Find out if it’s possible to fight Zoom fatigue as businesses climb out of the pandemic slump.
This time last year, businesses were adjusting to the challenges of three months of quarantine and working from home. Some industries were grounded and unable to get out in the field to see clients. Medical sales teams and other industries who work in, with and around the Healthcare industry especially saw their everyday lives change and have not started traveling even now. The truth is there isn’t an industry that wasn’t affected by the restrictions of COVID-19. Enter Zoom, a virtual meeting solution custom-tailored for a pandemic. (Don’t we all wish we had the foresight to have invested in that technology?) The online platform quickly became how the globe connected – for everything. From reaching out to clients and other team members to virtual happy hours and checking in on grandparents, we all got very comfortable with using Zoom.
Zoom’s incredible dominance in the early days of the pandemic made other platforms like Microsoft Teams, Skype, and WebEx up their game. Month by month, we saw improvements in the platform like break out rooms so large meetings could divide into smaller sessions. Privacy controls and the ability to record meetings got better. We all learned how to master backgrounds and filters (well some of us did.) We found the perfect spot in our houses where the wi-fi worked best, there was a generic but attractive wall behind us, and the dogs and kids couldn’t get into the room. We even went out and bought little lights to put on our screens. It has been an amazing transformation. I think we’d be hard pressed to find another time when a technology was adopted by so many people so quickly. We adapted because we had to. We adapted because the world around us demanded it on every front. From personal to business, from school to recreation, Zoom is everywhere.
And that’s why we’re exhausted. Well that’s one of many reasons we’re exhausted. But right now we’re talking about Zoom exhaustion. Some of us have spent hours and hours on Zoom each week. Back to back to back meetings at work, then we jump right back on it to connect with our friends and family.
That’s a lot of time spent in front of the screen staring at other talking heads. Granted some of those talking heads are a sight for sore eyes and we love them, but…it’s just not the same. Participating in a Zoom call is very different from having a face-to-face conversation. Looking at a gallery of faces and waiting patiently for your turn to talk takes patience and nuance. The pauses in conversation are different. Running a meeting with a client can be impersonal if you’re not careful. If someone has a bad connection, you wait, you try to tell them that no one can hear them. It takes a lot out of us. And honestly, most people right now are just over all the zoom calls. But the truth is Zoom is not going away. Even with the US and some countries around the world opening up, it’s going to be a slow process to start engaging again. At least in the way we used to. So what do we do? How can we fall in love with Zoom again?
Here are 5 helpful tips for building an engaging virtual meeting:
- Interactivity – It isn’t just about presenting. Ask questions, gather thought-provoking input from your attendees and let them feel in control of the story.
- Visuals – Of course you never want a screen filled with tons of text to read, so create graphics and imagery that give the attendee a desire to learn more.
- Flow – Know where you’re headed in your messaging before the meeting starts, but be prepared to take another path if something else sparks their interest.
- Confidence – Believe in what you are presenting and have the information and documents to back it up.
- Sharing – If the attendee wants to take time on their own to digest what you have just presented, send it to their inbox on the spot.
73% of video call attendees use their meeting time to do other work. Keep these things in mind knowing that if you’re presenting to a board room of executives or a customer working from home, they will stay engaged throughout.
The good news is that most schools will probably be back to some sort of in-person schedule in the fall. At least our kids will be able to get over some sort of zoom fatigue. Families are getting vaccinated, so you may be able to see your extended family for in-person family get-togethers.
So that leaves the business community.
Some industries are opening up slower than others. Some industries have figured out that the restrictions of working from home have actually helped some employees. There will be some who don’t want to go back to the way we did things before. Employees may have gotten used to the flexibility of working from home and utilizing Zoom or other platforms to facilitate meetings either externally or internally. That flexibility gives employees more control on how they structure their workday and work process. However, it also allows us to multi-task like maniacs. We may be doing different kinds of work while at home. Our attention spans are probably getting shorter and shorter. Our ability to focus in long meetings is minimal at best. The video button has a big red line through it while we “listen” to the meeting and are really responding to email, writing the agenda for the next meeting we need to get to or maybe we’re just folding laundry. If you’re hosting a Zoom call how do you go beyond the talking head scenario?
With the trade show circuit slowly ramping up and traveling to interact with clients and prospective customers also opening up, we’ll see some movement away from Zoom. But it won’t be overnight. For many companies, the idea of hosting a booth at a convention may be too much to consider right now. Those sales reps will continue to use Zoom to bridge the gap and keep themselves visible with their customers. So how do you break through the white noise of Zoom fatigue with those prospective customers who you don’t have a personal connection with?
The “Share your Screen” functionality seems like it’s the natural answer. Once you get the hang of it, it sure is. But you have to do it right. It certainly does give the meeting some respite from the gallery of talking heads. However, if all you’re sharing is an excel spreadsheet on your desktop or a boring Powerpoint, you’re gaining nothing and could be losing everything. Here are some key questions to ask yourself:
- What do you want to show your client?
- Do you have the right material prepared?
- Is the material interesting and speaks to your client’s pain points?
- Is the material presented in a way that’s engaging?
- Is your material flexible enough to allow for questions and re-directs?
- Do you have the ability to customize your material as the conversation progresses?
- Does your presentation get your customer excited about what you’re selling or presenting?
- Is your client going to remember your call the next day?
- Can you make a lasting impression with this call?
- Does your presentation make you excited about the call?
Asking yourself these questions is the first step to making your Zoom calls more dynamic, engaging and most importantly, more effective. We need more dynamic media to engage with and content that speaks directly to our needs. Building a customizable presentation is necessary in this fast paced environment. Now you know what you want the presentation to do for you, so how do you build it? Look for a mobile app platform that can deliver the flexibility you need. Command.App is one platform that uses dynamic navigational templates to build a mobile app that looks like a completely custom built app just for your company. Whether you’re looking for something to show off your product lines, demo a complex machine, or pull up spec sheets for specific items in question, Command.App handles it all in an interactive, seamless experience. You can share your iPad screen, launch the app and guide the conversation exactly where it needs to go. Beautiful imagery, infographics and motion immediately pull the viewer in. Your information never looked so good. From the first call, where you need to give a high level overview all the way through specific follow-up questions, you’ll have everything you need to answer questions and show off your company in a completely new way. This high impact app will change the way you do a Zoom meeting for your business. Once you stop sharing your screen and go back to the gallery view, you’ll probably hear, “hey what was that? That was cool, can I see that one thing again?” You’ve won them over. At this point there is a set of Next Step items you can cover, you can give them access to your content or you can sign that deal. One thing is certain, you definitely look like the innovative company you’ve claimed to be.
You don’t want to be another check box on someone’s to-do list.
You want to be the call that they talk about at the dinner table. “I had the best call today!” “It just flew by.” “I saw everything I needed to see.” “It was so easy to understand.” “I had the most interesting call today.”
And just like that, we fall in love with our Zoom calls again.
Want to see how Command.App can enhance your virtual meeting experience? Click here to learn more.