Zoom is a Cloud Based video conferencing App available for mobile, tablet and computer. It’s a great way to meet online and present to large audiences. Here’s my advice on how to have a great Zoom call whether presenting or taking part.
1. Be Great
- Turn your mobile to silent or off unless you’re using it for the Zoom call.
- Find a quiet space and put a note on the door asking not to be interrupted.
- Put a note on the front door to tell people you’re busy and cannot answer the door right now.
- Put the dog(s) in another room and give them something to occupy their time.
- If you have children, ask someone else to look after them or give them something to do during the meeting – may be a challenge!
- Unplug your home phone if it’s in the same room as where you’re going to be Zooming.
- Close down other applications on your computer to prevent them pinging up notifications.
2. Great Internet
- Use a wired connection rather than WiFi if possible.
- When using WiFi move nearer to the hub or access point to increase your network speed.
- Ask others in the house/building not to stream or download during your meeting.
- Shut down other devices / computers in the house to prevent them from using the internet at the same time.
- Update your device/computer software to the latest version. BUT don’t do this 5 minutes before your call, do it a few days before!
3. Look Great
- Take a moment to clean the lense on your webcam or smartphone camera with a soft cloth.
- Don’t sit with your back to a window or other light source. Instead face the light as this will give the camera the best opportunity to give a produce a clear image.
- Use a desk lamp or LED lighting to shine light on your face if the room is not particularly well lit.
- Raise the height of your phone, tablet or computer so that it’s level with your head. Avoid looking down at a device on a table. You can do this by placing it on a box or tripod with a phone/table holder (or other suitable object) on your desk.
- Try to avoid holding your phone or tablet during the meeting as your arm may grow tired and the device is likely to move around a lot.
- Try to have a blank wall behind you in the shot if at all possible.
- Use a green screen to with your own virtual background to give yourself a truly professional look. Virtual backgrounds work well when you are remaining fairly stationary; movements tends to cause blurring around you.
4. Sound Great
- Using a separate microphone or headset will generally give a far better sound quality than the built in microphone on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
- Close windows (that’s those on your house rather than on your computer!) if it’s likely to be noisy outside.
- Use Apple Airpods or other wireless bluetooth device. Many bluetooth headphones designed for mobile phones will also pair with tablets or computers. If you’ve not used them before with that particular device you should test ahead of time. Wireless earphones/microphones are perfect if you’re standing to present and are not going to be immediately in front of your mobile/tablet or computer.
- The Rode NT-USB is a great microphone when presenting sitting down in front of your computer.
5. Feel Great
- Put your phone, table or laptop on charge or make sure it’s plugged in and doesn’t run out of power during the meeting.
- Test all your equipment an hour ahead of time. Maybe even do a test Zoom call with someone.
- Plan your meeting space at least 30 minutes ahead of the call.
- Get yourself a glass of water in case your throat gets dry during the meeting.
- Have paper and pen to hand so you can write down any notes rather than trying to do this on the same device you’re presenting from.
- Have a clock or timer next to you so you can keep track of how long your talking for.
- Visit to loo. You don’t want to get caught short mid-meeting!!!
- Make space on your desk so you don’t have to move things around during the meeting.
- Have someone else manage the hosting of the Zoom meeting so you can concentrate on presenting, and not worry about the mechanics. They can also watch the chat box for you and feed you comments and questions during the call.
- Reserve 15 minutes ahead of the meeting start to sit quietly, check over your notes, pray and relax. You’ve got this. It’s going to be great. God’s given you everything you need and will help you say what you want to say during the meeting. Breath. Our meetings are low key and informal in nature. You only need to be yourself.
6. Zoom Great
- Use a Zoom Waiting Room so that attendees receive a professionally branded page if arriving early. BUT you will need to manually admit all attendees Note: The ‘Admit All’ option only admits those currently in the waiting room. Those arriving after you press ‘Admit All’ will still need to be manually admitted.
- Have a simple presentation slide shared when people arriving in the meeting that introduces the topic and speaker. Stop sharing when you’re ready to begin (assuming that you want to be seen and are not simply doing a slide presentation.)
- For large numbers of attendees it’s best to choose to force everyone to be muted on arrival.
Nick Amis is CEO and founder of Entapris, and provides support for businesses and entrepreneurs in developing and implementing their digital strategy. He graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in computer science.