An online speaker vs. Zoom fatigue
It was a beautiful Sunday in Toronto, the sun was shining, a perfect day to enjoy the outdoors. And yet, some 40 households set up their Zoom video links to log in to a talk on innovation in the time of Covid-19.
While the talk is packed with exciting stories of health breakthroughs, wild ideas that will change how we do things, and tales of fun coronavirus inventions – it would have been understandable if participants had chosen to go for a walk outside instead.
After all, another Zoom call – and on the weekend, to boot, could have been deemed too much.
Zoom fatigue is a real phenomenon. Google searches are up on this happening.
When the pandemic first sent us into social distancing, the concept of being able to access online lectures and webinars was exciting. And then there was a deluge of offerings.
For speakers and lecturers, it is a Catch-22 situation. On the one hand, Covid-19 made it necessary to go online. On the other hand, we’re up against the Zoom fatigue phenomenon.
Now more so that ever, offering a lively, interactive talk is even more important.
The Harvard Business Review has a great article on why we find video calls so draining. The article also gives tips for listeners on how to stay engaged.
As a speaker, it’s my responsibility to keep the audience connected, too.
Yes, we’re in a virtual meeting space. But when I randomly ask for audience participation – even when I’m in Tel Aviv and the group to which I’m speaking to is in North America – I know that my audience is tuned in. When possible, I’ll use platforms like Mentimeter to hold the focus, too.
And though the sun was shining in Toronto during my latest talk, Zoom fatigue was nowhere to be found. The Q&A session at the end of this talk on innovation stories was hopping.
Perhaps the only hang up of this online lecture was the goodbye. It was straight out of the End of Every Zoom Meeting Meme.