At the height of the pandemic, businesses and several organizations need to find ways to continue their operations without jeopardizing one’s health. Virtual meetings became a big hit, and apps such as Zoom drastically increased their number of users. Slowly we are already getting the hang of these virtual conferences and meetings, but many people still lack knowledge on how to maximize it. So we are sharing with you some tips on How to be More Effective in Zoom Meetings?
Is There a Need for a Meeting?
Before anything else, try to evaluate if there is a need for a virtual meeting. According to surveys, around 6% of workers feel that they spend at least 10 hours per week on unproductive meetings. That’s more than a day of work, and much can be done instead.
If there are critical matters to be discussed, prepare an agenda. Aside from that, you should include what is expected from your attendees in your meeting invite. That way, they can prepare beforehand, making the meetings productive and meaningful.
Assign a Facilitator
In any meeting, whether offline or online, a facilitator is necessary. This makes the entire session organized, and attendees will have their time to share thoughts and ideas. This also eliminates the possibility of one person dominating the meeting. And yes, it could happen online and must be avoided.
Choose a Good Location
Zoom has become a favorite for virtual meetings because it automatically detects sounds or voices while showing who’s speaking at the moment. We have to say it was the app’s selling point. But because of the hypersensitivity to sound, it can also detect even the slightest noise. So if you live in a shared space and your housemate suddenly screams or your dog barks, everyone in your meeting will hear it – unless you ‘mute’ yourself.
Having said that, choose an area in your home where there is the least noise. It could be your room, your basement, or your attic. We don’t expect you to make a soundproofed room, but if that’s possible, then go ahead and invest.
Leave Your Phone Off
We are too attached to our phones, and we bring them everywhere we go. And now that most are holding virtual meetings, people try to multitask and use their phones, pretending to focus on the agenda. In reality, they couldn’t understand what is being discussed. That makes the entire meeting useless.
As much as possible, please leave your phone off, or have it placed somewhere that you can’t easily reach. If you keep it by your side, it will just be a distraction. After all, your time should be dedicated to the meeting.
Mute Your Audio
If you are not going to speak, make it a habit to mute your audio. We’ve heard personal conversations through Zoom just because some attendees left their mic on.
Also, don’t forget to enable the mic if you are about to present or speak. Yes, it can be confusing at times, but you would eventually get the hang of it.
Turn Off Video
In some cases, you will be required to turn on your video as proof that you are attending the meeting. But if you are not mandated to show your face, we recommend that you turn it off. This can essentially improve the quality of the call.
Check the Technicals Ahead of Time
Based on our observation, a lot of time is wasted due to technical issues. Sometimes, the camera isn’t working, the internet is too slow, or the mic is faulty. it is always ideal to check everything before the actual meeting. You can test the video and audio first.
If you are the host and you are about to share your screen, practice beforehand. This will make the entire meeting seamless, and it will minimize disturbances.
Prepare Handwritten Notes
Even if we are in the digital age, doing some primitive techniques still work. For example, have handwritten notes if you are to present in Zoom meetings. It’s easier to remember important details when you write them by hand. And yes, science has already proven this.
Use One App Per Screen
If you are used to opening multiple apps and websites, we recommend closing it first when having a Zoom meeting. This is encouraged, most especially if you are about to share your screen. If you have several tabs or apps opened, these might be shared with other attendees by accident. And if you have confidential information, that could certainly pose a threat.
Use Virtual Background
Let’s admit it. Not everyone has a Pinterest-worthy house that you can flaunt when you do Zoom meetings. Most of us are working in the bedroom or at the kitchen table. And just imagine what type of background you would have – unmade bed and sink full of dishes. It’s not exactly professional and can sometimes be distracting.
Fortunately, you can use a virtual background during Zoom meetings. You just need a solid background, preferably green. Or, if your laptop is quite advanced, it can automatically change your background using your preferred image.
Record Your Meeting
While it is a must to take the notes of the meeting, we encourage you to use Zoom’s recording feature too. With this, you can easily share the recording with those who have missed the meeting.
Just in case you are assigned to take down notes, make sure you track the timestamp for each agenda. This will make it easier to backtrack information.
Display the Names
This is not as important as the other tips above. However, if you are about to have Zoom meetings with people you don’t know, it’s best to display the names. At least you can address them properly throughout the session.
Always Ask for Feedback
At the end of each Zoom meeting, we recommend that you ask your participants for their feedback. While there are general rules to make Zoom meetings more effective and efficient, your company might be able to use a more specific strategy. List it down, and try to improve on your next ones.
Do not get frustrated if your first few Zoom meetings were not successful. Everybody is learning, and most are understanding. Just take note of the points for improvement and take it from there.