Conference Calls, those audio broadcast boxes delivering disembodied voices to the meeting table seem to be a thing of the past since covid introduced everyone to video meetings and webinars.
It is important to remember that not everyone has the luxury of adequate bandwidth to attend video meetings or webinars.
I always reiterate to people when I talk about video event platforms that I am a reluctant Zoom user. A zoom power use I might add as mastery of the settings extend the functionality of Zoom in some extraordinary ways.
This post is to bring attention a much overlook feature of Zoom. Its capacity to offer landline dial in access to those with no internet at all.
The pure audio experience with a receiver tucked in tightly to your ear or in these times of tech, perhaps hands free, sat back in an arm chair!
As I’m Zoom prepping for the Royal Historical Society I recalled how the last lecture did indeed have several dialled in attendees.
I want to encourage this more.
There are many reasons why your attendees might prefer the off screen, audio only experience.
Its time to step up the accessibility announcement in the continuity script I prepare for hosts.
The what I fondly refer to as the ‘hair and flair’ self described welcome for the partially signed and blind members of the audience. Those who have no use for the closed captions but do appreciate an added dimension of vocally expressed enrichment for their experience.
Audio Description of the lecture slides is a consideration in need of thought. During the first lockdown I had the joy of consulting and zoom controlling for theatre company, NotNowCollective. This was first time working directly with an audience description author.
The art of saying everything with very little!
This isn’t a post about AD but needs to be a future post.
Comment if you agree.
So don’t forget dial in is an option for Zoom especially if you want to reach a wider audience.
Care Homes for instance. If anyone would like to talk about how I’d be happy to share further thoughts on extending audience and suggest technical provision. The Royal Historical Society and the Society for Study of French History both use my services to host their Zoom lecture series. There lectures are free to attend.
The dial in details are often omitted on the assumption they aren’t required but.. if you want to join a zoom and don’t have internet remember you can request the dial in details.
RHS Events Programme, 2022