The current climate has changed how we are working which means, chances are, you are probably using Zoom for the first time, or more than usual, to keep in touch with clients and business colleagues.
Here are ten of my favourite tips to get more out of your Zoom meeting:
- Background noise!
If you are hosting the meeting and background noise can be heard, you can mute everyone in the meeting except those speaking. If you are an attendee, mute yourself to remove any background noise, until you need to speak.
- Looking your best during a Zoom meeting.
Just because you are remote working doesn’t give you permission to sit in your pyjamas – you wouldn’t attend a meeting in this attire. Try to dress business appropriate. You can keep your bottom half casual but from the waist up, look presentable.
With regards to looking your best, lighting is key. So, avoid a dark room or sitting in a position where there is a window directly behind you, as it will make you look dark. The best option is to have a window in front of you or, alternatively, a ring light is another great option to put behind your screen.
Next, you need to look for a good camera angle. The best results is to have your camera set up slightly higher, so it’s just above your eye level and you are looking up. To look down into a camera is never a good look. If you are using your phone for FaceTime a good investment will be an iPhone or iPod stand.
- Keeping eye contact.
When you have multiple people on the screen its natural to look at the monitor but when you are talking try to look at the camera lens not the screen, so you are making eye contact with your audience when you are talking.
- Sharing screen.
As the Zoom call is virtual, you can’t pass pieces of paper around the boardroom like usual but you can share your screen so your audience can see the agenda or presentation you are talking about. This is an excellent feature that if you haven’t used it yet, then give it a go!
- Turn off video when joining a meeting.
Make sure you are prepared for the meeting by ensuring that your video is turned off when joining. Only switch it on when you are ready. To do this click on your settings icon, usually in the top right-hand corner, then click on video and tick the box under meetings for “turn off my video when joining meeting”. It’s always best to let your audience see you when you are ready.
- Virtual background.
Even if you don’t have a green screen, you can change your background to look more professional or for fun! To do this, again, go to settings then click on virtual background on the list. Here you can use a background image already provided or upload one of your own. You can also create your own professional background by having a plain background with a logo added or branding if you wanted. This will ensure a professional video meeting even if you don’t have the appropriate background and are really sitting in your spare junk room.
- New share & pause.
If you are already sharing your screen with a document, you will see the icon for new share. This allows for a quick and effortless changing from the current screen you are sharing to an alternative document you have open. This removes the clunky feeling when presenting a Zoom meeting of minimising and dragging. Or, if you are sharing a screen and you are being asked questions, you can pause the screen at the top so everyone can only see that current page while you can go on Google search or find a folder without your guests seeing you navigating around the screen. When you are finished you can simply un-pause. Give it a try next time!
You will find the annotation feature on your Zoom tool bar before more. This is a fantastic feature that allows you to highlight sentences on your screen or you can use the spotlight to illustrate where you are on the document. Within annotation you can add arrows to your shared screen with your name to highlight your task while your guests can also add arrows with their name accepting specific tasks. At the end you can click clear at the top which looks like a bin and this will clear all your drawings. While you are in annotation have a play and see what works best for you.
- Record Meeting.
Instead of taking minutes with Zoom meetings you have the option to record. So, if you are doing an interview, employee one-on-one or management meetings, record the meeting and get it transcribed afterwards. Please note that you can only record a meeting if you have the upgraded account not the free version.
- Disable Waiting Room.
Zoom recently turned on a bunch of privacy-related settings by default. One of those is the waiting room, which requires you to admit each attendee individually.
So, if you are having a large meeting and are happy for everyone to join when they are ready you can turn this setting off. Go to settings> In meeting (Advanced) > waiting room.
We hope these top ten tips on Zoom will help you put your best foot forward!