Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Laughing out Loud" orally

I've written about the horrors of teleconferences many times in this blog before and can't be bothered to link but you can always search the blog for "telecon" and/or "teleconference" and I'm sure you will find quite a number of posts dealing with this infernal type of meeting.

One of the things with telecons is how badly suited they are for any use of humour and jokes that otherwise can be quite refreshing when going through a large PowerPoint presentation. The audience is an anonymous mass, all having their systems on "mute" (well, ideally, but it never happens) and throwing out a joke mixed in the presentation results in either

A) complete silence (people might have gotten that it's a joke and laughed a bit, but since it's on mute you'll never know)


B) the awkward stilted laughs that comes out of someone pressing "unmute" and then artificially laughing to show that he/she "got" the joke and it can get even more ridiculous when it's followed up by all the other participants following up, doing the same in turn to show that they too, got the joke, each laugh more artificial than the next.

Those artificial laughs always seemed to me as something very close to someone writing "LOL" or "haha" in a chat; you know that it doesn't really come from the heart! My advice; stay clear of the jokes and go for option A!


Corinne said...

Maybe you could get mega-rich by inventing a standardised 'laugh button' especially for teleconferences...? It could have a big smile on it and let out a natural laughing noise so that people wouldn't have to fake it and the person telling the joke wouldn't feel so much like a shag on a rock...

Fernando said...

Hail for the complete silence

Martin said...

I only write "lol" when I really laugh out loud orally from the heart.

But we both know im a stupidhead.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Corinne - I like that idea, why not use a laugh-track in teleconferences? It would make things a lot more entertaining, I will see if I can push this forward!

Fernando and Martin - LOL

Anonymous said...

If it helps, I think you're funny and appreciate your humor.

You know how TV can do screen-in-screen with a little box in the corner of the screen for other channels? Maybe ask a tech guy to set up video conferences instead so you can see the people you're presenting to. After all, body language is pretty important to communication and it sounds like you want to know what the audience thinks.

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