Virtual Workshops: Zooming to Win!
7 May 2020 - 15:52, by , in Public speaking tips, Comments off

Before March 18, 2020, I had been working with a few individuals remotely. However, if I was told that I’d be giving a workshop virtually, I wouldn’t have believed it! My workshop is about people and I need to be in the room with them. But in came the pandemic and I needed to adapt. 

Last week I gave my first workshop via Zoom and this is what I learned:

Speak to the camera. My husband drew an arrow on a piece of paper and attached it to the screen. Since I did have people in different areas of the screen, I did look at them but I managed to focus on the small dot of the camera when giving general advice.

I stand a lot in my workshops and I needed to find the spot on the floor where people could see from my torso on up. 

I had to have a chair handy that didn’t move around when I was sitting.  

The Gallery View function allowed me to see everyone in the group.

In my workshops there are times when the group works in pairs. Part of me thought that I should just forgo this exercise in the workshop but since it is an integral element, I wanted to try to implement this feature. The Break Out rooms are brilliant and you can even arrange the groups before the workshop, which saves time and makes you look like you know what you’re doing. Usually I give pairs a couple of minutes to go over the assignment. A comment from a participant was that they needed more time to set up. That’s something I’ll remember next time.

Here is a link on how to use Break Out rooms:

Sometimes, in a bigger group, it is necessary for the leader to speak with more volume. I had to remember that on video I was standing quite close to the computer’s microphone and everyone could hear me so there was no need to be super loud.

Breathe, breathe breathe! Taking deep breaths activates the parasympathetic nervous system and has a calming effect on us. If anything goes awry, keep breathing. Your audience will wait.

Think of this as a learning experience rather than a failure. You are just trying your best.

Laugh it off and let it go.

One of the most important things is to relax. Remember that we are all in this together and this is a perfect time to learn this new way of giving workshops.