Zoom has quickly become the most popular tool to keep us connected during Covid-19, especially in a professional capacity. We have adapted well to running and joining meetings at home even with the worry of invasion from the kids, the cat sitting on your laptop or the dog deciding it’s a good time to pee on the carpet. Even when we finally go back to offices, the popularity of Zoom meetings will continue, as we realise that there is no longer the need to bring everyone together for a meeting in an office environment and can just as easily be done remotely. More and more people will also be given the opportunity to continue to work from home. So, Zoom is here to stay! Here are some great tips to help you when running or attending meetings.
1. Add a background – Zoom offers a selection of backgrounds to use or upload one of your own. Just go into settings and get creative. If you don’t want to use a background then have a plain wall behind you.
2. Light up- Being in a well-lit area or having a light facing you will highlight your face. You can easily use a lamp or with a small investment, buy an LED ring light.
3. Level up – Have your camera at the correct level. You don’t want to be looking down or up at your screen. If you need to sit your laptop on a pile of books to get the correct level then that’s fine. No one can see what you are using. Your picture will be a lot more flattering and clearer to anyone watching.
4. Mute and unmute quickly – It can be very distracting if everyone is off mute throughout a meeting. Having everyone mute other than the speaker is wise. If you need to unmute quickly, simply hold the space bar down while you talk and release it when you have finished.
5. No need to add video when you join a meeting – When you join a meeting, generally there is a period of time when you are waiting for others to join. There is no need to activate video straight away. Wait until the meeting is about to begin before opening the video option.
6. Change up the screen – Use Gallery View so you can see everyone in the meeting.
7. Sending invites – Send well ahead of time with a follow up reminder. Often Zoom meetings fail purely because they are badly organised.
8. Share Screen – This enables you to do presentations or demonstrations to everyone at the same time. Both the co-ordinator of the meeting and the attendees are able to share their screen.
9. Zoom App Market Place – Through these apps which integrates with Microsoft Teams and your google or outlook calendar, making the whole experience with Zoom a lot more seamless.
10. Recording your meetings – There are two levels of being able to record your meetings. Zooms free level enables you to record your meeting locally onto your hard drive, whereas the paid Zoom level will allow you to save to the cloud.
11. Enhance your look – Zoom offers you the chance to soften your features. (Settings -> Video -> turn on Touch up my appearance)
12. Audio Transcript – The paid version of Zoom lets gives you the option to have an audio transcript of your meetings, found under advanced cloud recording settings.
13. Waiting Room – It is a good idea to enable this feature as hackers or strangers could be attending your meeting without permission or an invite. Using waiting room lets you see exactly who is in attendance and who shouldn’t be. This can avoid an embarrassing situation during a meeting.
14. Break out rooms – If you have a large number of attendees you can set up to 50 break out rooms for workshops or mini meetings.
15. Practice – Arrange with a friend or colleague a dummy meeting to test out the Zoom features and to get the level and lighting right.