How many of you used Zoom before Coronavirus?
We’re guessing only a few. Nowadays, however, many of us are taking part in multiple video calls a day. But, how can we navigate this new social environment? And what Zoom etiquette rules should we be following? To help you out, we’ve put together a complete guide to keeping good manners on Zoom, especially important for those taking part in online classrooms. Get familiar with our tips below and soon you’ll be the host with the most!
Check your video and audio settings
Have you unmuted your audio? Is your camera on? These are questions you should ask yourself in any virtual meeting. While some people may feel uncomfortable being on video, it pays to show up. Unless you have no webcam or your bandwidth suffers, you should make the effort to appear on camera.
You wouldn’t be late to a meeting in real life, so make sure you follow this rule when it comes to virtual conferencing as well. Do one better and spend a few minutes ahead of the call to check your settings and make sure your WiFi is working. As well as turning up on time, ensure the meeting doesn’t overrun – how to minimize the chance of this happening? See below.
Set a meeting agenda
This is a vital step in ensuring a slick, well-organized Zoom call. Draft out a plan prior to the meeting so people know how to come prepared and when to take their turn. This will avoid any interruptions and participants talking over each other – a side-effect of technical glitches and delayed response.
Learn to listen
This goes hand-in-hand with taking turns to speak. Make sure to listen to everyone on the call. There is nothing more frustrating than having someone speak over you or negotiating who should speak next. Remember, this is not a normal, real-life conversation – it is harder to read people on Zoom, so allow time for pauses between conversations to reduce conflict.
Social etiquette is still a must on video calls. If people invited on the call do not know each other, make sure you introduce them. We recommend setting up a waiting room on Zoom, so that the host has a chance to announce the arrival of a new guest before they enter into the call. Ice breakers also work nicely, especially in online classrooms.
Consider your appearance
One of the few joys of social distancing at work is being able to get away with wearing sweatpants at the desk. However, to avoid coming across negatively on Zoom calls, remember to think carefully about what you are wearing on top and your overall presentation. This is especially important for people with regular client calls or taking part in online classrooms. On top of that, you need to make sure you have thought about your background. Consider the following questions:
- Would a blank wall work best?
- Is your work area tidy?
- What would your background tell someone about the type of person you are?
Make use of private messaging
There will be times when you will need to private message another guest in the room; for instance, if you and a team member are on a client call and need to compare notes, or similarly with a peer in a classroom. Zoom has a chat feature where you can send direct messages. But, remember, always double (if not triple) check your message is going to the right member and not the whole group!