Zoom and virtual conference calls have become a staple in our society over the past few months, and while this is largely thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the technology is by no means new. With over 200 million people using the software on a daily basis, it is important that you have an idea of how to use it effectively in order to get the best out of it and make your meeting stand out from the others that your participants will undoubtedly attend every week. To help you with this, below are a few tips that will allow you to take your Zoom meetings to the next level.
Use the spacebar to mute yourself
Just like how YouTube lets you pause and play a video by tapping the spacebar, Zoom allows you to mute and unmute yourself at will. This is especially useful because we have all been in a situation where we are on the phone and someone next to us starts talking, forcing you to mute yourself. You will no longer need to fumble around with your mouse trying to find the mute button and can instead just tap your spacebar.
Change up your background
One of the issues with virtual meetings is that the majority of people do not have a home office to work from, this results in them working from makeshift offices in other rooms of their house, which are typically not the most professional setups. To help with this you can use a variety of virtual backgrounds by Hello Backgrounds to either maintain a professional appearance or simply to hide your home and keep your private life private. There are hundreds of options to choose from so you can also add some humor into your meetings depending on what you pick.
Change your view
The standard view that Zoom gives you in meetings puts only one persons face on screen at a time, the person who is talking at said time, however, this can cause problems if you are in a larger call with more members as you will likely find that with multiple people talking the view jumps around from person to person sporadically. To solve this issue, you can simply change your settings to use the gallery view which will allow you to see up to 49 attendees in a 7×7 grid. Simply click on the tab in the top right corner to change your view and enjoy being able to see all participants at once.
Share your screen
Sharing your screen is a fantastic way to efficiently and quickly share information and you can choose to show either your entire screen or just specific apps, allowing you to maintain a certain level of privacy. This is also a great tool that can be used for presentations as you can show off slides, images, or even videos to keep everyone on the same page and in sync.
Use the chat features
Interruptions are a big problem with virtual meetings, and it can be extremely frustrating even if the person interrupting did not mean to do so. With the inevitable small delay that comes with video conferencing, if you someone is talking and you want to add something, make use of the text chat to either convey your point or let the speaker know you have something to say without cutting them off.
Use virtual whiteboards
Virtual whiteboards are exactly what they claim to be, a whiteboard that can be accessed virtually by members of your meeting. They are a great way to discuss topics and brainstorm ideas just as you would with a physical whiteboard.
Record your meeting
One of the most useful features that come with virtual conference calls is the ability to record them at the push of a button. While this may not be the best idea for meetings where privacy is important, for general catch-ups and team meetings it is a great tool. If any member of your team is unable to attend your meeting, recording it is the perfect way to ensure that they stay up to date with current events without having to rely on someone else’s notes or word of mouth.
Touch up your appearance
Finally, when working from home, nobody expects you to look your best or make the same effort you would if you were heading into the office for a day’s work. However, you still want to look professional and presentable during your meetings. Zoom has a feature called ‘Touch Up My Appearance’ that will smooth out any wrinkles and soften your skin tone to give you a well-rested appearance without needing to put any effort in. To do this simply head to your video settings and under the ‘My Video’ tab, check the ‘Touch Up My Appearance’ box.