Over 73% of the world’s population has some fear of public speaking. Now that the majority of meetings take place virtually, a new fear has arisen—saying something embarrassing without knowing that your mic is turned on. To avoid these mishaps during your Zoom call, here are a few useful tips.
Understand the Application
Before anything else, the most important part is knowing how to work your way through Zoom. Once you successfully download the app onto your laptop (or smartphone), you can start navigating your way around. Pay extra attention to the ‘camera’ and ‘mute’ buttons. For additional details on how to use specific features on Zoom, here are a few fun videos that will help you.
Zoom has a plethora of additional features, like backgrounds, breakout rooms, shared screens, and so on. Take the time to practice using the more advanced features before a meeting, to ensure that your call is efficient and orderly. Don’t be afraid to spend an hour exploring the many features Zoom has to offer; you might just find the perfect virtual background.
Have A Good, Clean Background
We all know that people get distracted easily, especially during long meetings, so if you can, avoid having a distracting or chaotic background. Ideally, set your camera up so that your background is a plain wall, to make sure the listener’s attention is on you. If a nice backdrop is important to you, try and keep it simple with a nice art piece or well-organized bookshelves. So before you start your Zoom, make sure that your laundry pile is either folded and put away or at least hidden from view.
Children and pets can also add to the chaos, so do your best to set yourself up in a quiet room and keep any visitors out for the duration of your meeting. If your cat absolutely must make themselves seen, just make sure they aren’t being a distraction to yourself or others.
The way you present yourself is how you will be perceived. Unless you’re on a casual Zoom with friends and family, try and keep it to business attire (even if it’s just from the waist up.) Working from home won’t be going away any time soon, so try and treat your Zoom meetings just like you would if they were in person.
Good lighting makes a tremendous difference in your virtual presentation. In order to be well lit and visible, make sure you have strong natural light, a bright lamp, or even purchase a standalone LED light.
Your framing can go a long way to how you’re perceived, so ensure that your camera shows your entire head and the tops of your shoulders, without leaving too much empty space in the frame. For more tips on presentability, check out this article.
Invest in High-Quality Equipment
Oftentimes, the built-in mic on your computer or phone simply isn’t cut out for the job of professional Zoom meetings. Make sure you can be heard clearly by investing in a high quality external microphone. This simple addition may not seem necessary, but if you’re on frequent Zooms or have an older computer, it can elevate the quality of your meeting.
If you’re looking to increase the aesthetics even more, go one step further and invest in an HD web camera for the highest quality virtual conferencing you can get.
Know When Your Mic/Camera Is On
Everyone who has used Zoom or video conferencing has, at one point or another, accidentally left their mic or camera on when they shouldn’t have, and said or done something embarrassing. To avoid this common mishap, try a device that automatically alerts you when your mic or camera is on, like On Air Warning.
Devices like this not only remind you when your mic and camera are on or off, they also alert the people around you. Your household will know not to bother you when they see it lit up, and can make sure to keep quiet around the house.
Working from home and distance/hybrid learning have been an adjustment for everyone, so make sure you set yourself up for success with these simple tricks. Teleconferencing is likely to stick around, and will only become more prevalent and advanced as the world moves forward.