Are You Zoom Ready?

We put together this handy guide for getting Zoom Ready because we’ve received so many questions about using Zoom effectively for meetings, book clubs, family gatherings and more! Whether you are new to world of remote work, or used to working from home, you have probably encountered Zoom, a communication tool for video conferencing and meetings. Zoom is free for meetings up to 40 minutes in length, and very affordable plans are available if your needs exceed the free plans.

Here are our best tips for getting Zoom Ready:

Be Prepared

  • Know your goals for the meeting
  • Prepare slides if needed
  • Have supporting documents, forms, slides, websites or resources set up and ready to show
  • Close other tabs on your browsers to avoid sharing things you don’t want to
  • Set clear expectations about when you will be able to answer questions and how you would like people to interact during the meeting
  • Document decisions and action items just like any other meeting

Be Present

  • Be on time or early (especially if you are the host)
  • Stay connected to the conversation emotionally
  • Avoid multitasking
  • Make time for small talk, create rapport
  • Showing your hands and using gestures builds trust (TEDx Talk)

Be Yourself

  • Speak naturally and enthusiastically as if you are in person with your audience
  • Make eye contact with the camera, not your image on the screen

Set the Scene

  • Set up your camera angle to shoot you from slightly above your eye level
  • Set up an attractive, high contrast background
  • If you have dark hair and clothing, choose a light background and vice versa
  • Clean up clutter and mess!
  • Avoid windows, mirrors or glass behind you which show unintentional glare or reflections

Set Up Flattering Lighting

  • A window or LED light in front of you work best
  • Overhead light can create dark shadows under your chin
  • Backlight from lamps, windows or other sources can outshine your face

Avoid Embarrassment

  • Don’t take your phone to the bathroom and other faux pas!
  • Don’t shout at anyone while your microphone and video are on
  • Try not to get up and walk around while you are on video
  • Set up in a room with a door and possibly a lock to avoid interruptions from children, spouses and pets

Prepare Your Gadgets

  • Strong internet connection to avoid delay or interruption (kick other people off streaming services while you are taking an important meeting)
  • Test that your audio is good

Get to Know Zoom Controls

  • Make sure you practice before your big meeting so that you understand mute and video on/off controls
  • Try Pinning/Unpinning the view you want to watch (either the speaker, a web page or slides)
  • Watch the chat to see if anyone has questions (it can help to have another person manage the chat for you when you are leading the meeting)
  • Test the record meeting settings so that you can tell when the meeting is being recorded (note, by default, any attendee can record the meeting unless you change the setting)
  • Change your Zoom Settings to meet your needs
    • Use HD
    • Enhance appearance
    • Manage screen sharing and whiteboard functions
    • Manage participants’ audio – mute all while the main presentation is going
    • Use a unique ID for large meetings
    • Require a password for your meeting
    • Leverage the waiting room feature (now default; click participants and admit all when you are ready to start the meeting)
  • Learn to start a meeting instantly and invite people
  • Learn to schedule a meeting
  • Learn to schedule a recurring meeting
  • Add a Chrome extension for adding a zoom link to G Suite Calendar invitations

Enjoy meeting with Zoom!

Let us know if you would add any other tips to this list.

Check out this list Work From Home Essentials from Steamwork