We’ve all had to get to grips with new technology this lockdown, doing video calls a lot more, delivering services online, and operating very much in the Cloud.

MS Teams, Sarah Lockett
MS Teams, Sarah Lockett

This photo is of me trying to master Microsoft Teams. Now, I don’t want to come across as a clueless dinosaur, but I have found it quite hard! 🙂 It’s not very intuitive, is it?

It’s probably fantastic once you’ve mastered it, but I am not quite there yet. And, being freelance, I don’t have an IT department to call on. I have relied on YouTube tutorials (which really are amazing, indispensable, essential) to teach me the basics.

I have also had to fight my urge to want to be perfect at MS teams, Day One! As I do with any new skill. But I have had to allow myself the time to learn, to grow, to make mistakes, to be frustrated, baffled, confused, to walk away, make a cup of tea, switch off the laptop, go for a walk, watch some trashy TV, eat some chocolate, eat some more chocolate – and then come back to it and try again. Over several days and, in fact, weeks.

And I have made progress. Some of it was my inexperience with this kind of technology. Some of it was the fact that I didn’t have the right “permissions” or boxes ticked, to do the functions I wanted. Anyway I think we are 95% of the way there. And we will see how smoothly it goes next week when I am delivering some media training via Teams. Fingers crossed.

And, as I always advise people when I am training them, when they’re nervous or unsure of themselves: practise more and do more preparation. Research, read up on the issues, rehearse. I, for one, will have a few more dry runs before we go live.

The good thing about video calls (for me) is that they are a performance. Once the time ticks down and the clock clicks onto your allotted time (58, 59, 0000), you are live! And in that sense, it’s just like the live TV News I have done most of my working life. So I am used to “smelling the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd”, stepping out in front of the cameras, taking a breath – and going for it. But most people perhaps don’t have this skillset in their everyday jobs. So it’s time to practise, get some training, improve, hone, learn and get better.

Get in touch to find out about online Presentation Skills Training, or Media Training, delivered via zoom, OR, as the lockdown eases, in person.

Sarah Lockett

Sarah Lockett is a former BBC News / Sky News anchor who currently presents a variety of content for corporate clients and delivers media training.
She has presented on BBC News and Sky News, plus reported for Channel Four News, 5 News, Reuters and others.
She now hosts webinars and conferences, chairs corporate/academic panel discussions, hosts award ceremonies and events. She writes, presents and produces training videos, as well as voiceovers (both factual and drama/comedy). She has written two books and is also working as an actor.

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