In today’s world, a Zoom conference has almost become the new normal for meetings. Our team at Border Free Media learned the ropes a long time ago and totally understand that not everyone feels comfortable when being on camera – especially when talking to clients, bosses or even coworkers. We want you to feel confident in how you appear to your guests, from setting up your space to confidence on camera.
HOW TO EXCEL ON A ZOOM CONFERENCE CALL
PASSWORD PROTECT YOUR ZOOM CONFERENCE
Kind of like crashing a party, you don’t want uninvited guests popping into your meeting. When you schedule your session, make sure you select “require meeting password”. This ensures only invited attendees can get in.
SETTING THE SCENE
Setting your scene can make all the difference. Five things to keep in mind are the look and feel of your background, what you’re wearing, framing, lighting and sound.
Styling Your Zoom Conference Call Background
There are a few different ways you can set the backdrop so you look professional and your personality comes through too.
A clean wall, white or colorful, or a space with shelving are both great options. If you love to travel, post up your skis on the corner of a plane wall. When you have a space with a bookshelf, you can add personal touches that aren’t distracting like your favorite books and plants.
If you’re having a hard time getting creative with your backdrop, you can use the “green screen” mode for a more fun call. In order to use this function, you need to make sure your computer and Zoom app have the latest software updates installed and you have a clean backdrop wall that doesn’t blend with at you’re wearing. Also, use your computer and not your phone toe sure you don’t look like you’re floating around in space.
The composition of your frame is a key component in looking professional. You can achieve balance by:
- Making sure the computer is at eye level
- Ensuring there are two inches of space above your head
- Cropping the lower part of your frame between your shoulders and mid chest
- Centering yourself on the screen
Illuminate The Conversation With Great Lighting
There’s nothing worse than a poorly lit video call in something that looks like your grandmother’s kitchen or a college dorm room. It looks unprofessional and can be distracting. If possible, try to find natural lighting, a window being the best option, and sit facing towards this light. The light will bounce onto your face and create a well-lit and non-grainy atmosphere. If you don’t have access to natural light, try taking the shade off of a home lamp. It can illuminate just as much as a natural source.
If you want to invest in a small lighting setup, a ring light with iphone attachment is a great option. It’s small enough to travel with too. If you’re planning to only use your lighting at home, a stand and ring light are an excellent option.
Dress For Success
Wear appropriate clothing. Stay away from anything with logos or graphics — basically anything you wouldn’t wear to your workplace is off the table.
Setting Up Stellar Sound
In order to get great audio, you’ll want to choose a meeting room with minimal echo. Hard surfaces bounce more sound, so choose room with couches/pillows tends to absorb some of the echo.
Two Person vs. Multiple Attendees
Chatting with one person is a breeze but when you want to add multiple participants things can get a bit tricky. If you’re the moderator or speaker giving a webinar in a group meeting, while scheduling your call you can select mute participants on entry under “meeting options.” Throughout the call, you can also select in the bottom right corner mute all to keep everyone muted when you are speaking. This will keep background noise minimal and a more enjoyable atmosphere for all participants.
Side Note: The free Zoom conference plan only includes 40 minutes of call time for more than two attendees. If you’re planning a longer chat with a group, you’ll need to upgrade your plan to the paid version.
Screen sharing is an interactive tool that anyone in your call can use. This tool allows you to share exactly what is on your screen with all parties. The best part? Before actually sharing your screen, a popup appears to make sure you are sharing exactly what you want; no surprises. If you plan on sharing a video, make sure the “share computer sound” and “optimize screen share for video clip” boxes are checked.
While screen sharing, you also have the ability to make notes on your screen. Once you click on “annotate,” a toolbar drop down appears with a variety of features including but not limited to, spotlight, draw and text. Anyone, not just the host, can annotate live during the call. You can also disable the audience from using this feature.
RECORDING YOUR ZOOM CALL
You may want to record for a number of reasons. Whether you would like to review a topic later or record an interview to share on social media, recording your call is simple. Go to Meeting and select record. You can pause and restart recording at any time, and once you have ended the chat, the recording will be converted into an .mp4 file.
FYI – When you begin recording participant(s) are notified. Make sure you asked permission before doing so.
HOW TO BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE ON A VIDEO CALL
Now that you have everything in your Zoom toolbox from lighting to audio, here are a few ways to keep your confidence high –
- Be early on the call. This way you have time to fix any audio or video you may be experiencing.
- Communication is 70% body language, so sit tall + maintain eye contact through the camera lens.
- Do your best to not interrupt the speaker. A way to avoid this is to wait a few seconds in case there is a wifi lag.
- Be a good listener and ask great questions.
- Have your meeting notes and materials in front of you prior to calling in.
Video conferences don’t have to be scary or awkward. Preparation and a great setup are two easy yet effective ways to have a successful session. You can use technology to your advantage so you get the most out of your call. Remember, Zoom calls are exactly like any other business meeting. You’ve got this!