Spotlight

Zoom your way to success

Cast your mind back to 2019.

I know, I know, I do it all the time too. But humour me for a moment.

Not only was Corona something you’d only encounter on a beer garden on a Friday, but the office was a five-day-per-week venture. And meetings, if you can believe it, had to be organised face-to-face. Telephone calls had to be made. Rooms had to be booked out. Handshakes were actually expected.

What’s more, most of us had never heard of Zoom before the pandemic. Video calls were restricted to the occasional FaceTime with friends in an evening, or Skype-ing your older family members who didn’t know how to work their smartphone.

Three years on and it looks like Zoom is here to stay. Not only does it make meetings easier to organise with anyone anywhere in the world, but it also means we’re able to have more vital meetings during the working day (okay, this one might be more con than pro…).

But even with three years’ worth of Zoom under our belts, sometimes it’s not always obvious what best practice is. Read on for our list of top tips, do’s and don’ts to make sure you’ll be Zooming to your next meeting in full confidence.

  • Blur your background – not everyone wants to see your room behind you, even if it’s tidy and your bookshelf is in full view. These things can be distracting from the real thing people want to see. You!

  • If you can’t blur your background, try adding one of your own. Zoom has plenty of pre-loaded backgrounds for you to use, and a quick Google will reveal even more you can use if you wish.

  • Change your display name to something relevant. Try adding your organisation, university, or even country when attending a busy meeting so that people can easily distinguish you.

  • Dialling into a physical meeting? Don’t feel overwhelmed – approach as you would any other meeting.

  • In a physical meeting and being joined by someone on Zoom? Try and space yourselves out as much as possible so that not everyone is crammed into the screen. Speak clearly, and wait patiently for your turn.

  • Even better if you’re in the same room as others – try Zooming in from your own laptops or phones. This is much easier for the people already using Zoom. Just be sure to mute yourself whenever you’re not talking to prevent audio doubling up!

  • While you’re at it, why not max out your tech. Omnidirectional mics are made to make conference calls crystal clear, optimising voices and reducing background noise.