Saturday, May 31, 2014

WHAT IF... a Meeting was like a Conference Call?

If you work in business, there is a very good chance you've been in a conference call. And if you've been in a conference call, there is a very good chance you've experienced some inconveniences.

Of course, if you're an English User, then there's a good chance you've participated in conference calls in English... and with problems.

So for today's activity, we invite you to WATCH the following funny video, which shows us what it would be like if meetings had all the problems of conference calls. Enjoy!

After viewing, we invite you to try to answer the following QUESTIONS on your own or in a study group. PAY ATTENTION to the verb tense of the question and be sure to answer in the corresponding tense.

  • Can you list the main problems these participants experienced? (you may check the script below for their names)
  • Have you ever experienced these problems in a conference call?
  • If so, which ones did you experience?
  • Did you take any steps to avoid them?
  • If so, which steps did you take?
  • Which problems do you believe that a video conferencing system would solve over audio-only conference calling?
  • What kind of system do you mainly use for conferences?

And finally, for further study, we provide you with a copy of the transcript to this video, cleverly created and performed by the American comedian duo Tripp & Tyler:

SCENE 1 (0:00)
Tripp: Tripp Crosby…
Automatic voice:…has joined the meeting.
Beth: Beth…
Automatic voice:…has joined the meeting.!
Beth: Hello?
Tripp: Tyler?
Beth: No, this is Beth from ICS.
Tripp: Oh, hey Beth. How are you…doing?
Beth: Oh, good. Yeah, I’m just…makin’ it…y’know.
(awkward silence)
Tyler: Tyler…
Automatic voice:…has joined the meeting
Tripp: Alright, uhh, this is Tripp. Who’s here?
Tyler: Tyler’s here.
Beth: Beth’s here.
Tripp: OK, the purpose of today’s meeting is to discuss the…
John: Yeah, I’ll be able to do it in like 30 minutes. John.
Automatic voice:…has joined the meeting
Tripp: Hi John.
John: Hi.
Tripp: I was just trying to go over the purpose of today’s meeting, which is to discuss the
Tyler: Tyler…
Automatic voice:…has joined the meeting!
Tyler: Sorry guys, I got cut off. Is Paul here? I sent him an invite.
(knock at the door)
Beth: Put in your access code.
John: No, no, no, no. That’s your PIN number.
Tripp: It should be a 9-digit number.
Tyler: Try pressing the pound key.
Paul: Paul…
Automatic voice:…has joined the meeting

Tripp: Any questions before we move on?
Beth: Yes. This is Beth. What’s our best plan of attack for the second quarter?

Tripp: The question actually…
John: I think what we should do is…

Tripp: Oh. Go ahead.
John: Go ahead.

John: Oh, I think what we should…
Tripp: Well…
John: …do

Tripp: It actually depends on how you look at it
John: …is really diversify because the really comp…

John: I…
Tripp: Go ahead.
John: Go ahead.
Beth: Well, given sales are at a… (Tyler and John talking simultaneously)
Tripp: Let me just say that…
Beth: OK.

Tripp: That was a great graph John. Uh, Tyler?
Tyler: Well, my main ???cern with the ??jections from ??? ?ear was they’re just
insufficient, I mean they’re not even taking into account…
John: Did we uh, did we lose Tyler again?
Tyler: Hello?

Tripp: John, are you guys taking distributions?
John: (speaks, but no sound)
Tyler: John?
John: Oh, my bad. I was on mute. Um, let me, let me start over again.

Tripp: So, I’ve prepared a presentation. I’m sharing it with all of you. You should be able to
see it on your screen right now.
Beth: Got it.
Paul: I don’t see a link anywhere.
John: It says I need to download a plug-in.
Tripp: We are all using Macs, I’m assuming?
Everyone: Yep.
Paul: How can you…ummm….

Tripp: Finances are looking great. Paul do you have any comments on staffing?
Paul: I was thinking about that because (dog barking loudly) we can get a few more
contractors (dog barking) types in (dog barking). Hold on, I’m sorry. Rex! Get down!
Beth: I don’t know… (espresso machine whirring)…type that up
Tripp: (with echo) To me, staffing is a huge…
Beth: What is that?
Tripp: Is that me?
John: (with echo) That’s not me, I don’t think! 

Tripp: I just want to go over a couple of details as we move into (computer alert rings) our
next section. Um, we got three new departments coming on board…
Tyler: Breaking up a little bit, guys.
Tripp:…by the end of Q3…
Tyler: We’re at another dead spot. (Tripp continues talking) Sorry guys.

Tripp: That’s it guys. Beth, you’ll send out a recap email that could have basically taken the
place of this whole meeting, correct?
Beth: Yep, always do.
Dave: Yeah, thanks for doing that Beth.
Tripp: Dave! You been here the whole time?
Dave: Yeah.
Tripp: Huh. Well thanks everyone once again. Oh, one more thi…