Why Clubhouse is Annoying and Amazing + Tips to Boost Your “Talk Power"

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I’m no early adopter but I am interested in exploring new opportunities. So, as Clubhouse started blowing up in popularity recently, I got curious… and an unsolicited invite.

So, I joined, turned notifications on and participated in a few “rooms” to check it out. This audio-only, community-based social media platform does have its advantages:

  • bringing together without the pressure of video, meeting and connecting with people worldwide, getting access to big-name leaders, to name a few.

But being a communication coach, who seeks to create more understanding in the world so people can reach their full potential, I also immediately recognized some things that I didn’t enjoy.

Not surprisingly, my critique has less to do with the app technology and more to do with human behavior (since that's the focus of my work), but I do have observations about both. And I know from experience that new technology only works to improve situations when the humans using it, embrace behavior change. I witnessed this first-hand during my marketing career where I was repeatedly part of new-technology roll outs and saw how, without behavioral processes the tech itself, can fall flat. 

Here’s my take on how to make the experience of Clubhouse less annoying by implementing a few tips with what I call “Talk Power”: 

  • Avoid repeating your profile: The desperation to get on the mic to self-promote in Clubhouse rooms is palpable. When you’re speaking it is likely people are clicking on your profile anyway so no need to be redundant. It sounds like you’re inauthentically repeating your title like, “Bob Vance, of Vance Refrigeration” does on The Office, over and over again when you repeat what's in your profile.
    • Talk Power Tip: Instead, get present, focus on the moment and share something of value with the people in the room. Ask yourself, what will their experience of me be? Give them a reason to click on your profile and want to find out more. Show your personality. Reveal your expertise with a story of your valuable experience.
  • Avoid zero introduction – This may sound contradictory to the above but what I mean is to say just your name or something short like, “Hi I’m Kery with the red jacket in my profile picture” so people can locate you and see who’s speaking.
    • Talk Power Tip: Since we are without visual cues, it’s helpful to provide them verbally. So, just like when you start speaking you say something brief to help people find you, you also do it when you’re done speaking. Say something like: “That’s all for now” or “I’m complete for now” which helps the flow of conversation keep moving.
  • Avoid long-winded rants: As can happen in conversation, some people like the sound of their own voice and they use conversation to work out their ideas. Listeners need to know where you’re going (verbally) in Clubhouse so if you are working out some thoughts, at the very least let people know you’re taking them on a ride while you figure it out.   
    • Talk Power Tip: Before jumping on the mic, take just a moment to jot down a few main points. This helps you stay on topic and people get what they came for. Ensuring listeners have a good experience means they’ll want to connect further. And isn’t that the whole point?
  • Avoid inside jokes: If you already know some of the people in the Clubhouse room, great… but, the audience doesn’t. And the nature of the app is people can pop in and out frequently. So if I pop in on a private laugh that I can’t relate to, I have no reason to stay. And if this technology is about building community, then exclusivity in conversation is just, well, annoying and reminds me of the movie Mean Girls.   
    • Talk Power Tip: There was one moderator I witnessed handle this expertly. One of her clients was in the room and she invited him to speak. When he started to discuss things that were part of their previous client conversations, she stopped and redirected him by saying: “no one knows what you’re referring to, so let’s talk about that outside of this room.” He was given a much-needed reminder and carried on with more context so the rest of us could understand, follow and actually gain something from listening.

Technologically, there are a few things that I would also improve and who knows, the way apps are updated today, by the time you read this, these points may have already been addressed:

  • Highlight the Speaker Better – I wish the icon of the person speaking would be highlighted in a more obvious way. As it is now (with a gray outline) it can be (visually) hard to find who is speaking.
  • Selective Notifications – As I mentioned, I started out with Clubhouse with notifications on. Big mistake! There were so many notifications that it was distracting. So I turned them off. Now it’s like I forget all about it. So I wish there was a way to have selective notifications. Perhaps this already exists (and I just don’t know how to use it. If you know, let me know!) 

Building our “Talk Power” is one of the ways we work together to create more social wealth. And it’s why I created the UpLevel Your Influence program to help you strengthen how you show up as a person of influence in your brand and business.

Curious about how to create more influence? Register here to find out more: http://uplevelc.com/program

And if you want to join me on Clubhouse you’ll find me there at @CoachKeryK (the same as my handle on Instagram). 

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