While Zoom has been an incredible resource for many companies during the recent pandemic, oftentimes, teams find these meetings to be less effective than they would be face to face. For this reason, it’s important to follow these best practices to ensure you hold effective and productive Zoom meetings moving forward.
Create a Professional Image
If you are the host of the Zoom meeting, ensure you are setting the tone for the attendees. Stage your video properly with a clear background or have a professional office setting behind you. Avoid having distracting household objects in the background, and locate yourself in a quiet area for the meeting. When working from home, ensure you still dress the part, especially when meeting with outside clients. Nobody wants to see you in your pajamas, so ensure anything that’s seen on screen looks good.
When it comes to your Zoom meetings, we always recommend using the camera where possible. Although some audio meetings can be productive, the attendees often feel very disconnected without video. You’ll also find your attendees are far more distracted if they don’t have to have their video on, which is why we recommend having team members use their video during Zoom calls as well. With that said, before connecting to the meeting, check your lighting. Poor lighting can make your video look grainy and dark and even keep the audience from being able to see your face, so even just adding an additional lamp can improve your appearance.
Use Mute When Appropriate
There’s nothing worse than a Zoom meeting being disrupted due to someone’s children running around in the background, a dog barking, or the phone ringing. Ensure you put yourself on mute when you aren’t speaking. If you are the host of the meeting, you can always mute anyone who isn’t presenting at the time to avoid everyone else from being distracted.
Plan Breaks Between Your Meetings
Anyone familiar with Zoom meetings knows that they can be a bit exhausting, especially when there are multiple meetings throughout the day. With numerous people on a video call, they can become lengthy, and after a certain amount of time, it’s challenging to stay focused on the topics at hand. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many back-to-back meetings, and give yourself a 15-30 minute buffer in between sessions to recharge your battery and prepare for the next meeting.
Focus on the Meeting
Working from home often comes with a lot more distractions than an office meeting, but think about what you are doing in front of the camera. Eating and scrolling on your phone are easily noticeable on camera, so ensure you are focusing on the meeting at all times. It can be easy to forget you’re on camera but try to avoid doing anything that will embarrass yourself. Additionally, remember just because you are not in-person does not mean you can’t show you are engaged. A great way to let everyone know you are listening and fully interested is by making eye contact. Even during long days of back-to-back Zoom meetings, do your best to focus on the task at hand and avoid having pointless conversations that will extend the meeting.
Consider Who You Invite to the Meeting
If you are the meeting host, think very carefully about who you invite to a meeting. You don’t need everyone from your team on the call if the topic of discussion is irrelevant to their current work. Try to avoid cluttering up the Zoom room with potential distractions, and instead, focus on those team members who are crucial to the day’s discussion.
Record Your Meeting
It’s easy to lose track of everything said during a meeting, and while taking notes may help with this, you can also record the session. You can then refer to it later if needed, which helps with organization and planning. Just be sure before you record, you ask permission from everyone included on the call. There are also services such as Temi that will transcribe your audio for a small fee, providing you with notes from your meeting.
By following these top Zoom tips, you’ll find you can enjoy productive meetings that can quickly and efficiently resolve any issues within your workplace. Zoom is an excellent tool for anyone working remotely, and when used effectively, will allow you to deliver outstanding results and manage your team effectively this year.