(other platforms are available 😀)
I have made no bones about moving some elements of my consultancy into virtual training in 2019. This was fundamentally clear to anyone who saw me on webinars and Facebook Lives in March and April 2020 with many commenting and asking ‘where did you get your banner?’. Many where asking how quickly did I have that? My answer being that I had already bought the banner with an explanation as to why.
Initially we were forgiving of the ‘backgrounds’ online, even enjoying the sneak peak into houses we had not seen before, focusing more on the book shelves, clutter and style of our colleagues instead of what they were saying.
In May 2020 I even discovered an ‘enhance your appearance’ setting in the video setting of Zoom. So that was why I looked better on my brand new Macbook rather than my 10-year-old iMac! Quite frankly it saved me a fortune as I was considering buying a new iMac thinking the webcam alone was well worth the upgrade!
Hopefully by now those of you holding online events have a banner (rather than the image you can import into Zoom that gives you a funny looking head), a professional background (no beds please), ‘enhance your appearance’ button on, our ‘see yourself’ turned off. That is my new fav!
But what about the huge heap of lovely dental folk attending these meetings?
I work alongside many other trainers and representatives and have been met with many questions of late that start with ‘how do you handle….?’
If you know me you will not find it surprising to know that I have requirements if you are online with me. I now stipulate these requirements for two reasons:
So, here is my Zoom 2020 etiquette list, designed to support the army of dental trainers and representatives who are doing a grand job in difficult circumstances, and to refocus the profession with the etiquette that we should provide face to face:
I welcome any attendee to put themselves in the shoes of a presenter. Even seasoned pro’s can become nervous on a stage. But the one thing they know is that as soon as they start the crowd will give them energy and they will soon find their flow.
Now imagine that you have to deliver this training into a lifeless webcam to a screen of black horizontal rectangles. You are making their life very difficult. We are missing the smiling faces in front of us.
If this is a study club or CPD event we also need to know you are really there.
I and many others will now remove delegates from the meeting if your video is off.
Likewise, if we want you to be unmuted please do not mute yourself.
Use headphones if it is a large / group call to limit feedback. There is always one person who has their sound on maximum, do not let it be you. We can see who it is and do not want to call you out in the training and ask you to turn the sound down, we would rather you save face.
A general rule of thumb is:
It is distracting and no-one will thank you for it. It is not cool. Please wash and dress for the event.
Now you may be a dental representative or trainer who’s wondering ‘so how do you this Laura?’ The answer is simple – advance communication.
I will liaise with the manager, lead or owner before the training to confirm the outcomes and time frames.
On this call / Zoom I confirm with them:
Finally, I ask:
I have been fortunate enough to work with so many practices in the last few months and delivering training online – thank you all for your professionalism.
It has meant a lot to me and gives me energy to provide you with great online training sessions.
Wishing you all successful meeting in the future!