If there is anything that’s 2020 in a nutshell, it’s the Zoom meeting. We have all been on Zoom meetings and have had some productive times and some times that are, shall we say, interesting. The reality is Zoom meetings are not going away anytime soon, and therefore it is imperative to do Zoom the right way. Creating a professional environment applies to networking meetings as well over Zoom. A network is only good if the members of the network are in communication. Network Lead Exchange recommends having regular meetings with the network via Zoom. However, to make the meetings professional and productive, we have provided some tips.
Learn the Platform BEFORE the Meeting
Zoom is really not complicated but we’ve been in meetings with the guy who can’t mute his mic or doesn’t understand how to adjust his levels. The Zoom software is really easy to use, but the meeting is not the place to learn to use it. Instead, download it ahead of time and get your settings right. The people on the meeting will not appreciate the one guy who is constantly fiddling with the mic and being the one who doesn’t mute himself. No one wants to hear the adorable dog barking or the other stuff going on. This takes five minutes, and it infinitely improves the professionalism of the meeting.
There’s nothing worse than seeing someone come on a Zoom meeting with a crease from the sheets down the side of their face, hair messed up, and wearing disheveled pajamas. This is a networking meeting, and people running the meeting are expecting a little bit of professionalism. The best thing to do is be prepared for the meeting. Make sure the hygiene is right and the hair looks proper. Wear a polo shirt. If you’re comfortable in shorts, that’s fine. People are looking from the chest up, therefore it is imperative to make sure when getting on Zoom that proper attire is worn. Being appropriately dressed is a reflection of professionalism of the individual. If a person is dressed casually and looks like they just rolled out of bed, the implied message is the meeting just isn’t that important. That’s not someone who should be in a professional network.
Being Early is Being on Time
At this point, everyone who’s done a Zoom meeting has had issues logging into the meeting at one time or another. The reality is in order to make sure Zoom is working right, log in early. Don’t wait until the last minute. Inevitably, what happens is the last-minute person arrives late and disrupts the whole meeting’s flow. This is a great way to earn the animosity of someone. Most folks will allow that once as an accident, but if there’s that one guy who keeps showing up 5 minutes into the meeting and wondering what has been talked about, that guy will quickly get frozen out of future meetings. Be early, because early is always on time.
Avoid a Busy Background
There are some folks who say the only acceptable background is a plain background. The reason is the belief people will be looking at the background instead of what someone says. The reality is as long as the background isn’t too busy with wild colors and stuff on the walls, it’s fine. Some folks like to have a few pieces of art or photos up. Another nice background is bookshelves. Make sure the background is appropriate and isn’t wild and ostentatious. That’s a winning background.
Use the Video, and Be Conscientious of the Camera
The first thing every person on Zoom does wrong is the camera’s orientation. People are looking down on the camera and as a result, everyone else on the call is seeing up their nostrils. The way to make Zoom work ideally is to have the camera be at eye level or just a touch below eye level. This allows for people to feel like the conversation is exactly that and peels away the awkwardness. When on camera, don’t do weird things like look around, check the phone, and appear distracted. Be engaged with whoever is speaking. Another thing, just because one may not be the main speaker in the Zoom call doesn’t mean the camera should be off. Keep the camera on. It shows everyone that there is engagement.
Minimize Background Noise
There’s going to be no way to completely reduce background noise – we all are on Zoom calls from our homes – but there is a way to minimize the noise. One of the easiest ways is to simply close the door. Everyone remembers the viral video of the professor with the kids who came flying in the room and the adult trying to pull them out of the shot. Don’t let this happen to you! Just close the door. That minimizes a lot of noise. Also, everyone has pets, and pets are adorable, but nothing can throw off a meeting like having a dog just start randomly barking. Dogs are wonderful, but their barks are startling, especially if the person speaking is not a dog person.
Mute Unless You’re Talking
The mute function is a must for Zoom. The simple rule is this, whenever the urge to talk emerges, signal or write in the chat asking to speak. The person running the meeting will provide acknowledgement, and at that time is when speaking should commence. Don’t talk over others. This is a really simple rule that is often messed up on Zoom calls. Networking is all about building connections, and staying muted until receiving an invitation to speak is a simple yet effective way to build a connection.
There are lots of tips regarding Zoom and other ways to network. Learn effective networking techniques @ NETWORKLEADEXCHANGE.COM.