Learning video skills – Zoom

As part of the pandemic, I have been learning new skills very quickly. It seems that many people are joining in the ‘zoom revolution’ and having meetings/coffees etc. on that platform. Yesterday, I was in a licensing service with 46 people, many of whom had no experience on the platform. Here are a few tips that will help in these conversations.

  1. Sound – if you are not speaking, make sure you are muted. It prevents people being bombarded with a variety of sounds.
  2. Video – be aware of light. If you have a window behind, it is unlikely that your face will be seen. Make sure that light sources are in front of you or at your side – it will improve things….honest!
  3. Video again – think of the camera position. Straight on to the face is best but not the only place. Think about the image that others can see and respond accordingly.
  4. Sound 2 – most microphones mean that you can talk normally and everyone will hear, you do not need to raise your normal voice levels…it may sound like you are shouting at people when you want to be talking

Just a few simple tips….hope they are useful to someone

An Ambassador in Everday Life

Something that I wrote for the Ambassadors2020 website in March:

Almost a lifetime ago, Bob Hoskins’ BT adverts reminded us that ‘it’s good to talk’ and ever since we have seen the growth of the telecoms industry and an explosion in social media. Like others, my smartphone addiction needs careful monitoring, and so, I have chosen to say hello to the people that I pass when I walk down the street with the following caveat; to be willing to talk with folk that are up for conversation. It is so much more fun than the handheld screen.

A few weeks in and there have been remarkable results. I wait for eye contact and then nod, smile and say a casual greeting. Most people pass on, yet from this simple gesture, a number of conversations have been sparked. One guy shared the story of his life and the challenges he faces in retirement, and an elderly lady shared about her fears for her future as she is being relocated in a new development. Quite wonderful life stories that began with a simple smile and a ‘hello’.

 In both these cases, there was no need to share a full gospel sermon to go into great depths about Jesus love for them, but there was an opportunity to say that the local church is a safe place to talk of these concerns, to find friendship and to learn about faith in Jesus. Perhaps the greatest witness was the time that I gave and the willingness to listen and respond. Both these conversations ended with the individuals saying thank you for taking the time. It cost me nothing but left me with a sense that I had been a friend and that listening to them had been a support.

As an ambassador, I do not need all the answers, to solve all the world’s problems, or correct all the mistakes of others. But providing a little salt or a smidgen of light can make a big difference in the lives of those we meet. When we make ourselves available, in Jesus name, who knows what can be achieved?

As Ambassadors, it is ‘good to talk’, what conversations can you have today?