Prior to lockdown, I’m sure all of us watched TV and thought being a news presenter was a real cushy job. Apart from chatting to people and introducing video links what do they do? Seems so easy, doesn’t it?
Being the host of a Zoom meeting can be compared to a dress rehearsal for your own chat show.
That’s when you realise there is a considerable amount of skill involved. What may appear to be free-flowing conversation can quickly descend into a disorganised waste of time if you allow it. To avoid the most common pitfalls here are our 5 tips to help make your meeting a success.
And don’t get me started on the logistical matter of transport, sorting out taxis there and back and sharing fares with your mates etc.
- Get dressed – yes, we really mean it. A New Zealand Councillor was literally caught with his trousers down recently. During the tea-break he was seen doing light housework with a feather duster, wearing a pair of veryshort shorts. A newbie to Zoom he assumed the camera would automatically turn off during the interval, whilst the top half was dressed for council chambers the bottom half was definitely not.
- Choose a neutral background. Drunken photos of you dressed as a Halloween party pumpkin make for happy memories but aren’t an ideal backdrop for a 1-2-1 with the boss; especially when advocating for a promotion or discussing your maturity to lead a team.
- Make the most of lighting. Often overlooked, it is a great way to create a mood and can be very flattering. Take time to make sure it’s working in your favour – too bright and you’ll have a shiny glare across your face, too dark and you’re starring in a B-rate horror movie.
- Check the camera and sound connections. There’s nothing more annoying than listening to you moan that ‘the video doesn’t work’ or looking down the depths of your left ear as you lean across to where you think the microphone might be lurking. If you’ve told everyone you’re proficient with technology ,make sure you can boss it.
- Less is more, when not speaking, mute the microphone. Noise coming through your microphone can be distracting for team members. Whether that’s the kettle boiling, your partner singing a dodgy version of Sweet Caroline or the dog barking, it may side-track people and could be seen as undermining their contribution.
Zoom meetings are different from those held in your traditional office environment and should be treated accordingly. Who knows, get it right and you might land a role presenting a tv show after all.
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