Zoom is such an integral tool to building a high performance virtual team. Before zoom we were a bunch of co-workers and loose acquaintances. But with Zoom we’ve become close friends (complete with inside jokes and worldwide meetups).
Listen in as we share some of our best tips for using video chat in your business (as well as some advanced tips from Ralph near the end.
Deacon Bradley 0:05
Hello, and welcome to the Virtual Business podcast. I'm your host Deacon Bradley, coming to you today from Austin, Texas. I'm joined by Ralph burns up in Sagamore beach, Massachusetts and Angela postured way over in Linux head Australia. times it for you, Angela
Angela Ponsford 0:23
is 7:55am on morning.
Deacon Bradley 0:27
All right. So we are worldwide. And just to prove it to you. Yeah, we're coming to you from two continents right now. had our leadership meeting earlier today, which also included, I can do this off the top of my head Cincinnati in Dallas. So yeah, and we're doing all of this through a tool that we cannot live without that zoom. I think a lot of people have been introduced to zoom recently. I've seen some of my friends, preschoolers on zoom calls with their teachers recently. So this time tool is definitely getting around. And it's something that we could not live without. And just to kind of give you my perspective of this. So when I joined start first started working with Ralph and Angela about three years ago now, we weren't using zoom. Remember what we were using?
Angela Ponsford 1:18
To me to to that? Yeah, yeah. It wasn't even GoToWebinar. I think we should go to meeting wasn't it?
Deacon Bradley 1:25
Yes, it it was. It was so so different. So I'm coming in as kind of an outsider at this point. And I'm joining team meetings on goto meeting. And there is no video. It's just audio. There's not really a connection to the team at all. You know, I didn't know who I was talking to. And as 100% virtual team, I didn't even know anyone looked like like it was very, very much like roomful of strangers, which is not the feel, feel you really wanted your company
Ralph Burns 1:57
and we've had some customers they actually have that as their go to, which quickly converted over to zoom or strategic partners. Or like, oh man that's like so 2016 using GoToMeeting.
Deacon Bradley 2:14
So inferior it is it's zoom, it's painful to me to be a part of those conversations and, and I think it's because it feels so corporate and so like, disconnected and when we're talking, it feels like a conversation. We're all good friends. And we've been able to develop that, like a real genuine friendship just from seeing each other on video and having real interactions on goto meeting. And I don't mean to just pick on those guys. It's like the most common conference call solution that I'm familiar with. But in that environment, it almost feels like a, like a military operation. You know, the person's running the meeting and they're like, all right, Angela, you talk now. long period of silence. Okay, Ralph. Okay. It's like this really weird distortion. Did conversate Yes, not very fun.
Angela Ponsford 3:03
I remember like when we moved over to zoom, and you know, Ralph put the kind of mandate down that you would have video one. I remember the shift and the team dynamics just by that tiny, tiny little thing. Put your video on. And the team since that has just the dynamics of what's so different.
Ralph Burns 3:22
Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, just look at how we're interacting on this call right now. It's the way humans normally interact like, and says something I say. Yeah. And then Deacon says, like, we talk over each other a little bit like, that's how humans interact. And we're all looking at each other. Doing this podcast recording right now we can actually see when the other one looks like they want to talk or when the other one is about to stop talking like I'm about to do right now.
Deacon Bradley 3:50
I picked that up, Ralph. I picked it up. So we've been using zoom for years now. I think it's the best tool on the market for video conferencing. And that goes for whether you're running As a team, with three or four people, our team is Gosh, about 30 something at this point getting close to 40. This works for enterprises with massive, massive teams as well. So they've got support for any level of business that you're running. And some of the pros when we're looking at like, Alright, why do we like zoom over other things? One of the number one ones for me is it works on any, any device. Mm hmm. So it's like, phone. Yeah, just plug it in and go. Angela, I know you like the mobile app a lot.
Angela Ponsford 4:35
Do Yeah. For me, the mobile apps amazing and the safe driving mode. I've used that so many times, you know, like, still practicing safe driving and not touching my mobile. I know, quite often, you know, like if we're, if I'm coming to the airport, I think that's a lot of the time because I'm in different time zones. And I'm not maybe at my desk or a motor and about a pin on that safe driving mode. You can see my video and automatically muted, and then there's just a huge big button. That's super easy just to tap if I want to say something. Yeah, that's it's great on mobile.
Ralph Burns 5:07
Yeah. Yeah, that's awesome. And the ability, like the only caveat to that camera on rule that we have, we have very few rules. And so Terrell haven't. But that is an essential one. You know, unless you're on the call, and you're like, you're sick or something. I mean, obviously, there's gonna be exceptions. But if you're driving, I mean, we are. We're all managing stuff aside from our businesses. So sometimes when you're driving the internet signal, isn't that great. And that's a perfect opportunity when you use the app to choose internet connection or use your phone to dial and that's a lifesaver, because it just uses less bandwidth, you immediately go into that. The secondary sort of, I'm using my phone like through old school phone lines, cell phone lines, or however it actually kind of works, but what is your dialing into the meeting It turns your video off. It's like the internet connections like we all have good internet connections. But even with not such great internet connection, zoom still really works well, even when you're dialing up into it. It's an amazing product really.
Angela Ponsford 6:14
Because remember, I'm in the dark ages when it comes to Wi Fi being in Australia. works pretty well for me.
Unknown Speaker 6:20
It works pretty well.
Deacon Bradley 6:21
Yeah, we were joking before the call safe driving mode is also really handy for parents. By the way, I know a lot of you have kids underfoot right now. And that's an easy way. It's almost like push to talk mode. So you just big giant button, you're muted. You press it, you say something, you unmute it. And it's just makes it really easy to operate and really easy for when you have a bunch of people on calls, like background noises is one of the enemies. Hmm.
Angela Ponsford 6:47
Oh, yeah. She talked about that.
Deacon Bradley 6:51
One of the other things is first class in zoom. That is so good. Is there a screen share feature? This is something I mean, we do some pretty complicated stuff running paid traffic at the level that we're running it at, and the ability for Angela, as she's training people or helping people on her team do this. Well, to actually see the screen and coach them through it is huge. Mm hmm.
Angela Ponsford 7:15
Yeah, totally. We use that a lot. And, and again, we've got some best practices around that, you know, if you, especially if you're sharing, you know, with a customer, making sure I mean, these are little things, you know, making sure that you don't have tabs open that you might not want them to see. So but yeah, just been able to do it and open a document open. ads manager, Facebook Ads Manager show people actually, in the account, show them what's been going on. Yeah, it's it's so cool.
Ralph Burns 7:40
It's so cool. Yeah. And there's many a time when I've been on my phone on the app, not on the dialogue, but actually using the internet connection. And at a soccer game or at a tennis match, you know, watching my kids, and I'm using the app to actually look at a spreadsheet or, you know, the Facebook ads manager I mean, It's, it's pretty amazing. I mean, granted, it's a smaller screen, but you know, I might need my glasses, but the point is like, you can actually do that. And nobody knows that I'm at a soccer game, you know. So the point is, is that it's just it's so adaptable in so many different ways. But yeah, there are some gotchas in there. You gotta sort of make sure that you do maintain some zoom hygiene, which we'll probably talk about here. In this episode.
Deacon Bradley 8:23
We've got five or six things when we were talking about it, like what makes zoom really effective for us what are like the important things we tell new team members when they join, this is what you need to know to have good experience in our meetings and group meetings and hosting meetings. And Angela wants to kick us off what it's like your number one one here that we need
Angela Ponsford 8:45
good audio. They're like, you just you have to beat people have to be able to hear you, you have to be clear. And you know, that doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune on things, but there's nothing worse than yet bad audio on a zoom. Call.
Deacon Bradley 9:01
Totally agree. I know some of our like extremely bright media buyers we've had who didn't have good audio at first and they're on our team calls and everybody sounds great. And then when they would speak up, it was kind of muddled, was kind of like harder to understand them. And you kind of see people leaning in listening. And like the last thing you want in your team culture is somebody to get discounted just because they, their audio isn't as clear as it should be.
Angela Ponsford 9:27
Yeah, yeah. It's such such a simple thing to fix. I mean, a lot of the time, I do just use, you know, my apple headphones, and I think most of the time they sound okay. But oh, yeah, there are Yeah, there are other options. I think. Certainly, I'm using an ATR make right now and we'll put the link for that. We've got some other recommendations. dicken
Deacon Bradley 9:48
Yeah, the ATR Audio Technica ATR 2100 microphone is like, this is the one when people join our team. We're like, this is what you need to sound professional, remote. It's ballpark 70 $80 Yep. And it's a USB microphone so it just plugs into your computer zoom already knows how to use it. So I mean this is plug and play easy. That's the one that we that we generally recommend. There's a lot of USB microphones out there. yetis are fantastic products. There's a bunch of different levels there. So some of these are more expensive than others, but something other than your internal microphone is highly recommended. And Angela, you mentioned just using your headphones. They sound great. Yeah, cool. That's air pods or like the the wired white. Yeah. Apple headphones, like the microphone on those. Just the microphone being closer to your mouth makes all the difference in the world.
Angela Ponsford 10:43
Totally. Yeah, I mean, I think that ATR one I can see I'm just looking at your setup. Now. Ralph, you've got to there that was confusing me but I think you've got that ATR. I think you have you know, said you've recorded podcast episodes in Starbucks. With that make and the sound is still really good.
Ralph Burns 10:59
Believe it or not, yeah, I mean, I've recorded we have another podcast, perpetual traffic, which is 250 episodes now, which is kind of crazy to think about. But most of those, I would say 90% of those were recorded on the ATR. And probably about a half a dozen, or maybe a dozen were recorded either in a Starbucks or in a restaurant with background noise. You can set noise cancelling. I mean, it's the best mic. I mean, this show is all about hacking like this whole remote work experience here. There's two things you need zoom. And you need an ATR. Really, I mean, if you don't absolutely need the HR, but I can't tell you how many times it's come in handy for me, and I would say the majority of our team has won just because it's it's not expensive, like in the grand scheme of things. In zoom, always the cool thing with zoom is like you never have to worry about Oh, will it find the mic or with it, find that source like it immediately and is it true drop down menu. If you're on your desktop, it's so easy to toggle between, you know, all the different ways in which you can communicate through zoom. It's just a user experience. That's like nothing else that we've experienced. The other one that we did try way, way back was WebEx. Guys, this is like a before I even go to meeting and that was even worse. Oh my god. I don't know if they've cleaned up their act or not, but, you know, just get zoom.
Deacon Bradley 12:28
zooms eating their lunch right now. Yeah. So if you see if you're out at a Starbucks or in an airport, and you see somebody huddled in the corner on their laptop, maybe looks like they're hosting a game show with their ATR mic. give Ralph a shout out because that mic works in all types of environments. But we have done a lot of video calls and I see Ralph sitting in the corner there in the Starbucks holding his microphone and it sounds fantastic. Sounds good to myself.
Ralph Burns 12:58
People think like I'm a broadcaster. Like, oh man, where's the truck outside the Starbucks.
Deacon Bradley 13:04
The last microphone that I would bring up is kind of a relatively new one to me. I got this about six months ago on the recommendation of one of our sales team guys who spends a lot of time on the phone. It's the blue parrot. b 450 x t. And this is fantastic for noise cancelling. This is something that I had tested in a Starbucks and some other and just kind of around my house. It's a headset, like one year headset thing, it looks ridiculous, but the noise cancelling even closer. Yeah, it's like a call center style microphone. But kids around, people can't really hear it in the background music or whatever. So that's like my go to driving. I'm in a car by myself. Nobody's gonna make fun of me. So I'm going to use this microphone setup. But it really has made it so much easier to do calls on the go, just not having to worry that the other person is hearing you loud and clear. Hmm.
Ralph Burns 13:59
Yeah. So if you want to Look like the time life, you know, call center lady from the ads way back when I get that one.
Deacon Bradley 14:06
I'm married two kids so I can wear the headset with confidence. I can rock that. Number two on our list here is video. So we've mentioned this earlier in the call you absolutely must have video on that is our rule at our company. A couple exceptions there, of course, but when we first started this, I remember Ralph doing a lot of like, hey, turn your video on, guys, we got to have your video on. And, uh, ever since then I think people have realized the value in that and it's it. Everyone just naturally has their video on even, I'd say 90% of our customers go ahead and turn their video on. Because just it's such a much better experience.
Angela Ponsford 14:48
Yeah, it's quite interesting. You start some a lot of customer calls and they always have them off. But then even sometimes it's even it's halfway through the call. They realize we're all on video and it's kind of It'll be so bad for me to put my video on. And then usually by the second call that they're on straightaway, no problem.
Ralph Burns 15:07
Yeah. And it really, I mean, obviously, there's lots of reasons for this. But I mean, especially for customers, I mean, establishes such a connection. And most people are shy about video on it's, it's crazy, like we do all for all our sales discovery calls, we use video on and invariably, say 50 50% of people yeah, have it off, but then 99% of them turn it on, unless they just for whatever reason know that that computer that they're on, doesn't have that capability. But it's a tremendous tool, and by you starting with the video on and there's, you know, some gotchas there too, or at least initiating with the video on it, it puts them in a position where they feel like they should put theirs on. So I think it's a good way to to have that rule and stick by it and you know, slightly down on it, we had talked about dm slap downs and digital. Yeah. So I mean, it's the same kind of thing. You know, we'll do that every once in a while. And now everybody just knows. So it's a good standard to begin with, and start was in makes a huge difference.
Deacon Bradley 16:19
And a tip for you, if you're running the meeting, if you're kind of the person overseeing the team or overseeing the meeting, I highly recommend toggling the gallery View button, it's in the upper right hand corner. So by default zoom is showing you speaker view. It's got one giant kind of whoever's talking view, and then everyone else's real small at the top. I don't usually use that view at all. I use speaker view which or I use gallery view, it kind of toggles everybody out into their individual window so you can see everybody there. You can kind of get gauge better engagement on the call. You can see this is a big one like new people joining if you can think back to like our goto meeting or a typical college Call when it's all
Unknown Speaker 17:01
Deacon Bradley 17:02
who was that who just joined? Oh, it's route yet Ralph's here. Okay. It eliminates that you see them actually joining the meeting and everybody's on the same page there. So highly recommend gallery view for sure.
Angela Ponsford 17:14
Yeah, totally. That's the for me, I think that was a bit of a grape with me the code team calls we're getting recorded and speaker view of like, I want to be able to see the whole team I want to be able to see their reaction to things like I want to gauge like, did they like that? What did they think of you know, that thing we were talking about? Who was engaged who wasn't so that then you know, we know what, who to follow up on like, maybe they didn't understand that they're okay, I can follow up on name. just all about that those nonverbals the body language?
Ralph Burns 17:42
Yeah, absolutely. And for sales calls for us sales discovery calls. Just having the video on is so vital. And I always stare right at the screen for the customer, the decision maker, when Steve announces our pricing, whatever that reaction is, now 99% of the time I can read exactly what the objection is going to be. And it's just it's an amazing thing to be able to get that I don't think people really understand that the you know, the importance of all the nonverbal stuff but like in little cases like that, like we just had a call today like I immediately knew this guy was like holy crap on the price. So we had to go back and address it and ended up you know, coming to an agreement but that's just all part of the nonverbals I think the gallery view especially if you have multiple people, multiple customers, multiple decision makers on the call, it's an absolute must.
Angela Ponsford 18:34
Totally I do you want to mention, you know if webcams as well because I think a lot of people, some people, most people will have a webcam on their laptop. That's usually okay and fine to use. But I know all of us we use some kind of external webcam.
Deacon Bradley 18:53
I definitely do. I love the Logitech C 920. I don't know guys using different yeah Angela, you're using that same one.
Ralph Burns 19:02
Yeah, I don't. I mean, for everything that I use, I mean, I've got Mac's everywhere. I've got two monitors. And the, the, you know, those are great for me, and they're perfect. Yeah. And they're positioned in the right spot, too, which is sort of an another thing. I've noticed that as well. Um, and I think if you don't have that, if you don't have a webcam, actually, our CFO is at home now. And he doesn't have a webcam on his laptop, which has kind of taken me off. Like, he's got to get this. But anyway, the point is, is that your placement of that camera is actually really important. Like I have Deacon in your face right below the little green button or green.or green light on my monitor. So when I'm talking, I'm looking right at you. I mean, sometimes you might look away and all these other sorts of things, but you can kind of tell who's paying attention who's not paying attention oftentimes in our meetings, but I think where you like the communication is so important. You want to look at people and essence, you know, so I'm sort of looking at you guys, as I'm looking at the green light right now, which is just a little hack, I think it does make a difference because you you make more of a connection that way.
Angela Ponsford 20:10
As you're saying that I'm moving you about on my screen going hard. That's even a tip that I've learned about how to position the zoom window on my screen, and meetings.
Deacon Bradley 20:21
And now that you mentioned that, Ralph, that's one of the reasons I love the Logitech C 920. Because this is a camera that is it just kind of perched on the top here, I can move it around. So if I were to put it right in the middle here that my zoom windows are way off to the side. I actually have it perched way over on the left hand side of my zoom windows kind of shrunken up there near it. So no matter which screen I'm looking at, it's relatively as if I'm looking at the camera. Yeah.
Ralph Burns 20:48
Yeah. And a hack is to have like if you've, you're writing notes or something like that, like for me, I've got three different screens, but I might be writing notes in a Google doc or an Evernote doc. I'll put the doc right below. Low where the green light is. So I'm not sort of looking to the right. And then looking back, it looks like I'm maintaining my attention the entire time. I mean, I am. But the point is, is you're still actually documenting the meeting, you look like you're engaged. And I think it really does make a big difference maintaining eye contact.
Deacon Bradley 21:18
Absolutely. So let's talk about scheduling these zoom meetings. I think that's where some people get tripped up. I was working with my CPA the other day, who's kind of just trying to figure out how do I get through tax season as a remote business and meet with everybody? And it wasn't going well, but I sent him a couple of tips on the Google Calendar integration and some stuff like that. And suddenly, he's like, thank you. This is incredible.
Ralph Burns 21:44
Well, tax free this year, by the way,
Deacon Bradley 21:46
hopefully, it should be. He saved me a lot of money. I'll say, that's good.
Angela Ponsford 21:53
Yeah, that Google Calendar integration, it's, that's that's a must. So it's just you know, one, click within yourself. Calendar, make it a zoom meeting, and it adds the link into the location of your calendar invite. It adds all the dial in information into all the notes and your your Google calendar invite, and then sends it off to the relevant people. We were saying you need to have that that the the zoom extension on Chrome for that to work. Yep.
Ralph Burns 22:19
Yeah. And I mean, this is obviously another tool that we'll be talking about here on the show is obviously as Google Google Drive, you know, all the stuff that we do with Google, even though we're a completely Mac driven, pretty much company, Apple driven company, we still use Google Drive for for pretty much everything, which includes Google Gmail, and then obviously drive for all of our storage. So it's a natural extension for us to primarily use Chrome, Chrome, I think, because we run Facebook and Instagram ads for years and years, a certain tool that was used on Facebook and Instagram was only available on Chrome. So I think we're sort of hardwired to use it. But having said that, the zoom integrate In Google calendar is so essential. It's like it saves you so much time. And then if you know everybody's on Google, like, you can invite everybody inside Google Calendar, and then they get the link. And you can set notifications like, zoom has just figured out so much here, I can't see it like a second place really, as far as communication in the virtual world.
Deacon Bradley 23:24
One thing I'd add on to that is, if you have an assistant or you are an assistant, or you're scheduling meetings on behalf of other people, zoom has figured that out too. It's right there in the plugin. When you click Make it a zoom meeting, it'll say, hey, do you want this for Ralph burns or for Angela password? And so those of you who are assisting other people setting up meetings like, this is absolutely the tool to use and it's, again, it's like one click maybe two clicks in this case, but that's not a lot to ask. No,
Ralph Burns 23:55
that's a really good point. That's horrible. A second click really terrible.
Angela Ponsford 24:01
And when you've got that, you know, the zoom integration on in the actual calendar invite, it makes it super easy to launch from your mobile. If you're if you are mobile, you just go, you know, I use the calendar app on my iPhone, you know, I go into the meeting, and then there's zoom links just there. I click it. I've already got the zoom app downloaded on my phone straight through so easy.
Ralph Burns 24:23
Yeah, you click on the the zoom link, and it opens in the zoom app. And then you're immediately in there it says internet connection or phone connections, like, how much easier can it be
Angela Ponsford 24:33
Ralph Burns 24:34
Yeah, it's great.
Deacon Bradley 24:36
We've talked about kind of the pros of zoom so far, what you need as far as audio and video capabilities, how to get these things scheduled. Our next three tips here on our list are more about what to do while you're in the meeting or just how to have a better experience overall. And the number one one that we use is Google Docs. We've got our agendas in there. We take notes in there, Angela and Ralph you guys use this extensively on your screen. Talk a little bit about how that works for you and kind of the end result coming out of a meeting.
Ralph Burns 25:07
As far as Google docs are concerned, yeah, I mean, I think Google docs are just it's for a meeting to run well, you need to have an agenda, ideally, unless it's a some sort of standing agenda. So we use Google docs for that. But we also do use in some cases, we use another tool that we'll be talking about here on the show as well, which we now use here in the agency called Asana. But I mean, Google Docs is for agenda notetaking, as well as for us when we onboard a customer, for example, that's like one of the best things is we're all in there at the same time taking notes. And you can see, hey, Mike's in there in green, and then Angela is in there in red. And you know, the immediate buyer is in there. And then I'm in there and all these other things. And I think we had talked about this in one of the other shows is that we'll even like edit stuff as we're presenting things to customers. You As Steve is going through a strategic account plan, I can be in the Google doc and actually edit it. So a Google docs are just so versatile as a tool. But absolutely use it for your agendas to keep your zoom meetings really, you know, tight and concise. I think that's the that's the most important thing.
Angela Ponsford 26:18
Yeah. And I think a top tip for that we've discovered is having rolling agendas, no. So in the meeting, invite when you're setting up the meeting with your zoom link, we also just have the link in the description to the Google Doc which becomes the rolling agenda. So there's no scrambling around trying to find or what where's this week's agenda? You know, scrambling around trying to fake that it's the same dork and then we're just in there updating it. You know, obviously, if you you may have one that you want to share with the customer. A lot of the time we do you know, we're in there with the customer as they're, as we're discussing things, we're adding notes into it. Sometimes we have ones that we're not sharing with the customer. We're privately you know, adding into it, but yet just using or excuse me, using a rolling, Google Doc is an amazing tool just for ease of finding things.
Deacon Bradley 27:05
It's really cool leaving some of these meetings where we've been kind of CO working and Google Docs on one of these things, and you leave and instead of being like, Alright, what happened in that meeting? Like, the agendas there, we've all been taking notes in the agenda together. So the notes are infinitely better than any one of us could have produced on our own. And it's extremely valuable tool for collaborating online.
Angela Ponsford 27:27
Yeah, because there's nothing worse than realizing that five different people have taken notes in five different places in five different note taking apps and then trying to combine them and then realizing someone goes to bed because it was late their time and they don't update their notes. And, you know, because when you're working across different time zones, just having that one central place, really important.
Ralph Burns 27:48
Yeah. And the two dues that come out of it, you all agree, you know there's an end result for every single meeting that we have and there's always to dues and that's in there. It's a one place you I mean, back in the days of the corporate world, when I used to sit in board meetings and, you know, meeting rooms, nobody would really know who would actually do the notes. It was always confusing. And then, you know, maybe the secretary would come in, and then she would do it. It's, I just think that that's just I can't imagine running things like that anymore. It's just it's this is all about collaboration and ease and integration with different software's that make your life easy. So it's just kind of a no brainer here. And that's, that's why we're doing this show is deductible about not only in the here and now in this current situation, but really seriously rethink your business model, if you can go virtual if at all possible. And I think once we're past this situation that we're in right now, I think you're gonna see a lot of movement towards that. I don't see any reason why that can't happen. And these tools make it so easy to be able to do it really effectively.
Deacon Bradley 28:59
These last two tips actually bring in one of our other favorite can't live without tools, which is slack. That's the glue that holds our organization together. And we actually, when we're on zoom calls a lot, we use what I guess I'd call a back channel. And we're chatting, we're on the zoom call, but we're also chatting and slack. And a couple of places that we use this before you think that sounds completely ridiculous. It's actually awesome. And we use this in customer calls where we're kind of talking to an external person in the organization, and we're able to kind of dialogue about what's going on on the call. While that's happening. Ralph, I know you do this a ton. Angela, you guys do this a ton. Ralph, talk about some of the value there before people think why would you be chatting about a call while you're on a call?
Ralph Burns 29:47
Yeah, I mean, you said are you the best calls that I've had utilizing that I mean, you've got sort of an agenda or maybe you've got something that in our case the customer is seeing, you know, with a Google Doc which we've shared with them In some cases, and maybe not, but you know, inside a Slack channel inside that customer account, Slack channel, I see this all the time inside slack is these long threads or threads back and forth. And to make sure that the meeting runs the way that we want to run it, or to approach a topic, which maybe is delicate, or maybe has a lot of potential or something, where, like, who is going to do that, like in a regular meeting, if you're meeting live with the customer in a conference room? You can't do that? I mean, I suppose you could if you're on your phones, but then you look like an idiot, you know? So we do this all the time. And Steve and I do this on our discovery calls, not because we're talking about the person like in a bad way, we're trying to strategize like how do we bring certain things up at the right time? Who's going to do it? Maybe the best way to do it. For me as a manager and a leader of this company, I use it as a coaching tool to say all right, well, now you might want to say this, you know, now's the time. Good time for you to bring up this part. So I find it essential to use zoom, integrating with Slack, you just have to have the, you know, the understanding ahead of time because some people don't look at slack. And oftentimes when somebody is on a call, and they're doing a lot of the talking, they find like a zoom message or, you know, message inside chat, which you can do that as well, inside zoom, which is pretty cool and send it to a specific person. We do that all the time, Angela on our agency calls. But so that you have to sort of explain or at least establish, Alright, here's going to be our channel. Like for me and Steve, it's like, Alright, well, let's communicate in the sales channel in slack. So I know that's where I go. Or, you know, some people kind of like it on a text message, but they find that sort of bothersome, don't do that. But I think by and large, we use slack for those types of instant messaging, and it just makes the meeting so much more efficient.
Angela Ponsford 31:55
Yeah, totally. And I think that's a good point. You know, there is the chat function. Within zoom itself, and you know, you can send a, you know, a chat message to everyone, you can always send it to someone privately. We don't, I think I use the private one if it's just like a one sentence thing. So we were on an onboarding call yesterday and make our CSM was, was asking some questions, and I felt that we weren't actually needed to find out some other things over that. So it was a quick message to him, Hey, let's move on and do this. And then he was like, cool. Whereas we were also having discussion in slack where, you know, the customer might have given us some results or message mentioned something and then you know, as a team, we're like, okay, he said that is that what he said, Okay, I think then we need to dig into this. So it's a little bit more and we can have in a collaboration chat and slack at the same time. And you know, again, it's these are really useful when you're on calls with multiple people. It's not you know, you know, if there's more than safe four or five people on a call, you can absolutely do that. You're not the one talking You're still able to listen. And you do develop that skill of being able to listen, while still taping something else. And you know, still keeping it relevant to the conversation.
Ralph Burns 33:09
So much so that I never know if you're actually responding or if you've seen any of my messages because you're so, so invisible, like with some people like, oh, okay, like that, like, you know, their mid sentence because it's clearly interrupts them So, but Angela is sort of super human in that respect. But the point is, is like, all these messages during a call, sometimes it does throw people off, like, really throw them off. So you've got to use this sort of back channels, you know, of slack plus the chat that's already there and zoom. You got to use it in the right way and get people used to using these tools before you start to exploit them. And I think what we're talking about here is sort of advanced zoom tactics more than anything, but yeah, it's a good Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot of
Angela Ponsford 33:56
ways in which you can use these. Yeah, don't don't beat yourself up a few haven't mastered that skill just when you first start using zoom but just you know, know that that is there and is available and absolutely if you need to be, you know, just clarifying things on the back end internally with your team. It's a really good way to do that. And I think I think one of the other reasons we don't use the the private message part in zoom is is it's easy to mock up sometimes if you're saving to everyone or no, and the room be really good if you send a private message and it went to everyone so i think i think for I know, we all agree like you keep it in slack there's there's no question of someone's
Deacon Bradley 34:34
afraid of the private message. Yeah.
Ralph Burns 34:37
It's like I double check it like, like, before I send it I'm like, Alright, well, that really is going to Angela, I didn't like touch the everyone and yeah, it's made that mistake before
Angela Ponsford 34:51
we have. And you know, I don't know where the deacon wants to talk about this story on here. Maybe this is one for a later episode, but there was an interesting back channel, chat on Call that Deacon was on a few years ago. You want to tell us about that?
Deacon Bradley 35:03
Oh, goodness, I'll tell you what I want to do. So anyway, I'm going to throw this back channel chat. We consider it our Hall of Fame. Greatest slack thread ever at the agency. I'm going to put it in the show notes today, because it's that funny. It's like you have to read it, just to believe it. But kind of the the end of that story is ended with Vanessa, one of our media bars was saying, was she naked from the waist down?
Unknown Speaker 35:32
She's just going on in the background
Deacon Bradley 35:33
of a customer call. And we were just like, Whoa, that was a surprise. So there's actually two really funny ones. There's one that's been going around social media recently. Yeah, I'm gonna throw that one in the chat as well. Moral of the story guys learn how to use the video control feature of zoom start video stop video know when your cameras on?
Ralph Burns 35:53
Yeah, start every meet like that preference inside zoom start every meeting with camera off. Hundred percent dude that unless you're really, really good, but we're pretty good at zoom. I think we all start our meetings that way that eliminates potentially embarrassing moments for you, like in that unfortunate woman just a week or so ago. But she would
Deacon Bradley 36:17
definitely, definitely check out the show notes if you haven't seen that one or know what we're talking about already. last tip that I would mention zoom and slack have a really great integration. I use this all the time and once it's connected, if I want to jump on a call with Angela or Ralph or if I'm in a channel and I want to meet with a bunch of people, I just typed slash ZO m Enter, and it creates a room for me it's one click to join for everybody and I've just really enjoyed the ease of slack and zoom communicating and just jumping in calls anytime we need.
Angela Ponsford 36:52
Ya know, that is a real cool feature. I've actually got a keyboard shortcut set up for for me to kind of stick a zoom link into any channel, but I think yours yours is a way better dickin it's so much easier and simpler, just that one click to join.
Deacon Bradley 37:13
Thanks for joining us today talking through some zoom best practices. This is a tool we absolutely could not live without. We use this all the time, we have learned a lot and it has really brought our team together so much so that when I showed up in London last fall and met a lot of people for the very first time coming from all over the place like we were hugging, felt like friends felt like we'd known each other the whole time and we really owe it all to just zoom and keep in that video on. For links and resources from this show, head over to the virtual business podcast calm. Also look for those greatest slack chat thread ever, which I'll be posting up there. Have a good laugh over that. Don't learn your lesson from that one as well. On these first episodes here on this podcast we're working through the foundational must have tools and the best practices for this virtual team. So zoom on this episode, we're talking about slack. We're talking about Google Docs, project management, how to get your team on the same page and lots more coming up. Questions about managing your virtual team. Hit us up. We've probably been there, love to answer it. See you next time guys. see ya.
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
Make sure you install the Google Chrome extension to one-click turn a Calendar meeting into Zoom meeting.
Great microphones for remote meetings
ATR2100-USB: Plug & play, great sound, entry level price point.
Yeti USB microphones: High quality plug & play mics for remote meetings.
BlueParrott B450-XT: excellent noise canceling for on the go calls
Our favorite camera for video calls:
Logitech C920 HD: Higher quality than built in cameras, plus the added flexibility to reposition it more naturally.
Funniest Zoom moment from Tier 11
Our all time funniest zoom moment happened on a customer call. While we can’t share the video, we can share the Slack chat backchannel going on during the call.
In the chat below, Jenny is presenting during the call and somehow managed to hold it together. Deacon & Vanessa were just trying not to laugh and chatting in the background.
A Recent Zoom moment that went viral
A lot of people are learning to work from home properly right now. The best advice we can give: understand how to work you video controls!
Watch this video for a good laugh 😳