The past few years have forced a change in how we hold nonprofit business meetings. Videoconferencing is now a standard part of most organizational cultures. How often we meet by video depends on the type of work we are engaged in and the organizational culture. Well-planned and well-facilitated video meetings can provide time for focused productive discussion. A quick video session can be a great way to break isolation. These calls can create “face to face” meetings when you and your team members are in different locations.
Still, there are “zoom bombers” to contend with. Think back to the early days of adjusting to the pandemic and the relentless number of video conferences. During that time a zoom bomber was an uninvited participant who would hijack a meeting sharing images that were offensive, lewd, childish, racist, and more. Thankfully technology has adapted, and the earlier form of zoom bombing is pretty much a thing of the past. But today you could be a zoom bomber and not even know it!
Here are some things that can qualify you as a 2023 zoom bomber. You eat and drink during a video conference. Worse yet, you eat while you are the facilitator! The television or radio is playing in the background and you are not on mute. You don’t show your face during the meeting, so people look at a meme or your name instead of interacting with you. You are driving during the zoom meeting, or you participate from a public space with lots of background noise, a poor connection, and people walking by in the background. Other qualifications for the honor of 2023 zoom bomber include not addressing technology challenges prior to the call; conducting other business or taking care of family matters during the session. Today’s bombers include those who arrive late and leave early with the declaration “I’m so busy.” Others are inattentive, unresponsive, or unprepared for the call. Poor lighting and sound, inappropriate apparel, and disengaged body language can contribute to a downer of a meeting. Same thing with a lack of introductions and a sharing of why people are gathered together.
We’re all guilty of some of these some of the time. But we can step up our game and do better. Video conferencing is a more concentrated form of communication and sometimes people and their ideas can be misunderstood or misinterpreted. People can easily read things into body language and facial expressions that are not true: do what you can to minimize this. For example, you may need to eat lunch or drive or have your camera off during a call. When this happens, take a moment to let others know what’s going on. That helps them understand your situation. If you can, turn your camera on when speaking. We’re people, and as such we can be judgmental of each other. Don’t let that diminish the value of your video conferencing. Stay engaged and don’t be a zoom bomber.
Copyright 2023 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Video and phone conferencing services always available. Let us help you grow your fundraising. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com.