ZOOM MEETING ETIQUETTE

 10 tips and best practices for online video conference meetings

Here are some suggestions, compiled from Zoom’s own website as well as other sources, which will help you stay productive, and connected! 

  • Use the video option: It lets people see you and confirm you are present. No difference as if you were physically working at the office. 

  • Dress for the job you have. Don’t wear your pajamas: Dress up as if you were in the office. Business casual is ok. Bright plain color shirts enhance your appearance. 

    • Tips on appearance- Start with the basics. Comb your hair, shave your face or apply your makeup and think strategically about your clothing. Wearing a really busy plaid or patterned outfit will make the viewers' eyes go numb. A plain, solid color will help bring out the best you. 

  • Stage your video area: Keep in mind that people aren’t just seeing you, they’re also seeing whatever the camera is pointed at behind you. Maybe arrange it so that your camera isn’t facing towards a pile of unfolded laundry? Your kitchen cabinets??Plain and simple wall always works best as it becomes non distracting. Ideally no dangly earrings as they become distracting especially with a virtual background

    • Virtual backgrounds: You may choose to use a virtual background so the viewers can’t see anything that is behind you. It is easy to set up. Bottom left corner you will see it on your computer screen when you are in a zoom call or if you have your own zoom log in. If you decide to go with this option or if required by the company in your department, your manager can provide you with different options. Due to the nature of it, you need to sit as still as you can because certain colors disappear with some backgrounds and you may look as if you are floating. 

  • More light is better: Video quality is dramatically improved with more lighting. And don’t you want everyone to see your beautiful face, now that you’ve gone to all of the trouble to put on actual clothes and stuff? An extra nearby lamp, directly by your face, for even steady lighting to avoid having a “shady face”  is very helpful. Just make sure the light is in front of you, not behind you - being backlit makes you harder to see. No sidelight or backlight. Avoid sitting with your back to the window, as the camera will expose for the lights and turn you into a silhouette. Instead if you have a window, face it, which will give you soft, people -pleasing light. 

  • Look into the camera: If you’re presenting or speaking to a group, looking into the camera will give the appearance of eye contact with whoever you’re talking to. It’s also definitely better than being forced to stare at your own face and realizing how badly you need a haircut

  • Do your own tech support before you start: Make sure you do a test run at some point, and that you’re aware of your audio and video settings before you start. Most video conference services allow you to see a test of what your camera is recording before you start broadcasting it to everyone else, so have it arranged the way you want it. Zoom, for instance, has a feature that lets you test your settings before your meetings begin: just go to zoom.us/test. You can also usually decide if you come in with audio hot or muted before you accidentally broadcast whatever is on the TV in the next room. And speaking of sound ...

  • Stay on mute if you’re not talking: Background noise can be really distracting. If you aren’t sharing anything at the moment, go ahead and hit mute until you do. That way, no one has to listen to the car alarm that goes off in your neighborhood or your neighbor’s perpetually barking dog.

  • Don’t eat during the meeting: It can be a little gross to watch other people eat sometimes Or listen to them chewing, for that matter. . Even drinking. Hold off if you can, or if not, maybe turn off the video and audio. 

  • Don’t do other private things while in a meeting: Speaking of gross: have you heard any horror stories about people being caught picking their nose or using the bathroom while on a video conference, thinking they were muted or had their video off? Don’t become a statistic. It can be easy to forget that people can hear or see you if you’re in a group of 30 coworkers, so don’t risk it!

  • Stay focused: It’s a science fact that everyone hates meetings. Don’t make this one go longer than it needs to. Stay on task (which can be very difficult while working at home) and keep unnecessary conversations to a minimum. It can get very hard to be productive when several people are all talking at once, and even more so when overlapping audio and shuffling video screens are involved.