Monday, May 15, 2023

Who does well at Zoom

Via Marginal Revolution, this Insider article about why Zoom is weird, and how people can get better at it: 

In a study last year, people who were face-to-face responded to yes/no questions in 297 milliseconds, on average, while those on Zoom chats took 976 milliseconds. Conversational turns — handing the mic back and forth between speakers, as it were — exhibited similar delays. The researchers hypothesized that something about the scant 30- to 70-millisecond delay in Zoom audio disrupts whatever neural mechanisms we meatbags use to get in sync with one another, that magic that creates true dialogue.

...Cooney and Reece's first pass at the data suggests that "good conversationalists" on Zoom are those who talk faster, louder, and more intensely. They're the Tom Cruises, as it were, of the interactive back-and-forth. People rated by their partners as better conversationalists spoke 3% faster than bad conversationalists — uttering about six more words a minute. And while the average loudness of speakers didn't change across bad or good conversations, the "good" talkers varied their decibel levels more than the "bad" talkers did. Cooney and Reece's team speculate that the good ones were better at reading the Zoom room, calibrating their volume to the curves of the conversation.

I genuinely do not enjoy video conversations, but they seem to be important, so it's worthwhile thinking about how to get better at them. 

(I do not enjoy talking fast, nor loud nor intensely, so that's probably something to work on... I guess.) 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interesting link. In clicking thorugh, it turns out this was based on 1:1 conversations about random topics between strangers. I suppose it is a good place to start building research, but I am not sure how applicable this is to the way that Zoom is used in general by CJ's readers (which is probbaly meetings and 1:1 with supervisor/direct report). Getting permission to record and analyze that type of data would be a challenge!


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20