Look Good, Sound Good, the Art of a Successful Zoom Meeting:
- Find a Space to Settle in with Good Lighting.
- Good lighting is critical when setting up for a Zoom meeting because it allows the other party to see you clearly. To find flattering lighting, place your computer on a desk, table or side table, or any flat surface where there is ample natural light shining on your face. Make sure to directly face a window to minimize shadows and ensure good visibility for whomever you’re Zooming with.
- Dress Appropriately.
- Making a good first impression is important on and off the screen, so make sure you’re dressed for a Zoom call the way you would dress for an in-person meeting. Be yourself, but not your “After 5pm Netflix and Chill” self.
- Audio Audio Audio.
- “Hey, can you hear me?” “I’m here, am I on mute?” “Anyone there?” … shoot, “Let me try again and call back, hang tight!” If you haven’t had a conversation like this when you start a Zoom meeting, then you win at life. This can easily be avoided with a simple test or two before beginning the Zoom call. Have the link ready and be the first one to the meeting. Test your audio to make sure it’s properly hooked up to your computer microphone or headphones. You can never be too prepared! Lastly, refrain from talking directly into the speakers like you would on your phone. (This is also a good rule of thumb for Facetime.)
- Mute Everything. Always.
- Usually during Zoom meetings, everyone is in different locations. These days, Zoom locations tend to be our homes—homes that are often occupied with other humans who don’t know you’re on a call or forget and burst through the door yelling, “Mom! I can’t find the remote!” or “The Shipt shopper is here!” To avoid your daily life interruptions from disrupting your meeting, just press mute in-between speaking turns. Furthermore, if you’re hosting the meeting, ask everyone to mute themselves until a discussion or conversation is necessary.
- Angles are Everything.
- We can all feel a bit uncomfortable when in front of a camera but seeing ourselves on a screen during a Zoom meeting is a whole new level of awkward. When on a Zoom call, make sure the camera is working in your favor. Sit upright in your chair, situate yourself a good distance away from your screen so your whole face is visible, and put your computer on a 90-degree angle, so you’re not distorted. Our lovely phone and computer cameras are all wide angles, so the closer you are, the weirder you look.
- Having a Good Connection.
- While “real life” human connection is at an all-time low these days, your Wi-Fi connection doesn’t have to follow suit. When preparing for a meeting, make sure you are in a space that will allow simple and easy streaming. The last thing you or your team members need is a frozen version of you on the screen talking a mile a minute. Technology is rarely our friend, but during times like these it’s truly our only solution.
- Silence your Notifications.
- While it’s convenient to have your text messages and emails delivered to your phone and your computer, it can be disruptive during a meeting. Yes, you’re on mute, but let’s keep the distractions to a minimum. Turn off your Gmail notifications, exit your messaging app, and focus in.
- Clean up your Space.
- When joining a meeting, make sure your space represents a professional and productive environment. No one wants to see the pile of dirty laundry on your bed that you have yet to get to, or the unfinished bottle of wine from the night before in the background of your screen. Set up shop as if you were at the office or set up a fun background using Zoom’s greenscreen feature.
- Practice Makes Perfect
- The idea of a Zoom call can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Attempt to avoid all mishaps—personal and technological—by practicing and preparing. These steps include, downloading the Zoom app and making sure it’s fully updated before starting your meeting, testing your audio levels to be sure that the output is correct, and having a space in mind that will be quiet, undisturbed, and well-lit so you’re not scrambling minutes before the call. These tips will result in a less stressful Zoom meeting start and a more successful meeting overall!
The idea of a Zoom call can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.