Bridging the Divide (Or At Least Throwing A Rope To The Other Side)

Virtual platforms are easy and convenient– not to mention cost effective ways to communicate with people on a national and even global scale (New Zealand, Australia– we’re looking at you. Thanks for your presence at last week’s Webinar!). However while popular sites like Facebook, Skype, and Google allow users to engage in conversation and even visually interact with one another, technology is still unable to fully transcend the barrier between people on opposite sides of the screen.

While virtual interaction between listeners, attendees, friends or family members mimics the ease of physical communication something is still missing. During the call a few attendees requested to see video of the speakers. Unfortunately the platform we use to host our Webinars does not facilitate video streaming, but nonetheless these requests raised a good point. They hinted towards the desire for listeners to feel close to the person with whom they are interacting. When engaging in conversation our speech is not limited to verbal cues or in the case of Webinars to an audio broadcast, but rather incorporates hand gestures, and a multitude of facial expressions that animate conversation and engage an audience. While technology is not currently able to create a fully interactive or true to life experience it does offer avenues that produce a more complete and multifaceted interaction

Prior to the webinar we emailed registrants a survey and a link to the award winning PSA by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership. We hope the video created a more interactive experience while the pre-event survey along with our post-event survey allowed attendees to share feedback on the call and their own experiences with storytelling. Thank you to everyone who participated, we received great comments and suggestions! In the spirit of creating a more complete virtual experience, we are sharing a selection of comments provided by users. While this does not replace the rich experience of interacting with colleagues during a meeting or seminar, given stringent budget cuts and lean travel funding we hope these additions to our Webinars provided a more engaging and effective experience without ever leaving the office.

What was the most valuable thing you learned today?

“Telling stories vs. telling only facts and how much better people listen when the facts are presented in story form.”

“Facts are forgotten, Stories are remembered.”

“(Referring to the website) Hearing and seeing real people to relate the dangers of these horrible diseases that we educate about, makes me want to educate my patients even more than ever.”

“There are stories everywhere that can effectively tell the story. Stories don’t have to be professionally done to be effective – just get started.”

“It was good to understand that “Scientific Evidence” does not move the public like stories do. Anti-immunization people have learned this lesson very well.”

How might you incorporate this new information into your practice?

“I have wanted to engage nurses in telling their stories about immunizations but didn’t know how to get started. Now I thing it is possible.”

“Will give shotbyshot website to clients & may incorporate some of those stories when talking to parents.”

“Incorporating real stories about vaccines into patient education at our practice”

“Share stories on our website, facebook, in our waiting room etc. Maybe even record some stories.”

“We are looking for ways to increase our immunization compliance to those 0-2yrs. We can use storytelling and add to our website.”

“I plan to be proactive in seeking out and developing pro-immunization stories and exploring ways to use them”.

Please share other feedback or suggestions on the session.

“The session was excellent and had extraordinary value for Community Health Education – I would not change anything just provide again in other venues to reach more people who can take advantage of the knowledge in promoting health.”

“Excellent presentation. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised at how much of this information I can incorporate into my work.”

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