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  • Writer's pictureViva Sarah Press

Here’s why I love giving Zoom talks

When Covid-19 took over the world, this borderless viral disease wiped out my speaking schedule.

Groups of tourists, who were meant to come to Israel, weren’t coming anymore. For the foreseeable future, I wasn’t going to meet communities in the UK or North America.

So, I turned to Zoom.

Actually, it makes sense for my talks to be given using an online platform. I do, after all, tell innovation stories. And many of these stories show the impact innovation has on our lives.

With seven years of broadcast media experience in my professional career, I knew that giving talks online via video platforms was not going to be the same as face-to-face lectures.

Of course, it shouldn’t be the same.

I created a new talk on Covid-19-inspired innovations. And I built it to be interactive.

There are too many webinars and online lectures that don’t differentiate between virtual and face-to-face. My kids score their teachers, who are Zoomed into our home every day.

When you take into consideration the change in eye contact and how online body language plays a role in conveying a message, it is possible (and even easy) to keep interest and engagement.

Online talks do not have to be boring. Or monotonous. Or draining.

I try to make use of the technologies available.

For me, keeping a rapport with my audience is of the utmost importance.

Q&A sessions are great for participation. On Zoom, not everyone likes to have the camera focus on them. So, I use chat, and the help of another co-host, to keep Q&A a relevant part of my talks without putting the audience in an uncomfortable zone.

When the audience is tech-savvy enough, I love adding to my presentations. Building word clouds or word bubbles together adds even more fun and engagement.

So far, the talks I’ve given have received great feedback. Every day, I hope new communities will embrace the online platforms as a viable option for hosting talks in their communities.

And while I do miss speaking in front of an audience, I have come to love giving Zoom talks, too.

When the pandemic becomes routine and the world embraces a new normal, and the skies open again, I hope to balance online and face-to-face speaking engagements.

Live audiences and online audiences each offer a creative opportunity in their own way.

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