The Virtual Meeting Coach

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Posts Tagged ‘Webcam’

A Senior Couple Practices With Their New Webcam: A Whole World In One Vid!

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

A friend shared this vid with me today because it’s outrageously funny. Take a look…

Look at the Monkey! Is this precious, or what?! The thing is, there’s a lot more to this vid than just the humor.

If you’ll watch it a couple more times after you’ve had your initial laugh, you’ll see that this vid demonstrates a handful of issues that human beings – of all ages, personalities, and persuasions – to encounter and move through on our way to developing webcam “literacy” – i.e., the ability to make good use of webcams for video mail, video conferencing, web conferencing, internet conferencing, and/or virtual meetings.

To be truly effective communicators in the 21st Century, we simply can’t afford to skip webcam literacy. No matter how young or old we are…

A new set of skills are called for when we step away from “publishing papers” online. Whether we’re pairing still webcam images with words or using moving pictures and sound to convey our messages, new kinds of “composition” formats are called for. We can’t just expect to turn our traditional 5-paragraph essays into audio scripts and throw in a few pictures for “visual aides.” That just doesn’t cut it with 21st century audiences. To give you their time and attention, your online audience expects you to acknowledge THEIR concerns and connect with them quickly, effectively, and with candor.

So, what are a few of the questions and issues people need to work through if we’re to make effective use of webcams as communication tools? Let’s make a list here, using the commenting box…

I’ll start.

1) Turning on a webcam is NOT the same thing as watching ourselves in a mirror as we record our pre-written speeches. We simply can’t help being fascinated with the way we look and how we sound as we’re using the camera (as the man was above). We’re human, after all. (Even chimps love looking at themselves in mirrors and on camera.) But, when we turn on a webcam, who or what else do we need to be paying attention to – besides what we look like and whatever it is we want someone else to see and hear?

2) What are some key differences between illustrating our words with still webcam shots (or screen grabs) … and translating our verbal scripts into a video recordings? When, how and why would you choose to use one or the other approach?

3) Your turn…

Counselors, Coaches, Healers – See the Road Ahead? It’s Telepresence!

Friday, May 13th, 2011

It’s been a wild and wooly first few months of 2011 and I’ve been so busy over at my new blog, BeingSocial.Us, that I haven’t updated much here. My sincere apologies to anyone who hasn’t yet heard about the extension of my work to helping Baby Boomer and senior thought leaders use BOTH social media AND virtual meetings to connect with their people.  I hope you’ll join me over at BeingSocial.Us

And I’m blogging back here today because the news is so important: Microsoft’s purchase of our precious Skype this week for $8.5B is a big, big deal. On so many fronts.

It’s going to take awhile to see what’s going to happen to us 700 million registered users of Skype. But here are a few things to bear in mind:

When Skype was part of EBay, the company used to issue all kind of data about its growth but solid recent numbers have been harder to locate. A couple of things we do know:

  • At peak times, over 23 million users are logged into Skype.
  • Skype is available in 29 languages and is used in almost every country around the world.
  • 35 percent of Skype users utilize it for business purposes. reports that Microsoft bought Skype because it pays for itself and has 180 million registered users actively video calling. That seems obvious.

It also makes sense because Microsoft seems like the most obvious player to offer the general public video chat at home, school and work using mobile phones tables, desktops, game consoles equipped with webcams (like the latest XBox units) and large screen televisions.

Microsoft stands well-prepared to build video chat into all sorts of applications – which only makes sense when everyone now wants to use all their senses to connect with others as we work, play and learn together – across the globe.

However, it’s my hunch that the Microsoft/Skype deal foretells  a much bigger game than this. A game I’ve been pointing to for the last five years, while feeling like John the Baptist crying in the wilderness.

The big game is moving counseling, coaching, and both traditional and alternative medicine into our living rooms quickly – and a lot more cheaply – than Cisco’s home-based telepresence system called Umi.

Today’s TeleMental Health Institute blog brings Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype into clearer focus for psychotherapists. I want to underscore everything Marlene had to say there. The fact that Microsoft was willing to spend a full $2B more to acquire Skype than either Google or Facebook was willing put on the table is waving the flag of big business, friends: the business of physical and mental healthcare.

Since way back in 2007, I’ve been urging counselors, coaches, health coaches, physicians, and alternative healers of all shapes and sizes to begin testing various virtual meeting tools and to start practicing your virtual meeting chops.

When Xbox consoles have webcams built it (which has been the case for at least the last six months) and Microsoft pays $8.5B to acquire Skype so they can “build Skype’s functionality into Microsoft apps and products” (as Microsoft announced it plans to do)… it’s maybe 12-18 months until it’s going to be possible for YOU to be meeting easily and cheaply with your clients- from your office to their living rooms.

So, if you’re not confident you can easily transition both

1) your crucial business processes and

2) your subtle healing skills

into virtual meeting rooms, now is the time to take a look at what it’s going to take for you to play the new game.

If you want some support for making the transition, you can start with my little ebook, “The Coach’s Short List,” or sign up for my 10-week FREE ecourse, “21-Ways to Build Trust and Respect Working With Others Online.”

I’m blogging several times a week over at BeingSocial.Us and I’m also happy to offer any reader of this blog a free, 30-minute consultation so I can hear more about your specific situation and explore the fit between your needs and my coaching programs. It would be my great delight to help mental health professionals of all kinds bring your services within easy reach of new clients.

How exciting! That $8.5B  purchase signals showtime’s just around the corner! And you’re going to be the show.

If you’re the kind of person who needs to SEE to BELIEVE, please take a look at this vid about Cisco’s Umi unit. And, take a very careful look at the comments beneath the vid there on YouTube. The comments tell the story behind Microsoft’s purchase. At least that’s my hunch. Wondering what you think…

Cisco Demos the Umi

First comment beneath this vid on YouTube as I pulled the link today: “I pay $43 a month for my internet service. I download Yahoo Messenger, with Video and voice chat, … with full FPS. hook up a HDMI or S-Video cord from my laptop to my TV, right click on my desktop, choose output to : TV, and in a matter of seconds, I see my desktop on the TV, “with the messenger Video Chat” and beats the $599 that you’d pay for this crap. even if I had the $600, “I Will NOT” buy this crap.” ~UserIsAnFBIAgent

And here’s a short vid showing how easy it is to use a Logitech TV Cam and Google TV:

Logitech TV Cam and Google TV

Get the picture?

Wondering Why People Resist Your Virtual Touch?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Man, I just met a new Twitter follower, virtually. He made a nice offer to try out his product. I signed up to do so…and [email protected] There he was in my email with a personal webcam message.

That was okay…sort of. But the webcam message included telling me how I should use his product and that he would be tracking when I read his messages and used his system… That was a little creepy. Especially at 7:30am in the morning…

A stream of tweets followed to push me forward to do what he wanted me to do… When I replied, to see if we could start up a little dialogue on Twitter, I got ANOTHER webcam message! [email protected] This one giving me more unsolicited direction. Including how I should use his product instead of Twitter to communicate… along with another dump of advice about how I should use his product to do business.

Another middle-aged white American business guy who doesn’t get relationship. Especially virtual relationship. Sigh…

If you want some coaching to ensure you’re not making this kind of first – and last – impression marketing to women, I can help.

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