Rotarians Glean Zoom Meeting Tips from Author, Speaker, Darin Harris

 It was a mere nine months ago when rumblings of a pandemic were unfolding, and the word ‘zoom’ as a communications tool was all but foreign to many people.

 That was then, this is now. Today, Zoom connects people across the globe as a way to conduct business and enjoy other people’s company as Covid-19 has reshaped how the world works.

On October 28, Darin Harris presented “This is Not TV: Networking and Best Practices in Zoom” to over 80 Rotarians.

Harris joined Rotary in July of this year. He is co-founder of Living Giving Enterprises, an organizational and leadership development company which houses He also guest lectures at UW-Madison, Edgewood College and Northland College in Ashland.

At this week’s Rotary presentation he showed some ways Zoom is used in addition to traditional face-to-face screen time. 

No matter what you use Zoom for – social meetups or for business the platform offers numerous opportunities for engagement. He emphasized this is, after all, interactive communication, not TV!

 Among some of the Zoom controls that can be useful is the survey option. In another example, he pointed out the Reactions tab if you want to show people how you’re feeling–use icons like clapping hands or a heart. Other features include CHAT, break-out groups, and Google Documents.

 In advance of dividing Rotarians into small break-out groups Harris explained, “Networking is all about getting to know each other better. Go into it with a ‘cup half-full’ attitude and then be an active listener.”

Harris then instructed participants to find something nearby that means something to them, then share it with the person on the other side of the screen.

In a break-out session with this author, Ellis Waller held up a model railroad car. On a shelf behind him he explained the 54-inch long miniature train was indicative of his interest in railroads, something he has enjoyed all his life.

 It was a superb example of how intriguing objects around you can jump-start fascinating Zoom conversations that will long be remembered.

Our thanks to fellow Rotarian Darin Harris for his timely presentation this week and to Sharyn Alden for preparing this review article.  If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: and

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