Unlocking Engagement in the Zombie Stamp Era

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An A4 page, a Post-it Note and a large Stamp go into a bar, I mean a Teams Meeting…

Which one is going to struggle to order a beer—I mean persuade people of what they want them to believe? The post-it note or the stamp?

A stamp and post-it note in a Zoom meeting
What’s your answer?


This is the post-Covid world. Now, 320 million of us use Microsoft Teams. Sadly, with the average laptop screen size being 14″ and most meetings involving presenting slides, we are now a large stamp.

In essence, we have gone from persuading people of whatever we wanted them to think by standing up pointing at a screen and watching them twitch, move, and itch, to now not having the first dam clue what they are thinking because they are large stamps. Specifically, they are a book of large stamps. Plus, for most people, presentations are now a fabulous opportunity to get some emails done.

I’m afraid that the biggest learning virtual meetings have provided is how to do our emails whilst feigning interest when someone presents.” -Darren

Here’s One Solution to the Problem

So, what’s the option? Call them out—yes, possibly.

“Mark, you’re doing your emails. I can see your eyes reading,” you say a bit schoolteacher-ish. And if you do, you need to never do your emails whilst watching a presentation. But unfortunately, you will. So are we all doomed? Possibly.

We’re reduced to a world of stamps where we can abandon any idea of knowing what the audience really thinks because half aren’t listening. And for the other half, we can barely see them because most don’t even take up the whole stamp or are at a funny angle watching on another screen. The apocalypse is here but not as we thought. The stamps have taken over!

Is It the Zombie Stamp Era?

Just before we start looking for the zombie stamps, there is hope. It’s the same hope as before, only a little different. That is, we need to get better at presenting.

Meh, I hear you moan. Yep, meh!

Well, we were poor at it before, and sadly we’re still poor at it. Now, the only difference is that it has gone from being darn important to critical to career success.

Thinking positively, in a sea of stamps, what if we were the stamp that stood out? The Penny Black. “Roger’s presentations are always worth attending”. Not possible? Well, as Ted Lasso says, “I’m possible”. So could you be ‘Roger’?

If You Want to Be Roger Among Stamps, You Have 3 Options:

Option #1:

First, get great at creating engaging presentations. Use more slides. Yes, I said it. But use focus. Also, watch the Ted Talk below ‘How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint’ to understand focus.

TedX YouTub video Death by PowerPoint
Click to watch the video on YouTube


Option #2:

Secondly, get great at delivering better. Practise. Use pauses more, use fewer words, vary your volume, and use different tones. No-one practises. Hence, it is key to standing out as a stamp.

Option #3:

Don’t use slides. “Do you want to take-away my left arm?” I know, shock, horror. Instead, use props. Write on a pad and show it to the screen. Additionally, use Teams whiteboard or break out rooms. In fact, use anything other than slides.

Do all of the above, if you want to be a stamp that stands out, like Roger.

Related Articles:

How to Give a Good PresentationOnline Meeting Articles and ContentPresentation Skills TipsVirtual Meeting Articles and Content

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