In the Era of Zoom

Video conferencing became a part of our lives out of necessity. Locked in our homes, it was the only way to effecitvely communicate with and encourage teams.

Companies are finding video conferencing cost-effective and it seems as though it’s going to remain a fixture in the business setting.

Consider some of these tips when engaging in your next virtual meeting, training, or online “visit” with others.

Be Prepared

Test your own setup, including the webcam and microphone. Make sure your internet speeds are sufficient for what you are about to undertake.

When using video conferencing, close other programs on whatever device you’re using. The video conferencing apps use vast amounts of bandwidth, and anything else that’s running will interfere. Interference will result in poor sound and will interrupt your microphone.

Whether the organizer or an attendee, be on time. The semantics of running a virtual meeting add to the challenge of presenting the requisite material. As the moderator, it’s cruciual to be on time or a little bit early. As an attendee, it’s most respectful to arrive slightly before the scheduled start time.

The presenter should have an agenda for the material and keep the group on task, ending the virtual meeting at the appointed time. The presenter has the option of allowing attendees additional time at the end, but those who don’t need to remain or who have other obligations should be excused in a timely fashion.

Pay Attention

It seems that no one should have to be reminded to pay attention, but it’s more difficult to remain focused when online than it is in person.

When you’re called upon to speak, make it very clear to the others that you are finished speaking, even if it’s necessary to say “I’m finished” or “that’s all.” Others will be able to join the conversation more effectively when they know you are finished speaking.

Keep any comments on the task at hand, and – even though you may be at home in your pajama pants – keep vocabulary and expression professional.

Be Courteous

When not everyone knows everyone else, be sure to begin comments with an introduction – and be brief in that introduction.

Be aware of your environment and keep yourself muted when not speaking to avoid backround noises and interference.

Take the opportunity to mute the video when you have to make large movements that may distract others from the presentation/content.

Maintain Professionalism

In addition to professional vocabulary and expression, make certain you appear professionally dressed as appropriate to your work environment. Being clean and well-groomed is just as important when you’re working from your home office as when you are present in person.

Making certain your lighting is not glaring, frame the camera correctly with your eyes level to the lens and position yourself so you appear from the midsection up. Look at the camera.

Avoid consumming food or drink during the meeting.

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