Overcome the Zoom Doom: Humanize Your Virtual Experiences
Before the pandemic, we weren’t so used to virtual meetings and remote work. Of course, we all had experience with Facetime or Skype to chat with our friends and family abroad. But now, conference calls are a part of everyday life. Love them or hate them, virtual event trends show that online meetings are here to stay.
Now that we’re settling in the new normal, we can see that there’s no shortage of video conference calls, whether for virtual happy hours, or zoom calls between colleagues. Remote work and hybrid work is now more popular than ever but entrepreneurs and recruiters know that to keep their team happy they need to do something about the infamous Zoom doom.
What is Zoom doom?
When we go to a real-life meeting most of us look forward to the interaction with our team members, so where does Zoom doom come from? The Zoom doom or a feeling of dread before a zoom meeting is caused by how our minds are built. Studies show that our attention spans shorten when we’re watching things online. So, it’s more difficult to pay attention to an online event than a physical one. As well as that, so many activities have moved online, so our eyes are constantly looking at screens.
Whether you are a startup, a small businesses, or multi-national company, the Zoom doom affects all of us. So, in an age where online events are more popular than physical ones, we need to tackle this infamous Zoom doom.
Fear not, we have 5 ideas that will humanize your next video call.
How can I overcome the Zoom doom?
1. Create an agenda
There’s no worse feeling than attending an event and not knowing what is happening. Sometimes with technical difficulties or delays, people can log on late to a virtual event and miss the agenda. Then they are wondering when the event will end, leading to the dreaded screen fatigue.
Before your virtual event make sure you email a detailed agenda so everyone is on the same page. There are some key points you need on your agenda to avoid Zoom doom:
- Breaks: give everyone a chance to stretch their legs and give their eyes a break from the screen.
- Interactive activities: no one wants to hear the same voice for the whole event. Let your attendees know when they can expect a fun event to look forward to.
- Quizzes or questions: everyone loves a good quiz but make sure you let your guests know when it is happening so they can listen out for the answers. That way, they won’t be afraid to unmute and speak up.
2. Turn on your camera
Logging onto an event only to see a bunch of black screens is a perfect recipe for Zoom doom. It’s always nice to put a face to the name, so do that by turning your camera on. If you’re attending a virtual event with your camera off, everyone else will do the same so make sure to set an example.
Sure, you can’t turn on cameras at a large event, but encourage your guests to turn them on when they’re in breakout rooms or at their Remo tables. Make sure to send out an email before the event and avoid people logging on with bed hair!
Naturally, there are many benefits of turning your cameras on. It helps to avoid screen fatigue and also makes the meeting feel more similar to physical contact. Your guests will be able to see hand gestures and facial expressions so they can interact better with each other. Be sure to hide your view of your camera, so you’re not looking at yourself all day. This can also cause feelings of zoom fatigue, as it’s not natural to stare at ourselves all day.
3. Use your virtual platform features
As we already mentioned, our attention spans decrease when we’re watching an online event or meeting. So naturally, we need to change the structure of our online meetings to avoid Zoom doom. It’s a good idea to cut back on lengthy talks about one topic. Instead, your event should use short talks followed by some interactive task or quiz.
There are interactive virtual platforms features that you can use to spice up your event:
- Breakout rooms
- Question and answer features
- Round tables
Not all virtual event platforms have the same features, so be sure to pick one that has features like the ones stated above, and that allows people to interact.
Remo is the perfect example, on top of all those features, it has interactive floor plans that will transform your event into a whole new location. This will help with Zoom doom as your attendees will be looking at something new on their screen, walking around, and be engaged in the event.
4. Add visuals
As the saying goes a picture speaks a thousand words. This is more true for virtual events where one voice can be boring. Zoom fatigue can be caused because we miss out on facial expressions and gestures. A good idea for event engagement is using pictures and videos.
There are a few virtual platform features that can help you to present images and videos:
- Screen Sharing: Some virtual event platforms such as Remo will allow you to share your screen while you are presenting as well as at your table. This is useful if you want to show a presentation, website, social media, or app during your event.
- Miro Whiteboard: The whiteboard function has different colors and sticky notes to present your information in a clear way. You can add text boxes to the screen to type text and change the size and color of the text.
- PowerPoint: Although basic, PowerPoint can be useful to break up an event and help with Zoom doom. The ‘slide design’ feature will automatically format your slides. At the touch of a button, your slide and images will be arranged in an interactive format. You can also embed videos in your PowerPoint so students can take a quick break from your voice to someone else's.
5. Positioning is key
As well as the mental strain of zoom doom, there are also physical effects. If you’re spending all day sitting at a screen there’s a high chance that you’re straining many of your back and neck muscles. Be sure to position your screen at eye level to avoid overstretching your neck. Take regular breaks to walk out and stretch your muscles. There are some stretches that help relieve muscle tension:
- Towel stretch: lie down and use a towel to stretch out your legs and remove tension from your hamstrings.
- Chin tuck: place your finger on your chin and hold your finger in the air. Then try to move your chin back. You’ll notice your shoulder and neck muscles straighten, giving you a better seated position.
- Side to side neck tilt: sit down with your arms by your side and touch your ear to your shoulder. This will loosen out your tense neck muscles.
You could send out position advice to your guests or employees. It’s a nice caring touch and will help with the well-being of your attendees or team members.
And there you have it!
Now you have our secret tips to avoid zoom doom at your next virtual event. Of course, you can’t host a virtual event without an interactive platform. Remo can help you to put all these 5 tips to practice with our engaging features like breakout rooms and customizable floor plans.