Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus has restricted me to my home, I have used Zoom Calls to communicate with others. I have seen and heard things that I assumed could have been avoided with just a little bit of common sense.
Have appropriate clothing on. You just have to dress from the waist up. Although it is speaking virtually with others, they can still see you. The other day I was using Zoom Calls for one of my classes and this student decided that he wanted to be cute and chat without a shirt on. Ugh. Really dude? Every time he spoke his lack of clothing was such a distraction I couldn’t take him seriously. So, come people, let’s cover up. If you don’t come to class without a shirt let’s not video chat without one either. Remember, less is not more.
Don’t have a loud background. When using Zoom Calls please don’t have the background of your environment loud or even louder than yourself. That is so distracting to those that you are chatting with. It will either make the call longer than it should be with you constantly repeating yourself because you are being unheard. Or it will cut the conversation short with the person being unable to hear you and having little to no patience to try. If you are unable to have a quiet background you can invest and use some headphones. They are good for minimizing the sound of your background.
Remember that others can see your background. Your entire background doesn’t need to be cleaned just the section that will be seen during your Zoom call. So if you have a messy room or background and want to be portrayed as a clean classy person, either clean up or choose another setting to chat. When I Zoom Call with others, one of the first things I look at is the background. A way to avoid all of this is to create a virtual background. This only takes a few minutes to do and this way others will not know what your true background looks like.
Don’t forget to mute yourself. You always have the option to have your sound on or off. Zoom call will default to having your sound on, as soon as you join the meeting. If you want to chat but not be fully engaged in the conversation, please mute yourself. I’ve seen several clips on IG of people forgetting they are not on mute and just embarrassing themselves. It’s fun to watch but I bet the person who didn’t mute doesn’t feel the same.
Send a message with the person you intend to speak with. Remember when you want to write to someone on Zoom Calls, it defaults to send to all. So, if you want to send a personal message to a specific individual, it’s best to double-check that you are sending that message to that individual than to everyone on the call. I have seen some messages that I wish can be unseen. I will never look at some individuals the same.
Don’t have the video on. During Zoom Calls if it is not necessary to have on your video please don’t. it is very distracting to see students get up and move around during a video meeting. The same rules apply to your sound. If you are not saying anything kindly place yourself on mute.
Be on time. During most Zooms Calls you are on some else’s time. Please remember this and be on time. Many times, meetings are scheduled and the person has not joined the meeting so everyone else in the meeting has to wait. A best practice is to sign into the meeting a few minutes early so that if any issues do arise you can handle it then rather than during the meeting.
Don’t sit next to someone on the same Zoom call you are in. Since the Coronavirus outbreak, my classes for school have been moved to online classes. The purpose of us doing Zoom Calls in class is because we cannot be close together and cannot gather more than 10 people at a time, we are to be practicing Social Distancing. Please don’t be like the students in my class. They were both on the same video meeting but yet sitting right next to each other. The interference was so annoying. To prevent this space yourself from others in the same video meeting that you are in.
Make sure your systems are ready to go, this means your speakers, camera, and that you have a good internet connection. Zoom Calls during class would be more effective if other students would have their system ready to go. It’s so annoying to wait for other students to get their system. It’s so inconsiderate to those that tested the systems beforehand. Running a test is simple and takes only a few minutes. Testing your camera is important to make sure it is not too close or too far from you, this is a great time to find your best angle. You can also ensure that your face is well lit, whether it be by natural light or the lighting in the building.
Don’t lose focus. I find that during Zoom calls losing focus is easier than in person. I personally don’t lose focus on purpose. It’s best to put all distractions, especially your phone, away. If the video feature is on it will totally give away what your real focus is on. This seems like it will be a good time to review emails, check your IG, or even take a selfie. But it’s not. Try to be strong and not give in to the temptation.