Most of us have been forced to learn to be efficient at Zoom if we want to continue networking.
I wanted to share some of my personal observations to help you optimize your experience on Zoom meetings. Remember, you’re on camera and everyone can see everything your doing. You want to try and come across as professional as possible.
1. NAME – When you log on, depending on your settings, the name that appears on your screen can vary. If your using someone else’s computer such as a family member, your children’s or spouse’s name will probably appear. I have also seen just a number, the name of your computer (example: Michael’s iPad), nicknames, etc. You get the picture. It’s important that your name (first and last) as well as your company or category appears instead. You want everyone in the room to know who you are and what you do. If you’re unable to change this setting before you log on, this should be the first thing you change when you log on.
2. BACKGROUND – You want to come across professional. Clutter in the background is not something you want to share. If you cant find a nice area to set up your camera, use a virtual background.
3. STAY IN ONE PLACE – When your on camera and are moving around too much, it’s distracting to others. Try and stay in the same position if possible.
4. CAMERA POSITION – You want to try to position yourself in the middle of the screen, not too close and not too far away. Also, try not to position the camera to only show half your head. Position yourself like you were the host on your local news so others can see you clearly.
5. UNMUTE – Be aware when it’s your turn to talk. Make sure you are aware of the “unmute” button BEFORE its time to unmute. The last thing you want others to see is you frantically looking for that button.
6. MUTE – Background noise is distracting to others. Sometimes it’s hard for you to know when noise is coming from your microphone. The simple solution is to mute yourself when you’re not speaking.
7. JOIN EARLY – You want to take advantage of the networking opportunities. When you log on once a meeting starts you may not only miss out on important announcements, you are missing the opportunity to meet and talk to others before the meeting actually starts.
8. LIGHTING – Most of us don’t have the luxury of a professional studio, but be aware of your surroundings and what’s behind you. Backlighting from windows can be distracting and take away from the details of your face and in some cases even makes you look like a different person. If it is possible, try to direct a light from behind your camera onto your face. Experiment with what you have in your home before the next meeting so your ready to go.
9. SOUND – Make sure you’re the proper distance from your microphone. You want others to hear your clearly.
10. EMPTY CHAIR – If you need to step away from the meeting, turn off your video. We don’t want to look at an empty chair.
These are just some of my observations from hosting so many zoom meetings these past 6 months. If you have other tips that you want to share or any questions, please let me know.