Please note the following information created by DC Chapter Chair Gary Salisbury and the Chapter Executive Committee, as a result of the HQ direction to deal with the coronavirus. These are easily implemented actions that will keep us in contact our Volunteers and Clients.
Remember to use the Chapter Enterprise Zoom Account to conduct Chapter meetings. Keeping in touch with Volunteers is critical. SCORE.org has tutorials on using the Enterprise Account.
As a follow-up to yesterday’s recommendation from SCORE National that we should work remotely, I wanted to provide suggestions on some of the technology that is available to help you with voice and video mentoring.
VOICE: Obviously, you can use your personal phone. However, if you are not comfortable sharing your personal phone number with clients, here are a couple alternatives:
Free Conference Calls: You can schedule a conference call with your clients. Both you and your clients will immediately receive an invitation via e-mail with the details of the conference. 15 minutes before the scheduled call, you will receive an e-mail reminder with dial-in instructions. Go to https://www.freeconference.com/ and sign up for a free account. I found the instructions are very intuitive, but it doesn’t hurt to practice scheduling a conference with your spouse or friend.
Google Voice: Google voice issues you a second phone number. You can call and receive with this number. This number also appears on the client’s screen. It’s more complicated to setting up FreeConference, but I like the features ... and it’s free. Go to the Apple Apps Store or Google Play Store on your smart phone and download the Google Voice app. Create an account (you will need to use a Gmail account … however, I couldn’t establish an account using my SCORE Gmail account). Once the account is set up, you can download an App on your desktop. Your desktop and smartphone will automatically synchronize.
VIDEO: Each SCORE Chapter has a Zoom enterprise license. You don’t need to use the enterprise license (Although it offers more services, it does not support simultaneous mentoring sessions. It would be a nightmare to schedule sessions for a number of mentors.) Instead, sign up for a free account at https://zoom.com or https://zoom.us. Click on the “SIGN UP, IT’s FREE” button (top right corner). Once the account is established, follow Kristin Sharpe’s tips on setting up and using Zoom for your video mentoring.
- You can sign up for a free Zoom account at Zoom.com. Note that the main restriction with a free account is that meetings with MORE that 2 people joining from separate locations (for example, if you co-mentoring) are restricted to 40 minutes. If you are in this situation, everyone will be automatically logged out after 40 minutes and everyone will need to log back in.
- As a best practice, download the Zoom app to your PC by going to https://zoom.com, “RESOURCES” (top right corner), Download Zoom Client
- To Start a meeting, click on the Blue Zoom button in the tray at the bottom of your screen. To get your Personal Meeting ID, click Copy URL from the screen that pops up here. This is the link that you will send to your clients.
- When you reach out to clients, remind them to not join the meeting early for the privacy of your previous client. Here is text you may want to use:
“Given the current health concerns regarding COVID-19, instead of in-person mentoring, I will be mentoring via video. You can join me at [ENTER your Personal Meeting ID here]. Please ensure that your camera and microphone are working. If you would like to test that you can successfully connect to Zoom, please do so before [enter when you start to mentor here, for example 10am on Tuesday]. Once I begin seeing clients at [10am Tuesday], please do not login until your scheduled time so you do not interrupt another client. Please let me know if you plan to join me via video.”
- Once you login to Zoom, hover at the bottom of the window and click the Start Video icon in the lower left hand corner to allow video. If the Mute Microphone has a red cross through it, click on it to enable audio. It’s likely you will need to remind clients to do this as well if you can't see and/or hear them.
- If you want to share your screen, press the green Share rectangle at the lower middle of the screen. A screen will pop up asking what you want to share. Desktop is the easiest option. To stop screen share, press Stop Share in the red area at the bottom of your screen.
- To end your meeting, close the window by pressing the small red circle at the top left corner of your screen. OR, if you have another client coming for another session, you can simply stay on the line and a tone will ring when the next client joins.
You can also access tutorials from ZOOM here or https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697.