With the global pandemic, we’re all using the Zoom app these days to conduct business meetings, book club meetings, and even keep in touch with family. If you’ve never used Zoom before, Zoom is a cloud-based video-conferencing tool that has a basic plan that is free to use. The basic plan lets you host Zoom meetings for up to 100 participants with a 40 minute limit on group meetings. It also includes unlimited 1 to 1 meetings. Whether you are using Zoom for business or pleasure, read the following tips on Zoom etiquette to get you up to speed.
Before you get on to a Zoom call, decide which room you’ll be using for your call. A living room, home office, or den is ideal, although due to space considerations, you may need to get on your Zoom meeting from your bedroom. Just make sure that whichever room you use is clean and tidy so that objects such as dirty laundry or dishes do not appear in the background of your Zoom call. Having a painting on the wall behind you or a plant or bookshelf in your background makes your Zoom call look professional yet relaxed.
If you aren’t happy with the background in your room, you can add one of Zoom’s virtual backgrounds or upload one of your own photos to act as a background. Follow these steps:
- Log in to Zoom
- Choose “New meeting:
- At the bottom left of your screen, click the arrow to the right of “Stop video”, then select “Choose virtual background”
- Choose one of the images as your background or click on the + sign beside “Choose Virtual Background”, then click on “Add image”, then upload your own image from your device.
Any light in the room should be in front of you. If there is a window in the room, try not to sit in front of it. Otherwise, close your blinds, or your camera will expose the light and you will appear in silhouette.
Raise your laptop, tablet or phone so that the camera in your device is at eye level. We’ve all seen people being interviewed on the news these days who are staring down into their laptop. It looks unnatural and awkward.
Also, don’t get too close to your screen. The camera should capture you from the chest up as this is how you would typically see someone in a meeting in real life.
A best practice on Zoom is to mute yourself when you’re not speaking to eliminate any additional background noise so that everyone can clearly hear the speaker.
Background noise in your home will be amplified during your Zoom meeting. As a result, close the door to your room to block out noise from your spouse, partner, kids or pets since this can be really distracting. If you have to have your pet in your room, hopefully s/he will be sitting quietly in a corner. Barking dogs, as cute as they are, will definitely detract from the purpose of your meeting.
It is strongly suggested that you turn on your video. The whole purpose of Zoom is to be able to connect with others visually. Don’t worry so much about the length of your hair or grey roots as many of us are in the same boat with the pandemic and can’t get to the hair salon. You can test your video and audio at zoom test.