Given the prevalence of the technology and the power it provides, there is a good chance your next meeting will take place not in a conference room but on the internet instead. Apps like Zoom have made meeting online easier than ever before, but making the most of the technology is not as easy as it sounds.
If you want your next Zoom call to be a successful one, it is important to prepare carefully. Here are 10 tips and tricks for hosting better Zoom meetings.
1. Invest in quality equipment. No one wants to watch their Zoom screen buffer, so invest in the best equipment you can afford. A better camera, a more sensitive microphone and a faster internet connection will all serve you well.
2. Set up an attractive background. No matter how interesting your presentation, attendees at your Zoom meeting will be spending some of their time staring at the background, so make sure it is an attractive one. You do not need to spend a fortune – a simple bookcase will do just fine.
3. Send out a primer on how to use the program. In the post-COVID world it is easy to think everyone knows how to use Zoom, but that is not the case. Sending out a quick primer on how to download and use the app will save you a lot of trouble down the line.
4. Find a quiet spot. Ambient noise can be a huge distraction during Zoom calls, so do your best to find a quiet spot. Be sure to keep the door closed as well to keep the call moving smoothly.
5. Dress professionally. They may not show it, but the folks attending your Zoom meeting will be silently judging you and your appearance. You do not need to invest in a makeover, but dressing professionally and appropriately is a must.
6. Silence alarms and turn off screen alerts. If you want to avoid embarrassment, make sure you turn off your screen alerts and silence alarms for incoming emails and text messages. This is even more important if you will be hosting the Zoom call on your personal laptop or desktop computer.
7. Use the scheduling feature. As a host you will appreciate the fact that Zoom integrates seamlessly with Google Calendar and other scheduling applications. Using the scheduling feature will make things easier for your attendees – and for you.
8. Make sure attendees are muted automatically. Zoom calls can be noisy enough, but the noise level will be even more unbearable if you fail to mute your attendees automatically. Check your settings before every meeting and make sure everyone is on mute until it is their turn to speak.
9. Make the most of the chat and raise hand function. Zoom provides a number of handy features for meeting hosts, including the chat function and raise hand option. Make sure attendees know how to use these features – it will save you a lot of time and trouble.
10. Keep it short and sweet. Whether the meeting takes place in the real world or the virtual one, no one wants to be tied up for hours on end while the host drones on. Think about what you want the meeting to accomplish and be ready to sign off when that happens.
When properly used a virtual meeting can be just as effective, if not more so, than the real thing. The problem is that many people hosting Zoom meetings do not know how to go about it.
If you want your virtual meetings to be effective, you will need to plan carefully. The 10 tips listed above will help you best a great Zoom host, one that your attendees will love.