Send Your Avatar To Your Next Zoom Meeting

Send Your Avatar To Your Next Zoom Meeting


Leonard Zwelling

Andy Kessler, in The Wall Street Journal on March 18, describes how AI technology is advancing so quickly that it can generate a lifelike, responsive avatar that you could send in your place to a meeting, especially a zoom meeting. If you train your avatar well, it could be smarter than you are and far more engaging. Your avatar would be less likely of being accused of being unprofessional.

Kessler also describes software called that can transcribe meeting notes and summaries on the fly. Thus, you could see what is transpiring at a meeting you’re are supposed to attend without actually being there. How perfect is that!

His real point is less about the technology than it is about the lack of utility of most meetings. As a long-time goer to meetings and a long-time runner of them, I could not agree more. I recall multiple regular meetings where the leader of the meeting had not formulated an agenda or worse, really didn’t want feedback, but rather adulation.

Now I do not have a lot of meetings in my life any longer, but I do have some. Most are on Zoom. I hate Zoom. How can you read the room if you are not in it?

I suggest the following.

Don’t have a meeting if you can get answers to your questions with an email or a phone call. (A phone call is a conversation between two people on a telephone, a device for conversing in real time.) Don’t have multi-person meetings without an agenda that all participants have in advance. If you are running a meeting and expect a report from a participant, make sure the participant knows what’s expected of him or her and how much meeting time he or she should use. Also, alert the presenter that it is expected that he or she will be succinct and clear. If they must use Power Point slides, make sure they too are clear, and have no spelling errors on them.

When I was a vice president, I had a staff meeting every week. It was in person. This was many years before Covid upended the world. I expected every one of my managers to attend and be ready to answer questions about events in their area. I made the agenda. It was formulated immediately after the meeting for the next week and distributed to all managers. It’s not just that it’s efficient. It’s good manners.

Finally, no meeting should last more than an hour. If you can’t get the business done in an hour, work harder outside the meeting.

Now, getting back to that avatar, mine will look like Brad Pitt and talk like Lewis Black. Thus, my avatar will please the eye and tickle the funny bone. You can’t ask a whole lot more from a meeting participant.

Now that zoom is a verb and a noun as well as a sound made by automobiles, I really need someone else to attend meetings for me. If we all had avatars at zoom meetings, we would all be more productive because we wouldn’t be at meetings. We would actually be doing work.

A good group of avatars could wrap up any meeting in 15 minutes. Talk about progress!

2 thoughts on “Send Your Avatar To Your Next Zoom Meeting”

  1. I anticipated you were going to write, “…and talk like Richard Lewis…”. I know you could do a good impersonation of Richard Lewis. Now that’s a meeting I would gladly attend. 😎👍

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