Videoconferencing is a communication technology. “I know that,” I hear you say. But think about this. When was the last time you were in a videoconference and you didn’t know the name of the person you were talking to? I bet it was recently. It happens all too often!
So for today’s challenge, let’s think about some tips to polish your introductions.
- Introduce yourself soon after you connect. Roxanne reminded us of this yesterday. Say, “Hello, this is ______ from ______ school in __________.” We want to know who you are and where you are!
- In large discussions with multiple sites, before stating your perspective, begin with “I’m _____ from _____ and my comment is…”
- Be sure to say the city and state. Sometimes it’s very helpful to include a frame of reference. For example, you probably don’t know where Berrien Springs is! So, I say, I’m Janine and I’m from Berrien RESA in southwest Michigan about an hour and a half around the lake from Chicago. Now, don’t you have a better picture of where I am?
- Prominently display a sign to identify your location.
If you participate in many collaborations with other schools, here are two tips for making these introductions quick and easy.
- Create a little script that can be used for each videoconference. Write it on a note card and keep it by the videoconference cart/system. Tell us something unique about your area so we can get to know you. The next time you participate in a collaboration (Read Around the Planet?), hand the card to a student to read!
- Create a little PowerPoint with three to five slides starting with a map of your country, a map of your state/province, and pictures from around your town/city. Use a star or other large marker on the maps to show where you are. Every videoconference is an opportunity to reinforce geography!
Your challenge for today is to write your introduction script on a notecard or make a little PowerPoint or slideshow with pictures about your community. Have a couple students help you! Tell us what you included in it.
What other tips or stories do you have on introductions?