T&D: Distract Yourself

As a Presenter

The other day I attended yet another zoom meeting – as a Presenter.

When I am presenting I turn off the chat box and ask the assigned moderator to watch the questions/ comments/ concerns that come up, for me, and present them to me for my response – whenever my pre-planned “Q&A” slide comes up. That 90 minute presentation had 6 Q&A slides.

Otherwise I find it impossible to both present and watch the chat box for questions.

I cannot quick-switch (a.k.a.: multi-task) without losing my place and then have to find it and restart my presentation after restarting my thinking about where was I – so I don’t repeat myself (unless BY DESIGN) or forget some part of the presentation.

Just as the research suggests.


As a Participant

The other day I attended yet another zoom meeting – as a Participant.

I tried to follow both the speaker and the chat box conversation. Big mistake. Which I seem to forget all too quickly – it seems. Not that all conversations in the chat box are irrelevant to what the speaker is saying.

But the one that provoked me into writing this Blog Post were. I’m gonna guess that 75% of that streaming chat box conversation was not relevant, distracting and all too often narcissistic.

Too many comments screamed ME ME ME. I’m here.

“Hello to you, and to you, and to you, and to you!” “I attended something similar the other day.” “This reminds me of the time I ….” Etc. Etc. Etc.

I discussed this with the speaker who had called me to discuss something else, and when that part of the conversation was over – I voiced my annoyance at the chat box conversations – that interfered with his messages – when I tried to parallel process both.

His response was, “Well, people like it.”

What Do You Think?

As a Presenter? As a Participant?

Grumpy Old Man Signing Off

Chat Boxes afford a 2-way interaction that, like a double edged sword, cut both ways.

They enable the audiences to engage a speaker to seek clarifications and test their understanding, and/or to pose challenges.

Or to distract themselves, and others.

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