Well, I think I owe you a report on how that Zoom book launch went last week.
I was not the heroine! But I did try to do the best I could. I thought I had prepared fairly well, but at the rehearsal last Tuesday evening, I discovered that I was not able to bring up the author's powerpoint so easily after all. I tried several things.
The author spelled out what he was expecting and he had sent John (who sent them on to me) his script and powerpoint for the presentation about his book. What I had not known was that he expected the background around his images in the PPT to be black, and there should be no menus or links anywhere else on the screen. This was done for him in a Zoom book launch done in Toronto and he expected us to create the same environment.
I did my best and am usually resourceful enough to meet expectations, but those present began to drop off, and the author suggested we meet again the next morning at 10 am. I continued to fuss and work on his powerpoint to get the background black. Then I had an idea. I would export/save it as a PDF. Then it could stand alone without any program menus around it.
I was pleased to see that then the background was black, (rather than pink as it had showed up in my program). However, there was a very narrow white menu down the left side which showed the slide numbers. Since I was to follow his script and move to the next slide as indicated there, while he continued to read and adlib about his book, I thought that was fair enough.
At the morning the author said that no, a PDF would not do. And since it had been done before without a menu showing he wanted that again. The author had some meeting to attend, but we agreed we would meet again at 3:15 in the afternoon. John, the MHSS President hung around to encourage me and show me some sympathetic support. Meanwhile I decided that perhaps it took a Windows system to create what the author wanted, I have Tom's computer here and it was open because the GRANDMA database only works on windows. However, I had to download and install a Word processing program first so that I could work with the powerpoint... more frustrations as I'm used to my Linux systems. All to be accomplished by 3:15 or at least 7 pm for the Book Launch.
John asked if it would offend me if he found someone else to take on this techie guru role. I told him, "No. I'd be happy to turn this over to someone else. I often take challenges and climb up another learning curve, but I'll be happy to turn this over to someone else if you can find one."
At noon he phoned to say that he had found someone name Nora. She was the Assistant Pastor at his church. She would join us for the 3:15 meeting in the afternoon.
Whew! I began to relax. I sure hoped she could pull this off.
I was surprised when I saw her. Nora looked like she was fresh out of high school! Turned out that she was married and very knowledgeable about Zoom meetings. She asked a number of questions of the author to make sure she understood what was expected. Then she explained that with this particular zoom account the guests would have to enter a waiting room and be allowed in with a click, or else have a password. We agreed that it was too late to send out a password to all those who had already been invited since the week before with a link.
Nora asked if I would be the co-host and let people in from the waiting room as the notification button appeared. That I could do! So I agreed. She would focus on moving the slides forward, and be the ID support if anyone had trouble getting in or with their audio. She would also turn off everyone's mic during the author's presentation. A question and answer time would be allowed afterward though.
When I logged in before 7 pm I found the meeting room all quiet with the black background and just the book cover visible. It was almost like coming into a well-prepared, candle-lit banquet room. John and the author had their mics open when they arrived and chatted with a few of the guests who were arriving, who seemed to be the author's relatives or long-time friends. Then at the right time, John began his introductory speech, and the author - all relaxed and cheerful got going on his presentation. I kept letting people in as quickly as they arrived, and jotting down their names. (John had faith to believe about 30 would show up; for his sake I was thrilled to see we had 54/55 present).
I thanked God that I was off the hook. I could not have pulled off what Nora did, and no one even noticed her. She worked quietly in the background. Everyone was happy!
Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One