As many people have discovered these past eighteen months, the best meeting you had in any given week is often the one you didn’t have. Couple this with the newly found wisdom that a tactically arranged quick five-minute zoom call can head off a tedious, elongated and regularly distracting email thread, and you have ingredients for a mini-call boom.
Longer video engagements pleasingly consigned to memory. Video calls happily to reduce in both length and frequency.
Although early days, I am hearing of people turning down in-person meetings.
Not always due to fears from the newly termed ‘echo pandemic’ or variant extending restrictions. But more simply that a one-off trip somewhere is being deemed unpalatable.
Why be on the road for half a day? Even with a phone in hand. When a swift zoom can mean the rest of the day is free for tasks not eaten into by travel, even if only ‘down the road’. Allowing focus on anything from deep work to tasks that cannot or need not be done on the hoof.
Think about what you might use such shortform visual call for.
Show one thing, talk through a diagram, progressive disclosure of pivotal graph.
Something where a visual anchor, hook or memory will prove important.
So how about this for a recipe addition.
The Athlete Moment at the Tokyo Olympics.
The idea being that for the sports where their arena allows, nearest and dearest prevented from attending can still share in the moment from afar.
Above, an example from the pool.
Below, one fresh from the taekwondo mat.
There’s potentially highly valuable tips to borrow from this initiative.
Perhaps the overall idea – and for full disclosure, I blog here as someone recently doing just this for the first-time hybrid embracing office – is that you can fashion your own office space in which to borrow this set up for yourselves.
A small, dedicated corner of the building where short, sharp, snappy video calls can take place. Even better if it can double up for both standing and sitting.
Also note how the screen is raised. With camera appearing to be in the top of its frame. Remember the webcam rule, the higher the better. Which in this case also seems to maximise the glow from stadium lighting.
Finally, note how the olympian is the focus. They occupy the largest and most central gallery slot. Whilst not every video platform may allow for such easily replicated placing, if you have such a rig then you can own the call.
Notice too how loved ones tend to follow the traditional nostril-cam pose.
If you both stand and set up properly, you will at least subconsciously be seen to be leading the call. A great place to start from.