What grinds my gears – video calls

Photo by ThisIsEngineering on Pexels.com

Another in the occasional series when I have a vent. This one feels especially relevant during the lockdown.

You might have Zoom, Hangouts, or Skype, and they might be brilliant, but lots of people can’t use them. Make sure you have a dial-in option for people who can’t use your platform.

Don’t promise to send slides out afterwards. Send them before so we can review them beforehand.

Use headphones with a microphone – otherwise you’ll have:
an echo chamber
whistling feedback
Dalek voice

Don’t use video by default – just because you have good connection doesn’t mean everyone else does. Likewise, screen sharing take a lot of bandwidth so send the slides out beforehand (see above).

Raise your screen – chin cams are unflattering.

Keep an eye on the chat, people are still engaging even if they’re not speaking.

Did this need to be a call? Would an e-mail have worked just as well?

Know how to mute everyone and tell people how to unmute themselves at the start.

Don’t expect everyone to speak. I’m often most engaged with my eyes closed, listening and reflecting on what people are saying.

Don’t make them fun on purpose. Your view of fun might be someone’s eternal torment. If they’re are going to be ‘fun’, make attendance optional.

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