Dos and Don’ts For Successful Zoom Meetings

This may not be scientific data, but there is a 99.9% chance that individuals who worked from home during COVID-19 participated in at least one Zoom meeting. Zoom, for anyone unfamiliar with the company, is a video conferencing platform. After you download and install the app, people can host or join an online meeting. They can enable the video button to physically appear on the screen and enable audio to hear everyone talking.

Businesswoman talking in a Zoom video meeting

Zoom has become a champion of working from home for companies of all sizes as we continue to practice social distancing. However, there is still a bit of etiquette that anyone joining a Zoom call should practice. Whether you’re an employee or the boss, here are a few do’s and don’ts to ensure your Zoom meetings are a success.

Do: Download Zoom on a wide range of devices

In times of crisis, it is always useful to have a backup plan. While being disconnected from a Zoom call on your desktop computer due to WiFi issues may not be a major crisis, the interruption could cause you to miss the rest of the meeting. Or at least a few key points you would have liked to note and address.

The best way to combat this problem is to download Zoom on various electronic devices. Make sure you have this ready to use on your desktop and/or laptop. Also download the app on your smartphone and tablet. Make sure you can switch to another device if necessary and get back into the video conference right away.

Don’t: Play with backgrounds

Zoom allows users to change their background with fun images in place of their current background. Some of these can be fun, like putting up pictures from a tropical vacation to pretend you’re really there. However, these images can be distracting to viewers – and there’s enough pixelation to make it clear that you have a virtual background.

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Not sure what to do? Keep your natural background. If you notice that this doesn’t seem professional, set aside some time to clean it up. Remove posters and put away decorations that don’t match the nature of your home office. Place a bookshelf or conservative piece of art to decorate the space.

Do: Turn audio/video on/off when prompted

Many Zoom calls start with everyone logging into the meeting and quickly watching their colleagues enter one by one. They can use this time to greet each other and catch up. Once the host arrives, there may be instructions on how to conduct the meeting.

If the presenter encourages everyone to mute the speakers, do so. This gives the host the opportunity to speak without having to worry about being interrupted. It also ensures that the sound remains clear for listeners, so that loud noises or feedback from speakers that are left on do not accidentally enter the video conference.

Follow a similar approach with video too. Turn it off if you are encouraged to do so. This is often the case with large Zoom meetings with many guests. Turning off the video after saying goodbye to everyone gives your team a chance to focus on the host’s agenda.

Zoom meeting at your home

Don’t: be late

The specific work-from-home situation we currently find ourselves in is not typical. People are working remotely, but also practicing shelter-in-place and safety guidelines on-site. Each individual has a unique work-from-home environment, including small children, pets, and spouses all at home together.

While there are many little distractions throughout the day that you may need to address before work, try not to be late for a Zoom meeting. Don’t take a nap before the meeting starts or do any activities that will cause you to be late or miss the meeting altogether. There are plenty of ways you can track the meeting start date. Write down the date and time of the meeting, add it to your Outlook calendar, and set a timer to remind you when the meeting is ready to start.

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Do: Keep getting smart with Zoom

As states and businesses slowly reopen, don’t assume it’s time to delete Zoom from your phone or toss the program into the trash on your desktop.

Videoconferencing, which began gaining popularity long before COVID-19, will continue to exist in our new normal. Continue reading articles with tips on how to best use the platform and implement this advice in future Zoom calls. This better positions you as an early adopter of the platform and helps others who may have questions about using it.

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