How to Zoom like a pro

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How to Zoom like a pro
How to Zoom like a pro
07-15-2020 11:00 am
(Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2020) During quarantine, those of us who were still working - from home - got really familiar with Zoom. This platform changed the way we did meetings, and now we're able to have a meeting from anywhere. Whether you think this is good or bad, there's no doubt that the work/life balance has shifted. We may not be in quarantine anymore, but we are practicing social distancing. Zoom is a great tool for that.

These new technologies make it easier to work from anywhere, but that doesn't mean proper etiquette goes out the window! Here's some pro tips for meeting over Zoom.

Use the video option when possible

This is especially important when hosting or leading a meeting. Make sure you have your video on when in a video conference. It might come off as rude otherwise. 

Dress for the meeting

That's right. Even though you're at home, you should still dress for your work meeting. You wouldn't wear pajamas to work would you? Then you shouldn't look like a bum in a virtual meeting. Make sure you dress appropriately (at least from the wasit up). Wearing the proper clothing shows you care, it also might help you be more productive. 

Stage your video area

This could mean a lot of things. I've seen people create fun backgrounds with a green screen, and some pretty impressive home offices. Whatever your venue, make sure you have things where you need them - have a little station set up so you're not disappearing out of the frame. This also means that you should have a quiet, private area for your meeting. No kids, background noise, or pets as a distraction if you can help it. Keep the TV off (obviously) and keep clutter in the background to a minimum. The best work area is a clean, plain background. 

More light is better

Lighting is important for vanity reasons. What's the point of turning your video on if they can't see you? If it's dark where you are, stage some lamps or other light sources  in front of you. Don't put them behind you because you'll blind your attendees. 

Look in the camera

If you're presenting or speaking, it's important to remember to look at the camera - instead of yourself on the screen. It's hard to stare and talk to an object, but to your attendees, it will look like you're making eye contact with them. A fun hack - put a sticky note next to the camera and draw a smiley face on it. That way, you're talking to a person...kinda.

Do your own tech support

This is important, but often overlooked. We usually trust technology to do what it's supposed to do, But sometimes, there are connection issues and other glitches that can be distracting or even stop your important meeting. It's embarrassing when you're trying to talk and no one can hear you because your connection is bad. If you have time, try troubleshooting your connection before you start. 

Mute yourself when you're not talking

We can't stress this enough! You never know what background noise you might be producing. It's important to mute yourself when you're not speaking. Sometimes, when there's a lot of people on the call, you can get that annoying echo. If you're leading the meeting, it's helpful to remind attendees to keep themselves muted. 

Dont eat (etc.) during the meeting

It's everyone's worst fear, but it happens: You think you've turned your video or sound off, and take your phone into the bathroom. OOPS you're mute wasn't on and everyone just heard your weird bathroom habits. It might seem like you're "winning" if you can multitask during a meeting, but anything that you need/want to do around the house can wait. You wouldn't get up in the middle of the room during a meeting in person would you? Then don't do it here. It's just not worth the risk. Eating is in this category too. You won't waste away to nothing during your 30 minute meeting. Wait to eat the snacks when you're not on camera. 

No matter how your business likes to meet, make sure you follow these guidelines for every meeting (in person or not). It creates good working habits and boosts your performance when you feel professional. 


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