Zoom Etiquette, it’s really a thing.

Members of the MEM community will be using Zoom for many meetings in the next few weeks – make the most of these meetings with a few best practices.  Here’s what you need to know.

Good practices can make meetings more efficient, shorter, and more engaging.  We’ll start with some general best practices that everyone can use:

  • Sit facing a light source so you don’t appear back-lit.  A lamp or window behind your monitor will work great;
  • Make sure your name is displayed in the Participants Not your NetID or phone number;
    • In Zoom go to the Participants window, find your name and select Rename to make the change.
  • Think about your background – simple is best without any distracting objects;
  • Do you turn your camera on or keep it off –
    • General rule of thumb – if it’s 10 people or less in the meeting, start with your camera on.  More than 10?  Start with your camera off.
    • BUT – if the meeting host has their camera on, use your camera as well;
    • Shoulders and head, just like what you’d see sitting in a conference room – that’s the best practice;
  • To mute or not to mute –
    • When in doubt, MUTE;
    • If you’re not the host, mute your microphone as soon as you join;
    • After you ask a question or make a comment, mute your microphone;
  • Did your dog, cat or a child walk in?  Mute your microphone and stop your camera (if it’s on);
    • (After showing them off for a minute or so!)
  • Get a phone call you need to take?  Step away from the camera (and make sure you’re muted);

The single most important best practice?  Muting when you aren’t speaking is the best way to be respectful in conference calls;

Best Practices for Meeting Hosts …

Leading a video conference?  Here are some best practices:

  • When scheduling a Zoom or WebEx meeting, provide complete connection information in your meeting invitation;
  • Arrive early – start the meeting 5 minutes early if possible;
  • Clarify meeting expectations first thing.  Attendees need to know:
    • Do you want everyone to turn on their cameras or not?
    • How do you want to handle questions?  Open mic or chat?
    • A list of meeting expectations makes a great first slide that you can share for attendees to view as they arrive
  • Consider how you can make attendee introductions easier:
    • Instead of asking everyone to introduce themselves and risk having several folks talking over one another, ask your attendees by name, one by one, to introduce themselves
    • OR – simply introduce them yourself.  Start at the top of your list and say each attendee’s name, title and organization.
  • If you have a long slideshow (such as a class), stop every four or five slides to check with everyone to see about comments or questions;
  • Having a round robin?  Call on each individual and let them know when it’s their turn;

Best Practices for Attendees …

Here are some best practices when attending meetings:

  • Arrive on time;
    • Did you arrive late? No need to announce it.  The meeting has already started – just mute and settle in.
  • Stay muted unless you’re speaking;
    • Before you speak, make sure you are un-muted;
  • If you need to leave the meeting for a few minutes
    • In meetings with fewer than 20 attendees
      • Put a note in the chat window letting everyone know you’ve stepped away.  When you return, a follow-up in the chat window will let everyone know you’re back;
    • In meetings with more than 20 attendees
      • Just leave and come back when you’re ready;
    • Have a question and the host hasn’t said how they’ll handle questions?
      • Unmute your microphone, turn on your camera and just say “Question” at an appropriate pause;
        • If the host does not acknowledge you, try again;
      • Chat box for questions only
      • Remain engaged
      • Active participant

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