Zoom Web Conferencing is one of the easiest ways for The New School community to connect and communicate online. To help guarantee that your meetings and conferences are as effective and pleasant as possible, we’ve prepared a few simple video conferencing etiquette and best practice tips.
General Zoom Tips:
Check Your Background & Surroundings
On Zoom, you present more than just yourself. Unlike in a typical classroom or workplace setting, your surroundings matter. Know what’s filling your screen and what kind of message you want to send to those in the meeting. If you’re not sure, the safest and most professional is to sit in front of a plain wall. Feeling fancy? Choose a virtual background.
Establish Clear Audio Communication
Often one of the most overlooked elements of video conferencing is audio quality. Laptop microphones can have poor audio fidelity, so it is best to use an external microphone, a headset with a mic, or a phone to make sure all communication comes in loud and clear.
Tips for the Presenter:
Although giving a presentation digitally can be less nerve wracking than in person, it’s always a good idea to be as prepared as possible. Knowing your material will make you feel ready and more confident. Your attendees will also benefit as you will be able to answer questions more efficiently and keep the discussion more lively.
Read the Room via Meeting Polls
In addition to the chat feature, creating a poll before and/or during a meeting is another great engagement tool. Polling allows you to quickly and easily learn more about your attendees.
Tips for the Attendee:
Avoid Being Disruptive
If you don’t want to disrupt the flow of a presentation, type your question into the chat. It will also signal the presenter to address your question and let them know that you’re paying attention. Also, feel free to chat privately with other attendees if you have any other questions/concerns.
Keep Your Camera On … Most of the Time
To increase engagement and quality of a digital lecture, keep your camera on. It not only makes others feel like they’re part of a community, but also assures the presenter that they’re not talking into the void. However, if you’re moving around or step out of the frame, it’s a good idea to turn your camera off temporarily so as not to cause a distraction.
Use Zoom Reactions
Show you’re being attentive by using zoom reactions, in the form of an emoji. You can do this by clicking on the Reactions in the meeting controls panel. This is an easy way to let the presenter know you are paying attention without causing cross talk. You can also change the skin tone of your emoticon by going to Settings > General > Reaction Skin Tone.