Home Author Author Mike Acker makes his TEDx Talk debut with “Why We’re Doing a Bad Web Conference”

Author Mike Acker makes his TEDx Talk debut with “Why We’re Doing a Bad Web Conference”


Communication coach, author, and speaker Mike Acker recently gave a TEDx talk outlining ways web conferencing can be less exhausting and more energizing.

Acker, author of the best-selling books “Speak with No Fear” and “Speak with Confidence,” is an esteemed executive trainer who offers training specifically focused on improving corporate communication. He is the founder of SMV Training, which focuses entirely on training trainers to conduct exciting, dynamic and engaging virtual meetings. Acker’s sixth book “Speak & Meet Virtually” helps people move from Zoom fatigue to engaging online conferences.

In his TEDx Talk, Acker compares web conferencing with Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek and reminded his audience of the awe people feel looking at the screen and wondering if some of this technology could be a day become reality. Web conferencing was launched with Cisco’s WebEx in the 90s. Today, platforms such as Zoom are used every day for millions of virtual meetings around the world.

This technology is not without drawbacks. While convenient, web conferencing has been linked to fatigue and burnout, as well as a host of physical ailments. For example, positioning the head to look down on a keyboard actually affects the gravitational torque on the body, adding 10 to 20 pounds of force applied to the neck per inch the head extends forward. People tend to stare at the screen, they don’t make eye contact or dress up for virtual meetings like they would for in-person conferences.

Acker described how the body and mind go into social mode when someone is face to face with other people. For example, people tend to adopt good posture and make eye contact during face-to-face meetings. In front of a screen, however, the mind goes into “solo” mode. Slumping occurs, little or no eye contact is attempted, and energy is generally depleted.

It turns out that working in front of a screen can be tiring. The eyes have to constantly adapt, and poor computer posture causes pain and fatigue.

Acker encouraged his audience to think like Captain Kirk and shift their mindset to a social mode before entering a Zoom meeting. He offered lighting and positioning tips and told the audience to maintain eye contact and use social skills. Putting the mind and body into social mode before a Zoom meeting is energizing during and after the conference.

See Acker’s full TEDx Talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIYIk_mF5pI.

Learn more about its corporate training programs at https://www.smvprogram.com/.

About Mike Acker

Mick Acker is a communications coach, author and founder of the SMV program, which “trains the trainers” on how to liven up outdated virtual meetings with dynamic web conferencing strategies in order to be effective and productive. He currently works with ADVANCE, Coaching and Consulting.