Page 11 - Scene Magazine 46-01 January 2021
P. 11

Along the same lines is the ability to share your screen and to invite others
to do the same. It can create clarity when engaging participants as long as you trust everyone to understand their buttons. An unintentional screen share can be an opportunity for participants to chuckle, but it can be embarrassing as well. It is strongly recommended to close items on your screen before joining a Zoom meeting, especially if you plan to share your screen. To prevent the unin- tentional or the intentional screen share (sometimes called Zoombombing) as the host you can change the screen sharing setting to “Host only.” You can still invite another to share their screen during the presentation by upgrading a person to co-host.
Video is a category all on its own.
The needs regarding your presentation strongly impact what kind of a set up you need. If a professional appearance
is critical then you may want to go to the extent of not only dressing the part but also setting up a studio-like environment in your work space. Pay special attention to lighting, sounds, surrounding visuals, virtual backgrounds, and more. The tol- erance we all had in the beginning for the dog barking is not as it once was.
Take the time to evaluate what partic- ipants can see when they are looking at you. Is it a professional appearance that you want or a frig full of artwork to give it a home-like feel? Most importantly, make sure it doesn’t give the wrong impres- sion. Whether it’s avoiding the cupboard of bourbon, a sink full of dishes, or even books on the shelves that are none of
anyone else’s business, take the import- ant step of creating the background that is consistent with you. If all else fails find a blank wall with lights that are directed toward your face rather than coming from behind you.
No matter what, be thoughtful about your choices. If necessary turn off your video but keep in mind that people like to see who they are interacting with. And frankly, the video is a great tool for making people feel more connected when they can’t meet in person. If you must, switch to a pre-prepared photo or backdrop. This is more acceptable when you are not the one speaking.
Once your meeting is open and running remember that there is a social context to these meetings as well. It has been recommended that you consider the amount of chitchat that you may have experienced if this meeting were held
in person. If none is the answer, then it should be limited in a Zoom meeting. However, in many cases, some chitchat that leads to an opportunity to connect and laugh with each other helps to estab- lish an environment that opens conversa- tion. Furthermore, long-term engagement and continued participation depends on setting the right environment for interac- tion, discovery, or decision-making.
The bottom line is to know your Zoom controls and how to use them effectively, present yourself as desired, but also cre- ate time at the beginning of each meeting for casual interaction, catching up, and checking mics and cameras to make sure they are working. And then get down to business.
The time will come when COVID is
no longer a factor in decision-making. Until then, we will manage the daily tasks of successfully working from home, overcome reduced socialization and increased stress, all while negotiating time between managing the household, children’s needs, and possibly even homework.
Taking a tip from Napoleon Hill, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Rather than looking forward to some arbitrary new normal I’m seeking the seed of an equal or greater benefit... what I will call the “New Better.” What might that mean?
Part of the “New Better” going forward is that there will continue to be a place
for online meetings and events. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you hold out long enough they will go away. In fact, they will be incorporated into the work environment going forward.
The “New Better” could also include working from a space within the home as the environment of choice. It was once thought that only certain types of jobs could be performed out of the office. The reality is, with thoughtful planning, we have discovered that many more can and will want to.
Every moment we have a choice.
We can choose to look toward positive changes that will come in 2021. Hill says, “Life reflects your own thoughts back to you.” So in the New Year, I will continue to reflect positive thoughts and to know that it will get better... the “New Better.”

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