What is your club doing to stay in touch with members?
Yes, an interesting Bulletin is essential, and most are adapting to the current circumstances but the online face to face is equally useful.
It is Absolutely Fantastic that so many clubs are staying in touch with members through online meetings and for those of you yet to give this a try … have a go soon.
Here is the story of one club's first meeting:
St Johns Rotary held its first online club meeting this morning and it was an outstanding success. There were 18 members present and 1 dog (we cater for all needing to connect), including Oscar all the way from the UK.
The 30 minutes were a catch up with what everyone was doing and to ensure all were OK. Allan reported that, as seen from his window, the Eastridge supermarket car park was full and Peter that the drug house next door was doing a roaring trade.  There was lots of general chit-chat and joking with very little actual Rotary business but the purpose was simply to give members the chance to meet up and definately very light-hearted.
Zoom was used and all agreed that it was easy to set up (first time users) and get onto the meeting and made all feel so much more connected. A small number initially did not know how to put their video on but quickly worked that out. It was interesting what some had behind them on the video such as interesting artwork. All were in good spirits in their first day of isolation. The club Board had a "practice" the day before in using Zoom in the form of a brief club Board meeting.
The consensus was that more members should be encouraged to join as it was so good to have the catch up and the next 'meeting' will be the same time, 8am Thursday next week with President Robyn sending out the Zoom link beforehand.
An interesting observation is that in the case of St Johns Rotary there was no need for members to use the many 'how to' guides circulating (although some may find these useful) at least on the level it was used there.
The club used the free version of Zoom (max. 40-minute meetings although this limit may have been relaxed). Next meeting will be opened (notified) to former members to also join in.
This pandemic is serious business so we do want to know you are well and safe, and although we are less concern about appearances, a few tips may help never-the-less as we are exposing our private sphere to the eyes of outsiders.
As a start we need to look presentable through the lens of our webcam, if only from the waist up (Jeremy on Seven Sharp has shown us how to do that). What is in the background is important as that picture behind you that you think of as art … (well what is art is in the eye of the beholder). This could go one of two ways; either it needs to be as neutral as possible or make it deliberately interesting but tasteful.
The lens will also pick up the quality of the lighting you are sitting in so try and make it so you are lit evenly rather than looking as though you are part of a Adams Family movie with shadows making you unrecognisable. Also try to avoid lighting that creates a glare for your camera or a reflection on your screen. Ideally the only sounds others on the call can hear is you speaking so try and find a place where others in the household will not disturb you nor their many varied household ‘activities’.
There is an awful lot of advice on the internet on this topic at present such as creating virtual backdrops of your favourite landscape from your picture album, but really, just keep it simple and enjoy your next online club meeting/chat.
Oh, a final tip or two … angle your camera so we can see you well and not the top of your head and either use a desk mic or a head set so we can hear you clearly.