The Master Communicator Blog

Make AI your friend on video calls

Zoom was indispensable during the lockdown. But are video calls still relevant as more people return to their physical workplaces? The answer is yes, thanks to AI-powered tools.
January 15, 2024

 

Have you been asked to return to the office more often? That appears to be the trend for 2024 as companies from Amazon to Goldman Sachs are asking reluctant remote employees to show up in person or adopt flexible work-from-home schedules. What does this mean for video conferencing? It means that video calls will not go away, instead, they will expand and be integrated into everyday work and collaboration tools. In fact, studies show that the market for video conferencing will be valued at a massive USD $19.1 billion by 2027, up from $10.6 billion in 2022.

What does this mean for you? It means there’s no escaping the importance of showing up at your professional best every time to join a video call. After creating extensive training programs on virtual executive presence and the ZoomScore™ success metric four years ago, my jaw still drops when I join an online meeting and see “shadow creatures” (very bad lighting), “amoeba-heads” (poor use of virtual background without greenscreen) and “bobbing heads” (no body visible, just the head at the bottom of the screen). These are just a few of the transgressions. Sadly, even high-powered execs fail to adopt the best practices for a professional video presence.

Four years since we moved our work and social lives to Zoom, it’s time we stepped up and improved how we show up. After all, how you look and sound on the screen can impact your business, career, and reputation. Would you trust a person whose face you can’t see because it’s completely in shadow? The ability to “see their eyes” is a trust signal as much in virtual settings as in physical spaces.

Today, the leading video calling platforms have broadened their features to save users time with AI-powered automation to meet the needs of a new flexible workforce and save them the most precious commodity of time.

Here are just a few of the recent bells and whistles designed to make you fall in love with Zoom again. 

Zoom Clips

Allows you to record your video message on the web portal without making a call. You edit, trim, and tag your clip and share it with people inside and outside your organization. If you’ve used Loom, you get the picture. Described as an asynchronous video app, Zoom Clips was released at the end of 2023.

Meeting Summaries

Zoom has curated an app bundle with several options for instant AI-generated meeting recaps and automated summaries. When the meeting host enables this feature, participants can automatically receive a summary after the meeting ends. And the summaries are supported in more than 30 languages—from Arabic to Vietnamese.

One app in the Zoom add-on bundle is Read AI, which delivers an automated recording, summary, topics discussed, action items, key questions, coaching tips, and recommendations after every Zoom meeting. You can re-watch the meeting with playback and opt for a two-minute highlight reel of key discussion points. Twine has similar functionalities. But my favorite is AI Notetaker by Fathom which has an uncanny way of prioritizing action items in the meeting summary.

These fantastic tools will save you effort and enable more accurate and timely meeting outcomes so everyone on the call is on the same page afterward. And note that they work with MS Teams, Google Meet, and other video conferencing technology solutions, too.

But as beneficial as they are, they don’t guide you to a better video presence. Yoodli, which integrates with Zoom, is an AI-powered communications coach that gives you immediate feedback on your verbal and non-verbal communication skills without the pressure of an audience. Virtual Sapiens is a stand-alone app that analyzes verbal and non-verbal cues, such as gestures, body language, and eye gaze, on video events to help you build awareness and confidence in how you’re coming across. Both apps have free starter versions. 

If you want personalized coaching on your on-camera skills (that is, with a live person), you can contact me for a no-obligation 15-minute session to get you started on your ZoomScore™ journey.

What is ZoomScore™? It’s my 10-point yardstick for success on Zoom or the video meeting platform of your choice. The elements are Sharpness of Image, Overall Composition, Framing, Proper Lighting, Eye level, Background choice, Distance from the Camera, Attire and Wardrobe, and Personal Appearance. All 10 work in concert to project the human qualities that build trust, authority, and credibility.

The changing dynamics of work will require higher levels of competency with connectivity tools that allow physical and virtual spaces to co-exist. As you prepare to return to the office full-time, or part-time or choose to work from home, video meetings will continue to occupy an important role in your technology toolbox. 

In short, Zoom’s relevance extends beyond the remote work boom. As the workforce embraces a hybrid model, video conferencing stands as a reliable and indispensable tool for fostering collaboration, productivity, and efficiency in the modern workplace. But it’s up to you to make it work in your favor. 

Rosemary Ravinal

Business leaders and entrepreneurs who want to elevate their public speaking impact, executive presence, and media interview skills come to me for personalized attention and measurable results. I am recognized as America’s Premier Bilingual Public Speaking Coach after decades as a corporate spokesperson and media personality in the U.S. mainstream, Hispanic and Latin American markets. My company’s services are available for individuals, teams, in-person and online, and in English and Spanish in South Florida and elsewhere.

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