“Is this working?”
“Can you all hear me?”
“Hello? Can you all hear me?”
That’s pretty much how every Zoom call starts out.
These days, it seems like everything is a Zoom call — including Pre-Cana.
However, is using Zoom as a means to conduct a Pre-Cana “virtual gathered event” a good alternative for when meeting in person is not available? It certainly is not the ONLY alternative.
Here are 4 reasons why Zoom might not be the best alternative option for Pre-Cana.
Dropped calls. Frozen video. Audio that sounds like a robot underwater.
These can all lead to a poor and frustrating video call experience, let alone for something as important as Pre-Cana.
Think about it — if you are the one presenting, you get into a groove with the topic you are discussing. When you have to pause because you realize that your call has been dropped, it will take a while to get your momentum back after the call resumes.
It is difficult for anybody to gather their thoughts again when there’s a cataclysmic interruption, especially when your audience just completely disappears due to poor connection.
Even if it is one or two couples that experience the interruption, unbeknownst to the presenter/video team, those particular couples will have lost what could be several minutes worth of important talking points.
Talking Over Each Other
“Well I think— no, you go ahead… No it’s okay! Oh — no, you go ahead!”
The success of a Pre Cana gathered event is one part presentation and one part group participation.
You desire for your couples to ask questions and engage in conversation.
On a Zoom call, this can turn into an absolute nightmare.
You will have your couples talking over each other, and awkwardly telling the other participants to continue with their thought, creating chaos and a jumble of audio coming through on everyone’s device.
Other than the obvious problem that this is, another issue that can arise is your couples can shut down after an awkward “interrupting” encounter.
It takes a lot of courage for someone to speak up in front of strangers. When one experiences something as jarring as trying to talk over another, it would be easy for that individual to either forget what they were about to ask or comment on, or just completely shut down due to embarrassment.
Fatigue from Long Zoom Calls
Video conference calls are… exhausting.
For live presentations, it is always better to have people physically in the room, rather than virtually present.
Presenters and speakers do their best when they have faces to look at.
When a presenter only has a screen with blank expressions to stare at during the Pre-Cana event, it induces fatigue and, let’s face it, frustration.
Presenters can come down hard on themselves for “not giving it their best” even if their presentation was great!
In those moments, presenters might start going off of their notes and not delivering the message in an impactful way, or worse, completely forget important parts of the topic.
The Obvious Security Risks
According to this article from The Guardian, Zoom has had some glaring problems of privacy and security.
“‘Zoom bombings,’ in which hackers enter chat rooms to drop racist language and violent threats, persist. The company had to fix a bug that would have allowed hackers to take over a Zoom user’s Mac. It also had to change some of its policies after a Motherboard report found Zoom sends data from users of its iOS app to Facebook for advertising purposes.”
The last thing that you would ever want is to compromise the integrity of your couples’ privacy and security.
So What Do We Offer Instead?
Our course is the most popular choice among ministry leaders and couples from all around the world as an online, on-demand Pre-Cana program.
Your couples will have peace of mind knowing they can register anytime, anywhere to get started immediately. You as a ministry leader will have peace of mind knowing that your couples are receiving a comprehensive and sacramental marriage preparation experience.
We were delighted to know that this program was offered online, to complete our Pre-Cana in a time of social distancing due to COVID-19.
Our course covers all of the “must-have” conversations outlined by the USCCB, offering a high quality program for when gathered events cannot happen.
What Couples Have Said:
“We were delighted to know that this program was offered online, to complete our Pre-Cana in a time of social distancing due to COVID-19.”
“It was convenient and safe to complete together from the comfort of home during COVID-19 but also allowed our conversation together to be private and intimate.”
“It was very easy to complete this course on our own time. Very beneficial for long distance couples, deployed couples, and anyone who cannot attend in person classes during these weird Covid times.”
“Convenient way to prepare for marriage during COVID, and even without COVID, for those with busy lifestyles. My fiancé and I don’t live in the same city and this was the perfect solution to set aside time to go through the courses together.”
“I think it was an excellent resource for us since our in person Pre-Cana day had been cancelled due to COVID-19. It took a little bit of weight off of our shoulders knowing we could complete it on our own time and not have to stress about fitting in a new date before our wedding.”
Contact us today to learn how you can start using our online, on-demand programs in your Parish or Diocese! We look forward to talking with you.