. Tips to beat Zoom fatigue and design better virtual meetings | Meetings & Conventions Asia

Tips to beat Zoom fatigue and design better virtual meetings

The next generation of digital event planners can learn a lot from the TV world, says BBC TV presenter Roy Sheppard.

Virtual meetings are not about the technology anymore — you need to get involved in meeting design and content, says former BBC TV presenter Roy Sheppard. Photo Credit:Getty Images

‘Zoom Fatigue’ is now afflicting hundreds of millions of workers. The truth is most online meetings are really bad. They ramble, lack relevance. And I’m not just talking about internal meetings, ‘professionally’ run virtual conferences can be the worst offenders.

The world is crying out for people to organise and design more interesting meetings. This represents a massive opportunity for anyone who wants to add value (and a lot more interest to their working lives). These new skills will become highly valued in the next few years as more meetings go virtual, regardless of how quickly the world returns to normality.


Meeting design


I’m going to share some tips and techniques for anyone who schedules online meetings or has ever been given the ‘opportunity’ to organise their company conference. These ideas are based on what I’ve learned as a BBC TV presenter and conference host.


In my experience, pre-Covid, more attention used to be given to choosing a menu, than organising the content of the meeting. And it’s this lack of meeting design knowledge that results in dull meetings and conferences. Fix that, and your meetings will improve instantly.


Virtual meetings are not about the technology anymore. You need to get more involved in the meeting design, content, meeting objectives and how to help contributors look and sound more professional – and more relevant to your audiences. Do this and you’ll stand out as someone who adds real value to your meetings.


Think “Live TV Show”


As someone who used to work on live network BBC TV in the UK for many years, the way you design a TV programme is VERY different to the design of a conference. The next generation of virtual conferences can learn a great deal from the TV world.


A professional TV show is always planned meticulously by a producer who knows how to structure and format an engaging show in order to keep the audience ‘hooked’ and interested. That usually means lots of shorter sessions. They are no longer than 4-5 minutes on TV. You could probably get away with 12-15 minutes – but no more. One-hour lectures simply don’t work on-screen – especially if the speaker is a ‘knowledge expert’, not a professional performer.


Read the full article, with more tips from Roy Sheppard, via our sister title, AMI Magazine.