Monday, August 10, 2020

Tips for a Better Zoom Experience

Tips for a Better Zoom Experience
To Zoom or not to Zoom? It's not even a question. 

These days, Zoom is the primary platform for connecting people and events. Whether you are attending a virtual conference, workshop, or networking event, it helps to be comfortable with the platform.

My friend Steve Dotto, Dotto Tech, created a series of Zoom videos, and here are two to give you a nice background without too much overwhelm:

Zoom Basics:


 

And Zoom FAQs:

Beyond Zoom basics, here are a few things you need to know for a better Zoom experience:

1. Download Zoom. Before you attend a Zoom-hosted event, download the software on your computer. It'll make it much easier to join in when the event-time comes, so you are not scrambling to connect. You do not have to sign up for a paid account - a free account will enable you to personalize your Zoom experience, so your name and image will show up when you attend an event. 

Yes, you can use the Zoom app on your phone, but I think the computer - or tablet - makes for a better experience. It's much easier to watch, chat, and listen when you are not concerned about the position of your phone.

2. Use a Headset/Mic. You don't need to invest in a fancy microphone to Zoom. However, plugging in your hands-free earbuds - like the one on your smartphone - will reduce background noice, while making it easier for others to hear you. Keep your phone on mute unless you are talking. I also recommend turning off your video when someone else is presenting a workshop or seminar. Frequently the host will turn off the video and audio for all until the Q&A at the end. 

3. Clear the Clutter. Set up your computer in a place where the background is clean. You don't want your messy kitchen or office distracting others from the conversation. Zoom also has background options you can use with a green screen or clear background. However, those can tend to be distracting. My office setup has my book and my logo framed behind me. Simple, clean branding done the old-fashioned way.

4. Write Out Your Deets. Have your contact details ready to cut and paste into the Zoom chat box (usually in the bottom right of the screen). Keep a notepad doc with your website, email, and LinkedIn link. Use the https:// so it shows up as clickable. That way you don't have to retype it ever time you have a call. Oh, and be sure to save the chat toward the end of each meeting, so you have the info of others too. 

5. Avoid Zoom Overload. As easy as it may be to schedule several video conferences in one day - you're dressed. why not? - it's much better to pace yourself. Video calls take a lot of extra energy. Try to limit them to just a one or two a day and, if you have more, schedule downtime in between sessions. 

Bonus: Follow up: Like in an IRL event, if you make a new friend or business connection, be sure to follow up. Connect on LinkedIn, set up a coffee meet, and/or invite them to another event. 

The same rules to real-life events apply to virtual ones. Be polite (not salesy). Make new friends. Be genuine. And have fun. That's key for any event, live or virtual. Enjoy yourself and you will attrack like minds in the process.

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What are your tips for Zoom? Please share in the comments.

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Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

9 comments:

Terry Whalin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Cioffi said...

Debra, thank you so much for sharing this. I can't believe all the tools Zoom offers. From a marketing standpoint, you can do webinars and record a short video and put it up on YouTube and your site. What an eye-opener!

Terry Whalin said...

Debra,

Thank you for these insights and the videos about zoom. With a worldwide pandemic, we are turning more and more to tools like zoom and I need to learn more about how to use it effectively.

Terry

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Karen. Thanks, Terry.

There are so many bells and whistles with Zoom. It's truly helpful to know the basics and and the big picture.

Happy Zooming!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Oh, yay. WritersontheMove to the rescue just when needed. I have a writers conference presentation coming up on September 12 for UPPAA. Originally I was going to travel to Michigan for it, but, you know, Covid interrupted! So this will be a perfect review for me, Deb! Thank you!

Debra Eckerling said...

You are welcome, Carolyn. Let me know if you have any questions. And have fun!

Debra Eckerling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah lyn said...

Great tips Debra, thanks!

Debra Eckerling said...

Thanks, Deborah! Happy Zooming!

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