Robert Kawalsky is the CEO and Cofounder of Zeetings, a software company changing the way people present their ideas to the world. Robert is also an active investor and advisor to technology and internet related businesses. He previously held the position of Portfolio Manager at Keybridge Capital where he grew and managed a portfolio of assets across shipping, aviation, renewable energy and real estate. Robert began his career at Ernst & Young, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of NSW and is a CFA Charterholder.
In this conversation, Robert talks about new features and ideas at Zeetings.
Geetesh: Rob, can you tell us more about the new features and improvements that Zeetings now provides?
Robert: Absolutely, I’d love to share ideas about new things you can do with Zeetings this year.
There are now more ways than ever to get your participants to interact. It is now very easy to add a weblink slide to your Zeeting — these allow you to take your participants to a web page mid-presentation. With one click participants can jump to your website, a survey, your Twitter page or anywhere else on the web. You can now add quick forms into your presentations; unlike polls, the info people submit in forms is just for you. Embedding content you find online directly into your Zeetings has never been easier — we’re seeing users imaginations run wild putting live maps, GIFs, images and videos between their slides. Polls continue to be one of our most popular features — there are four question formats already with more coming online over the next few weeks.
Next, we wanted to help people collect better information about their participants. It is now possible to request participants names and emails before they join your presentations. To help presenters access the information they collect, we have added a new tab to our Insights Reports called “Participants” which keeps track of everyone interacting with your presentations. These features are a great way of better understanding your participants and following up with them after each presentation.
Finally, in addition to adding new functionality, we have made existing functionality better. We have made the Activity feed much more powerful. You can now use hashtags to reference particular slides (and automatically connect that post to the slide) and use the @ symbol to mention particular people. Just type @ or # and a pre-filled list will pop up so it’s very easy to use. You can now also sort the Activity feed by most likes — this is a great way of seeing which questions and comments are most popular. Another great example is the ability to use your phone as a clicker. If you open the same Zeeting on your phone and laptop and start broadcasting from either device, they will automatically keep in sync. This means you can attach your laptop to the main screen and then use your phone to progress through the presentation.
Geetesh: Can you tell us about your favorite Zeetings feature, and why is it your favorite?
Robert: It’s always impossible to choose (!) but a feature I am really excited about at the moment is Q & A Session. Zeetings has always empowered participants to post questions and comments during a presentation. Q&A Sessions allows the presenter or moderator to select a particular post and display it on the main screen to be answered. All this happens with just one click.
The reason I’m so excited about this feature is that it really makes participants part of the presentation — no longer are they just spectators. Now their thoughts, ideas, comments, and questions can be right up there on the main screen. Also, because the entire audience can upvote individual posts, everyone actually has the opportunity to influence what the presenter or panel address next. Also, by highlighting a particular post, everyone in the room and those tuning in remotely, know exactly what topic is being addressed at that moment.
We recently had a large bank use Q&A Session for a town hall meeting with over a 500 staff. During the meeting, hundreds of questions were posted to Activity, and there were thousands of upvotes. The moderator ordered the posts by popularity and pushed the top questions, one at a time, for the executives to answer. It was an extremely democratic way of giving everyone a voice and, importantly, established a high level of trust and transparency between the staff and executives because the questions the staff most wanted to be answered were addressed.