I’m not trying to make fetch happen or anything, but suffice it to say it’s the new way to go — or the only way to go today — to continue to discuss the books we love with people who we are connected to and remain safe and healthy at the same time. So, has your book club made the jump?
If it hasn’t here are a few tips and tricks:
There are many Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime, etc. I personally prefer Zoom for one simple reason: Its gallery view of individuals. We refer to this at work functions as the “Brady Bunch view” and now you have a perfect visual of what it looks like. This view allows everyone to see everyone and thus, limit some of the talking over one another or the “no you go aheads” that happen during conference calls and what not. It’s not fool proof, but it helps.
Do a little research
Either take some notes as you’re reading the book or hop on to the Google box and look for reader discussion questions. This will help you to guide the session in a positive way and, most importantly, keep people engaged. It’s a bit harder to ignore work for an hour on lunch when one of your participants may be getting alerts in the corner of their computer or hearing the dings and clings clattering and calling them back to other activities.
Send out instructions in advance
It will likely be fruitless for 50% of your attendees, who will not read that email or click that link to set themselves up for success, however, for the other 50% to whom you’ve provided an option to be prepared, it will be worthwhile. And then you’ll only have 6 people asking you how to download what 5 minutes after your event has started, as opposed to 12.
In addition to how to get on to the platform, remind people to use “mute” when they are engaging in other conversations; that they will be on camera so that they can be dressed and in a setting appropriate to that; and, perhaps, that light sources should be facing them, not behind them, thereby shining light on their beautiful mugs as opposed to blowing out their picture’s background and making their faces very dark.
Set the next meeting promptly
Given that everyone is on their computers anyway, suggest and verify the next meeting date before this one closes. That will allow you to schedule the meeting in your platform and send out the invites before you’ve event x-ed out of your current window and eliminating it from your to-do list. It’s amazing.
So, will you be taking your book club virtual? Have you already? What’s been your experience? Share in the comments.
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