With working from home becoming the norm, Zoom meetings have replaced face to face get-togethers as a means of allowing colleagues to collaborate, sales calls to be hosted and pitches to take place.
If you are responsible for running or participating in virtual meetings via Zoom, you might be dissatisfied with the extent to which things can feel loose, casual and less than professional. Thankfully there are a few ways to fix this, covered concisely in the following tips.
Use virtual backgrounds
Zoom has the eye-catching capability to support virtual backgrounds for participants without the need for a green screen, and you should encourage employees to turn on this feature so that you are not stuck looking at a screen of people’s homes in various states of domestic disarray.
There are tons of backgrounds for Zoom meetings that are tailored to suit different occasions, whether you want it to look like you are in a boardroom, a chic office of a design agency or a bright, breezy modern home. Of course you should also encourage participants to choose different backgrounds from one another, as duplicates may look distracting.
Avoid portable devices
While it may be convenient to use a smartphone or tablet to join a Zoom meeting from home, this type of device is simply not as well equipped to create a professional or flattering look. Instead, choose a laptop with a built-in webcam or a desktop PC with a camera that can be positioned to perfection.
Camera angle and position is key to giving off a professional air during virtual meetings, so in addition to ditching portable devices, you should make sure that your face is well lit, and that you are sat with a plain backdrop so that the virtual background you choose works as intended.
Invest in a microphone
Even well-equipped laptops will likely be lumbered with a cheap built-in microphone that produces tinny results which will afflict other participants.
The good news is that there are a range of USB mics that can be a worthwhile investment, allowing your dulcet tones to be transmitted in all their glory.
You should also consider using headphones while you are on a call, as this will avoid feedback being generated and will also prevent clipping when other participants are talking, creating a generally more cohesive, coherent experience.
Dress to impress
Another symptom of widespread home working is that office dress codes tend to be thrown out of the window. While this is excusable if you are just getting on with your responsibilities while no one else is able to see you, as soon as you join a Zoom virtual meeting, it is much better to look like you have made an effort.
Putting on your work clothes and taking the time to present yourself in a professional way is definitely worthwhile, especially if participants in the meeting from outside of your organisation will be present. You will also feel more focused if you have gone through the routine of dressing appropriately.