An Invitation from Ireland, by Barbara Moynihan
I am going to guess that many of you might be a bit like me – in that, over the past few months you have had to swiftly up-skill in the online delivery end of things.
It might sound strange, but I have really enjoyed getting way more familiar with Zoom. In particular I am loving all the cool tools that I never realised were there, when I was using it purely to have online meetings with clients. So, when it came to running our Ireland events online I was keen to get stuck in. We had our first PSA Ireland online event in April … below are 7 tips that may be of interest if you’re running events for the PSA or indeed your own events.
1. WATCH AND LEARN FROM OTHERS
Before running the Ireland event, I attended several other PSA events, as well as attending Webinars and other online training. It was great to observe things being done well and observe some things that could have been a bit smoother. Many of these just teeny tiny things that had quite a large impact.
2. PRACTICE AND LEARN FROM YOURSELF!
I practiced on Zoom with my family, my friends, my ukulele club, my cycling buddies and anyone else
that would let me! Who could you practice with or on?
3. GET COMFORTABLE WITH THINGS GOING WRONG – THEY WILL!
This is something you probably know already. However, how you deal with things going wrong is what can be the difference between it feeling awkward for everyone, or just “one of those things”. In my opening remarks, at our April event, I was sure to mention it was our first virtual event and that things would be unlikely to run completely smoothly. That meant that when we had a blip I was able to say, “See, I told you things would go wrong!” For my own webinars and virtual training, I have several “go-to” phrases I can use. Trust me, I use them regularly!
So, maybe find a few “go-to” phrases for yourself that will tumble nicely off your tongue.
4. HAVE THE MOBILE NUMBERS OF YOUR SPEAKERS
Following on from the above point, what went wrong for us was that one of our keynotes lost connection, like he actually dropped completely off the meeting! I had his mobile number so I was able to revert to my brilliant co-host, see my final point below … he got a conversation going amongst the attendees, while I was able to go and call the speaker on his mobile. The speaker was having difficulty re-connecting, so we took our planned break a little early.
We then had the final few minutes of our disconnected speaker after the break.
5. DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE!
When we meet face to face in Ireland, we have a MEMBERS ONLY segment for approximately an hour and a half before the meeting proper.
I was keen that our virtual event felt as close to the norm, as possible, so retained this element.
However, the downside was that I was on-line from before 09:00 until almost 14:00! Our event actually ended at 13:00 but as host, I felt I should stay on until the last person left.
By the end of it my eyes felt as dry as the Sahara (we tend to blink around half as much when looking at the screen) and I was absolutely exhausted!
I know what you are thinking – why did she not delegate?? Good question! Well, for our May event I did just that and delegated the member’s only part to my hugely capable Vice President Paul Davis.
6. DON’T TRY TO BE PERFECT!
This relates back to number 2 – relax, enjoy it and don’t yourself too seriously. It is a PSA event not World Congress!
7. NAB YOURSELF A FANTASTIC CO-HOST!
The best thing, for me, for our virgin virtual event was having a fantastic co-host … drum roll, for … Roger Fairhead. It gave me enormous comfort to know I had an experienced, cool, calm, zoom guru as my co-host. He also spoke for us on using Zoom and other cool tools. Now, I don’t want Roger to be inundated so find your own super-duper co-host who can help you.
Those are my seven tips – I hope you find them useful for your PSA events and maybe even your own ones too!