Your audience will compare your presentation to television, sorry to say. That means if you want to be successful, and thus beat Zoom fatigue, you need to produce a show.
Most, if not all, financial advisors have switched their client education programs to online platforms, like Zoom and Google Meets. Those clients may have, shall we say, tired of Zoom? It’s created a phenomenon everyone can relate to. ““Zoom fatigue” is real, and it’s a real bummer.” The sudden and dramatic increase in the length of time folks spend on Zoom calls may have creased a permanent cringe reaction to anything Zoom-like. “The average remote manager spends over twenty hours every week in meetings.” How can you or other advisors on your team still produce effective client seminars? There’s no quick answer, but a few solid tips from professionals discussed below may help.
Acknowledge that it is more than oversaturation, its actual fatigue. As one expert noted “Video calls add audio latency, break natural eye-contact habits, force us to remain seated in the center of a frame, and show us our own image to obsess over. All of this takes extra effort and leads to more fatigue than a physical meeting.” And it is the experience of a Zoom meeting, not being online that creates the fatigue. Experts note a lack of fatigue from online gaming. That could be because online gaming has structured rules of interaction, is interactive and also has an element of surprise or novelty. Those same elements may help you win your audience at your next Zoom event.
Content first. “People even report feeling like they’re giving a presentation when they’re in a Zoom call, and thus face unhealthy amounts of stress and anxiety.” Consider that a financial advisor’s topic, e.g., retirement, will be a stressful one no matter what, so address the stress ahead of time. Sending slides or an overview ahead of time might help reduce the stress for your attendees (or might help your clients actually be attendees). Additionally, acknowledging stress ahead of time by sending a branded stress buster (like a squeeze ball, fidget toy or even branded Dammit Doll) could be of use for some clients. Some folks find sending slides to be used on the Zoom call ahead of time, but with blank content to be filled in by clients to be useful. Others suggest getting the agenda for the call out ahead of time, and making sure that you stick to it.
1, 2, 3 Your Way to Good Program Planning. Other experts suggest that you plan your Zoom event by specific numbers. Start with how many people you expect to attend, then move to how long your event may be, and also factor in the time of day.
And the Emmy goes to… You. Your audience will compare your presentation to television, sorry to say. That means if you want to be successful, and thus beat Zoom fatigue, you need to produce a show. Plan to “develop a show that is comprehensive in structure, production, graphics, and formatting that effectively keep the viewers engaged.”You can use graphics tools like the free presentation creator at Canva.com which lets you easily overlay voice or music over slides or graphics.
Add Space to the Void. Online gaming may be less tiresome than a Zoom call because it feels less confrontative. “According to Stanford professor Jeremy Bailenson, videoconferencing closely resembles having a conversation with someone just 2 feet away from you.” That 2 foot zone is where all things intimate occur, including combat. If you opt to change everyone’s view to speaker view on Zoom, you can decrease the amount of time your audience will spend having someone in a zone they think of as combative. Additionally, you can choose to aim your webcam at your self so that you appear farther away. There’s no good reason for only your head and shoulders to appear on screen when you are presenting. Instead opt for changing positions and even walking on screen (if your webcam can handle the change of focus). This will decrease the fight response and also could increase feelings of interaction.
About that Interaction. Most experts suggest that interactivity happen in spurts, otherwise it can create long, quiet periods. Some interactive options include Q&A sessions and live polls. Additionally, having more than one speaker can help create a sense of interaction in your audience.
Cut the Chatter. Side chats in the little box might be fun gossip or even great for adding links. But those are distractions, and distraction causes Zoom fatigue. Save questions and comments for the end of presentations.However, do follow up with your audience. You can send a copy of the recording to them. You might even want to go one step farther and make it easy for folks to forward it to others by imbedding a link in the email that will collect all the formatting and attachments.
These articles are prepared for general purposes and are not intended to provide advice or encourage specific behavior. Before taking any action, Advisors and Plan Sponsors should consult with their compliance, finance and legal teams.
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