5 Tips for Zooming Success
Have you ever joined a Zoom call that felt like utter chaos – multiple people try to talk at once, someone forgets to mute themselves and fills your headphones will loud noise, and then, to top it all off, you find yourself getting distracted by something happening in the background of another person’s video?
Now more than ever, people need to adapt their communication habits so Zoom meetings do not turn into Zoom disasters. Read below for five tips on how to communicate effectively while on Zoom.
1. Free your space of distractions
Find a quiet space that allows for total focus on the meeting. Silence your phone and, if possible, close and lock the door so people do not come and go during a meeting. In addition,
be intentional in your background choice. Find a neutral place to sit, or pick a professional virtual background. This prevents others from getting distracted by you so all parties can focus completely on the speaker.
2. Do not forget about nonverbal communication
Equally as important over Zoom, nonverbal communication remains an essential part of every conversation. Make sure you avoid backlighting so others can see your face. Look into your camera when talking to simulate eye contact. Do not let your face go blank; instead nod in agreement to show interest and engagement. Lastly, remember to sit up straight with an open posture and practice active listening.
3. Watch the nonverbal cues of others
Watching for other people’s nonverbals helps ensure their engagement and that they understand your words. Look at others (not yourself) when speaking. If this proves difficult, you can close the view of yourself to avoid getting distracted. Remember to pay attention to facial expressions and adjust your communication accordingly.
4. Use the various Zoom features to participate in all discussions
The chat acts as a useful tool when you have a question or do not want to interrupt the person talking. Remember to use the hand raise button if you want to say something, and always mute your microphone after speaking. This allows for maximum participation by everyone.
5. Dress still matters
Even in a virtual meeting, your appearance still matters. Dressing as you would for an ordinary meeting or class will put you in the right mindset and set you up to get the most out of your next Zoom session.
Overall, you must be self aware. What works in face-to-face conversations will not work the same over Zoom, but developing a sense of connection virtually is still possible. Take advantage of the tools at your disposal and these five suggestions to communicate more effectively.
– April Hooper ‘22