As a software provider, virtual meetings are nothing new to us. We have been doing online demos of our products and virtual internal meetings for many years. So, for us, this is our normal way of doing business. But this isn’t true for most companies, and it certainly isn’t true for most people. Who would have thought that our children would be going to school virtually and that tours of Senior Living Communities would be conducted virtually in 2020?
I would like to talk about some of the plusses and minuses of this new way of doing business, learning, or just interacting with family and friends, and how we can be more effective in these virtual meetings.
Most of us have been exposed to using virtual technology to communicate with our family and friends via tools like FaceTime and Zoom. Even grandparents have become accustomed to using virtual technology to talk to their children and grandchildren. Our family has even had Zoom parties for birthdays and anniversaries. While these are a little more challenging than virtual business meetings, it is very doable for almost everyone.
How to avoid talking over each other? Designate someone to take charge.
The issue on these calls is sometimes the technology itself, but mostly it is everyone trying to talk at once. We see this all the time on TV with news panels. The panelists talk over each other. That’s why, when conducting or participating in one of these video calls, it’s important to remember to give people time to talk. Don’t interrupt. If you are talking, keep it short and give other people the time to jump in. This is true even if you are only meeting with one or two other people. Pay attention so that you can tell when someone else is trying to talk.
I recently participated in a Zoom birthday party that didn’t work so well. For one thing, some people were on cell phones which limits visibility. No one was in charge and everyone talked over each other!
That’s why you might want to consider having someone designated to run the meeting. Let them direct and monitor the conversation and control who can talk and when. You could even use the old “raise your hand” approach. That way everyone will have a chance to contribute and be heard.
Not all of us are comfortable with virtual sessions. Respect that and be patient.
I have a daughter who is teaching 9-year-old children virtually, and grandchildren who have online classes. They have a lot of funny stories about the kids’ antics on the camera. My youngest grandchild even fell asleep for two hours before the teacher called his father to go find him and make sure he was okay. The bottom line is that some kids are just fine with virtual school and some aren’t. Isn’t that kind of like us adults? Some of us get it and some don’t!
This holds true as well for using virtual technology to connect with your senior living prospects. Some will get it and some won’t. It’s important to make sure you are sensitive to this. But also be prepared to be surprised. Seniors are more tech savvy than just they were just 5 to 10 years ago. And future senior living prospects will be even more technology savvy. So get ready!
Looking towards the future…
One more thought. Imagine if you are a student and you could learn virtually from the leading scholar on a given subject, wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t it also be great for that scholar to be able to reach thousands of students virtually in one virtual session? For kids in school, leading experts on different subjects could teach thousands of kids virtually, while still having the local teacher handle one on one support if needed. Pretty amazing, right?
Virtual meetings are opening up a world of possibilities. So it benefits all of us to get better at attending them and participating in them. By being respectful of each other and fine tuning our own skill sets, we’ll get there. We have to! Who knows what the future holds and what new technologies are around the corner?
Give us a call at 800-570-6030 and see how Continuum CRM can improve your sales and marketing effectiveness without breaking the bank. Or, feel free to visit our website www.continuumcrm.com to learn more.