MLP 109: How To Lead Highly Productive Video Conferencing Meetings with Derek Pando from Zoom

Video conferencing is a way to allow your team members attend meetings that matter, regardless of their location.

This type of flexible scheduling leads directly to more efficiency, since there is less need to state every point again and again for different audiences. 

Zoom helps meeting leaders accomplish meeting schedule flexibility.  In MLP 109, we meet with company head Derek Pando to discuss how his video conferencing software can change the way you schedule meetings.

Derek Pando

Derek Pando - Meeting Leadership Podcast - Effective Meetings

Derek Pando leads Partner and International Marketing at Zoom Video Communications. He has spent his career at high growth enterprise software companies including Salesforce and LinkedIn. He has held a variety of different marketing roles in his career. His expertise is in product marketing, international marketing, marketing strategy and social selling. He also writes and speaks on collaboration, technology, marketing, and professional relationships. He speaks Spanish fluently and can get by in Portuguese. If you a lot of time to kill, ask him about his vegetable garden. 

You can follow him on hi@djpandos personal blog ( or on Twitter (@djpando).

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00:00 – Show Opening

Gordon Sheppard: Are you a professional who has to lead video conferencing meetings, and you know they could be significantly better? Well then, you’re going to get a lot out of today’s episode, because today we’re bringing on an expert right from Zoom Communications. His name is Derek Pando and he is going to reveal the secrets for how to lead highly productive video conferencing meetings.

Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard.

00:45 – Podcast content starts here!

Gordon Sheppard: Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard and I just want to say, whether you’re on the treadmill, maybe you’re out in the car, thank you so much for taking the time to join us here on the show. To get another tip, another strategy to build your leadership skills and learn how to run highly effective meetings. It is great to have you here. 

01:06 – How to lead highly productive video conferencing meetings

Today on the show, we’re going to talk about a really important topic, especially when it comes to getting more done these days in meetings. Because today, we’re going to talk about how to lead highly productive video conferencing meetings.

01:24 – MLP 102: How Zoom Video Conferencing Software Makes Meetings Better –

Gordon Sheppard:  Fortunately we’ve got Derek Pando back on the show to help us do just that. Now for many of you, you might have already listened to episode 102 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast. It was called How Zoom Video Conferencing Software Makes Meetings Better. Derek there shared his real insights from his position as the lead for partner and international marketing at Zoom Video Communications. If you’d like to listen to that episode, just go to meetingleadershipinc dot com forward slash 102. Because I know that for so many of you, you’re just looking to get an edge when it comes to video conferencing meetings, I’m not going to make you wait any longer. Here’s the insightful interview with Derek Pando.

02:00 – Beginning of interview

Gordon Sheppard: Derek, welcome back to the show. You knocked it out of the park in episode 102 when we found out all the great things that are happening with Zoom video conferencing software. It’s great to have you here.

Derek Pando: Thanks Gordon. It’s great to be back, and excited to keep the discussion going.

02:20 – Derek’s self-introduction

Gordon Sheppard: Good, and for a few people that may not have met you just yet, how do you introduce yourself?

Derek Pando: I usually introduce myself as a guy that leads international partner marketing here at Zoom. Beyond that, also a part-time gardener and father. Are kind of probably the two other things that take up the most time in my life, but Zoom is my primary day job.

Gordon Sheppard: I’m glad you dropped the gardening thing because in your bio … I’m literally going to read this. If you’ve got a lot of time to kill, ask him about his vegetable garden. So what happened this year? I’ve just got to ask.

Derek Pando:  This year I had a bumper crop of Roma tomatoes. I had some problems with some pests eating my green peppers, but yeah, I experimented with some new stuff this year. But the big news on the gardening front is I live in the Bay Area in California, so we can do what’s called a winter garden, which is not possible probably where you are.

Gordon Sheppard: Yeah, no kidding. Yeah. Not up north here for sure.

Derek Pando: For the first time I’ve planted vegetables that will be growing this winter, so very excited about that.

Gordon Sheppard: Holy … It sounds like you could be busy enough with your garden, but by the way, here you are involved in this whole Zoom rocket ship. I was hearing about your increase in employees and all that kind of thing. Luckily today, we’re going to be able to talk to you about some of your experience as a leader in this topic, which is how to lead highly productive video conferencing meetings. You were mentioning to me, I know, in the other episode and even before we got onto this one, that you lead teams around the world. So quite often throughout the day, you’re actually in video conferencing meetings. What are your top suggestions for other leaders when they’re actually leading the meetings themselves?

Derek Pando: Yeah, there’s a few things that come to mind. A few of these are going to sound basic, but as we’ve talked to customers and potential customers across the world, we realize it’s not as common as some of our more advanced users experience. But one of the first things is, is every meeting that you have in your calendar should have a link to an invite for a video meeting. That may sound strange because you’re like, “Hey Derek, like well, my one-on-ones every week are in person.” But what I would say is not always, right? People are running late or people decided they’re going to work from home.

03:44 – Zoom lets you have flexible meeting links

Derek Pando: You’d be surprised how many times people just end up getting left out of stuff because they didn’t have the flexibility of, “Oh, I’m running late, I could just join on my way into the office or something like that.” So one thing that we do here at Zoom and I do with my team is that even if it’s a planned in-person meeting, I always have a meeting link in there. Zoom makes it easy within calendar integration. So it doesn’t take a lot of work to do that. It’s just clicking a button, as well as many of our competitors do the same. So that’d be the first thing I would say.

Gordon Sheppard: I like where you’re going with that. I can tell you, working with boards of directors, when I hear that someone can’t be at a board meeting and suddenly this affects something like getting quorum to have a vote. But in the meantime they could have simply done exactly what you’re just talking about. This could have a really major impact on making sure that people are getting together when they’re supposed to.

Derek Pando: Yes, exactly. It’s also giving people the flexibility to do what they got to do. Especially if you’re in a place where you have a long commute, it’s like, “Well, if I can take a meeting during my commute, that’s better for the company. that’s actually better for me too.” Flexibility is key, I think. Having those links in there ready to go if needed, enable that.

Gordon Sheppard: Make sense. You were going to say … What’s your next point?

Derek Pando: There’s so many cues that you miss if it’s just an audio conversation. Right? So if you can encourage everyone to have their video on. Then also when you are participating in the meeting, you are looking at people and watching for cues. Like has it been a while since Joe said anything? Like does Cindy look bored, does she look stressed? Is there something else going on in her life that’s maybe going to make it so she’s not going to able to give her all in this moment or this meeting? Are important things that if you were doing it in person, you’d probably more naturally pay attention to. But with video, you just need to make a little bit more of a concerted effort, but you cou