This account of Suzy’s very successful initiative demonstrates that by following a few simple guidelines communicating online is an effective and powerful medium. For more information: –
Suddenly turning a physical live Divorce Financial Workshop into an online event due to Covid19 was at first a challenge – and also a risk. How would the participants feel about this? Would they want refunds? Would it even work?
To make sure that it did work, I took time to contact the attendees and to make sure everyone was confident using Zoom. I also spoke with experts in finance, coaching, law and mediation, and compiled the following guidelines:
- Don’t have light (like a window) behind you – have the light on your face
- Invest in a ‘daylight bulb’ and put it in a lamp to shine on your face. It’s a better light (less red) and it’s important that people can see your eyes clearly.
- Invest in a proper microphone to plug in to your computer – or a good quality headset if you don’t mind looking like a dalek. (Sorry, that was uncalled for – I just feel it looks more natural when you are not wearing headphones.)
- Keep your sentences short. Don’t interrupt – listeners can’t hear anything coherent when there is cross-talk.
- Be well prepared and make sure you keep to your time slot.
- If you have slides, practice screen sharing in advance.
- Avoid live videos that need to be in sync (My TEDx talk went down well, but I later found out that Zoom plays it with a delay in the sound so I looked like I was in a foreign-dubbed movie).
- Record the Zoom or access the recording from the host. Review it and learn by your mistakes. Edit the highlights if you can to promote the next instalment!
Feedback from the attendees was excellent and now, instead of being limited by geography, I am planning to run these workshops – which effectively bootcamp attendees for dispute resolution – throughout the UK and abroad.
What surprised many of the attendees was how mediation can be carried out effectively online – including shuttle mediation – so if you really don’t want to be looking at your soon-to-be-ex, you don’t need to!
After the event I was also given the following testimonial:
“I wanted to say that I was blown away by the content of your workshop, I didn’t expect at all it would be so detailed and packed with experts. I really enjoyed the presentation on financial planning; it was particularly detailed and well structured, giving me an exact idea on what things I have to focus on and what is still missing from my current plan. It was also great to hear from Emma the solicitor and Alison the mediator, it really gave me a reassurance that those professionals don’t have to be dry and scary, but to see their caring human side.
Many thanks, K”
Principal Director of ASM PLUS, civil/commercial, workplace, employment, family and educational mediator and trainer with a judicial/legal background. He has knowledge and expertise in dispute resolution in a wide range of areas and disciplines and mediates online.