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Hello, everyone. Welcome to the 5 Minutes podcast. Today I like to talk about online meetings or video conferencing and why I want to talk about that because I need to be honest. In the past year, we are spending most of our time in videoconferencing using this online meetings and meetings and meetings and meetings forever. And you know, I think that because people believe that you are working from home means you are free. You are sitting just waiting for you to be booked for a meeting. And it's not like that. So these kinds of virtual meeting, it's not as effective of course, many times as the actual meeting, but they can be very helpful.
But I think that people do not care too much about how to use it. So I prepare four tips in these four tips. They came from my work even before COVID-19. I used to work a lot online, but now everything I do basically goes through and videoconferencing and this kind of face call and the video calls. So the first thing I want to share with you is camera on. And I knew that many people are so uncomfortable of turning on their cameras, but it's impossible for you to make an, a statement and have a productive discussion. If you only see the small photos or these generic icons, you know, it's people on the other side, you need to read, at least I know it's very hard to read, but you need to read some body language.
Ricardo (1m 41s):
Are people smiling or not? And I know that many people feel very uncomfortable of turning on their cameras because you know, these can maybe display a social status if their house is not as fancy as the other ones. And today we have this kind of fake background and this kind of, you know, online background, just turn it on, just turn it on. If you are uncomfortable to show your, I would say the privacy of your home, just turn it on. That's absolutely no issue on that, but please turn on the camera. And this is something that every time I am talking to someone, I ask them, can we do a video call?
Ricardo (2m 23s):
Then this increases a lot defectiveness of the meeting. The second one is, keep it short and have a crispy agenda for me. There is no way you should do an online meeting above one hour. For me, the magic number is 30 minutes. If you can squeeze it in, maybe even is likes your meeting in chunks of no more than 30 minutes. You will see that it will be excellent. If everybody gets to the call on time, you can do a lot of things in 30 minutes and it's short so people can pay attention. Each you do meetings of two, three, four, well hours online.
Ricardo (3m 3s):
I am a hundred percent sure it will not work. It will not work. People will get distracted. People will start working. People start doing other things. They will just turn off their camera and do something else. So keep it short and sharp and what I do and what I say, suggest that if you need scandal two or three calls, 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes in the afternoon, 20 minutes at the end of the day. No problem. If everybody is working from home, it's easy for you to do that. But we for crispy sharp agenda, these will help you dramatically. Third one have a leader. It's not because it's online. That is just everybody talking at the same time.
Ricardo (3m 44s):
You need to have someone that will moderate the meeting. Someone that will make sure we are unfocused. Make sure that we discuss what is needed to discuss, to keep people on track. Start on time, finishing on time. You need to have a leader to do that. So every single meeting must have someone that will take a lead and will organize everything about that meeting for one big company and safe, and why I'm telling you this because you know, very few people have the benefit of having a nice office, a silent office, or a silent area to work. Most of the people today, they're working at the dinner table, sitting in the sofa, in their living room or in the bedroom.
Ricardo (4m 29s):
So you need to understand that, you know, people may cross, people may talk, you know, that may be your path will just jump on you during a call. And first you need to be comprehensive with the orders. If, for example, I am in a meeting and then I start hearing some screaming of a child. You know, this is part of this current moment in our life. And this is of working from home and there are several benefits, but this is something that is a challenge. And second be complacency. We feel ourselves because I know people that say, look, I'm working, everybody must be silent. Then you live in a two bedroom apartment with two kids, four years and three years.
Ricardo (5m 13s):
And you want them to stay silent for eight hours. This will never work. You will just add a layer of stress in your life. So my strong advice to you just relax, take it easy. You know, if there is a noise or something, you just say, look, I'm sorry. I have some issue here. I'll put myself on mute for 30 seconds and then I'll try to sort out that's it. It's how life is. So don't try to make an artificial environment on your life because if these were supposed to be a one meeting, I would say, okay, it makes sense. But if you're doing this five times a day during one year, it will not be helpful. And last but not least take notes or record the meeting, someone must take notes of the meeting because many times, because people are not seeing each other, they just don't take notes.
Ricardo (6m 3s):
And then at the end of the meeting, you don't know what you are supposed to do. So think about that. Maybe you can have someone taking notes or even better. You can use collaborative tools. As I recorded a YouTube video about that. Recently you can use morale, you can use mural, you can use any collaborative whiteboard to register the data points or to register the main decisions or to, you know, a parking lot with some comments. And then you can share this with the group afterwards and not. I think I do a lot. I know some people are very uncomfortable with that, but I record meetings. I record most of the meeting. So every time I'm talking to someone and say, do you mind if I record it?
Ricardo (6m 45s):
If they mind, okay, then I do differently. But if you record, because then later you can just listen again, later, you can just share with someone, for example, that missing that meeting, it needs a very easy way that every single software does that. So at the end, what is important is that these kinds of meeting is not just something that we are doing today. And we will stop doing in the future. DS is a new way of work. And the new way of work will require from us a new approach to that. I feel uncomfortable many times on doing online meetings forever, but this is how things are now. So we need just to relax, prepare ourselves better, turning on the camera, being sharp, not being, prolix finding an appointing, a leader, respect that people are inside their homes and things may happen there.
Ricardo (7m 36s):
And take notes. Think about that and see you next week with another five minutes podcast.