their responses to show them that their comments are important. More democratic meetings where everyone’s voice is heard will make your meetings more powerful and meaningful.
Transform your meetings
Zoom hell is the current reality; you are exhausted in never ending virtual meetings where PowerPoint slides are shared. But there is hope for you! There are a new generation of presentation tools, like Reactiv SUITE, that can help you break free from boring meetings. You can make everyone in your meeting an active participant, regardless of their virtual meeting persona.