Digital Communication Evolution
Nothing beats a good ‘ol fashioned handshake with eye-to-eye contact. Human interaction is important, and it is necessary. It’s how we build trust and learn how to do life with one another. Today’s methods of human interaction are different than they were 10, 20, 30+ years ago. Social Media happened.
Gone are the days of typewriters and fax machines, we have email. No longer do we need to slide that finger around the telephone dial, we can speak their name and see their face. We’re not bound to a 100′ phone cord that we drag around the house, and we don’t need a cord to recharge the phone. Remember Dick Tracy? How cool was it to use a watch as a phone! The world has changed.
Small businesses everywhere starting boosting their online presence. Facebook, GoDaddy, and many others made easy-to-use systems that non-savvy users could use to build their digital profile. Smaller organizations starting gaining access to the types of software and tools that only large enterprises could afford. Just before Covid, companies starting implementing methods to provide online support and video conferencing for their internal and external customers, trying to gain that competitive advantage and faster response times.
Covid happened. Those organizations that were dabbling in digital communications, now thrive in it. People all over the world are thrown into a digital world that many did not have access to before. Personal and professional lines are blurred. We’ve started welcoming the thought of our kids being on a computer. Working from home was never an option to so many people out there, and now it is a requirement. We are now in a world that if you do not have internet and computer, it is very possible you are seeking out a new career.
I have been fortunate enough to work with organizations since my Army days that were all pioneers in digital communication. I’ve seen multi-million dollar solutions, free solutions, and everything in-between. There have been some fantastic advances in digital communication. Whether personal or professional – there are a lot of software options out there for you to explore.
Which one should you use? All of them. Why? Because so many others out there use only one tool, and that is the only tool they know how to operate. It’s entertaining to see someone start twitching when you suggest new software to them. I’ve seen so many business meetings get cancelled because two organizations cannot figure out a neutral tool. I get it, who’s got time for that? You do. Spend the time to register for a free or trial account with the various tools. You’ll soon find out that not only can you host your own meetings – but you get a lot more customization options.
Make it yours
Using a registered account removes your ‘guest’ status. You can use proper capitalization for your name instead of your CrziPerson42 email account. In all the online meeting software I have experienced, you obtain access to more features when you have a username and password. Go to Zoom, Teams, Webex, GoToMeeting, and any other online tool in your sphere and set up your account. Insert a profile picture. It helps others to personify you. A profile picture helps, but video is much better.
Several folks are against showing their video during online business meetings. Why? You’re working. Show that you are present and paying attention. Show that you care enough that you dressed appropriately – you’re in ‘business mode’. Be that person on your team that just starts showing your camera for every meeting. Having access to video chat really helps to expand our reach. I understand some businesses don’t need to have video chat with their customers. But remember that there is an entire country of business folks like you – and they are GREAT candidates for an online peer group. It helps working with vendors because of the same reasons I listed above. Bonus tip – it’s ok to temporarily turn off your video to blow your nose or run to the refrigerator. Are you trustworthy? Show me by showing your face. Be present, get some human interaction, and show that this time matters to you.
And now on to the reason I wanted to write this article – equipment. If you have not yet obtained a video camera and a headset – do it. I use and recommend a 4k camera and a noise-cancelling wireless headset. If you already have a laptop with a camera, I still recommend the headset. The built in microphone/speakers in phones and laptops work, but do not compete to a noise-cancelling microphone with a speaker in your ear.
Since we are not shaking hands today, I challenge you to find ways to get in front of people. We need to keep human interaction alive. You can use your cell phone, your laptop, your webcam – but show your facial expressions. There are many solutions for both personal and professional usage.
If you need help comparing solutions, obtaining software or hardware, or would like training on a specific solution – Connect with us.
~Helping Humans with IT ~