How NOT To Have The Perfect Zoom Meeting

How NOT To Have The Perfect Zoom Meeting Publié le 12 February 2021 Par

Worried about how not to have the perfect Zoom meeting? A few blunders can derail the whole thing. Here’s how organizers and individuals can work together to avoid some common mistakes and have effective virtual meetings.

With millions of people working remotely, Zoom meetings and video calls have become a daily reality for businesses in all industries. It is possible to have video meetings that are effective and efficient, but as people learn and adapt to this format it leads to some issues that should be addressed and improved.

How NOT To Have The Perfect Zoom – The Don’ts:

  • Don’t surprise people
  • Don’t decide to “wing it”
  • Don’t invite the entire company
  • Don’t forget to mute your microphone
  • Don’t be a distraction
  • Don’t get frustrated

Don’t Surprise People

Both meetings and surprises can be stressful on their own, and combining the two can make for a real unneeded shot of adrenaline. The past year has been one of heightened, unending stress, which has caused real problems for people as they try to balance their professional and personal lives. Having an organized and planned-out schedule has been cited by psychologists and mental wellness experts as an effective tool for managing a certain amount of stress, if for no other reason that it helps people feel in control of their lives. Surprise or last minute meetings remove this control and can throw their day out of whack. An unscheduled Zoom meeting should only be used as a last resort under extremely important circumstances.

Don’t Decide To “Wing It”

Overconfident managers may find themselves starting a meeting with only a loose idea of what needs to be discussed, only to find themselves forgetting important information, flubbing the updates and dropping details that need to be heard. That’s because speaking in front of crowds is an extremely common phobia, and is still a situation that causes increased stress and anxiety. It’s easy to think that a Zoom meeting or a virtual call would not be as stress-inducing, but in actuality it has the potential to increase these feelings because of the simple reason that in this format speakers are acutely aware that people are looking at them. This makes it all the better to prepare and even practice what needs to be said during important video meetings. 

Don’t Invite the Entire Company

Many companies like to hold large town-hall style meetings with dozens of employees. From their perspective, this is the most efficient way to share important information and updates with as many people as possible in a short amount of time. It is true that having a 30-minute meeting with 120 people will go more quickly than having ten 30-minute meetings with 12 people in each, but it will not provide the best results, especially when they are adapted to a virtual context. Within large meetings, it is much simpler for people to fade into the background of the crowd and fully become passive listeners. 

Inviting dozens of people onto a single video call is certainly not the way to have the perfect Zoom Meeting. With so many screens happening in the same meeting, it forces the eyes to attempt to focus multiple things simultaneously. This is very draining for both physically and mentally, and is a major contributor to Zoom Fatigue that has been plaguing much of the business world. Effective kinds of meetings are ones where each participant feels engaged, and being one of a hundred or more faces in a wall of squares will not endear this feeling among employees.

Don’t Forget to Mute Your Mic

If there’s one thing that derails someone speaking, it’s loud noises. One way to prevent unwanted sound and noise during a Zoom meeting is to mute your microphone when you are not the one speaking. With everyone in different spaces, there is a much greater chance that there will be noise from construction, roommates, the outside world and other sources, all of which can be jarring for people trying to speak. Now, this does not mean that you should completely avoid talking during the meeting, as good meetings allow for discussion and conversation. Instead, just get used to turning the microphone on and off when appropriate.

Don’t Be A Distraction

One of the benefits of working from home is that it can make for a comfortable and casual work environment. Meetings, however, should still be treated with a certain level of professionalism and this includes Zoom meetings and virtual calls. Every individual should make an effort to avoid being a distraction during meetings and show respect to organizers and colleagues. Studies have shown that as many as 30% of employees feel undervalued in the workplace, and over half have felt outright disrespected at moments, which simply cannot be tolerated or allowed to continue. 

This means staying off your phone, not searching other websites, sending private messages, having off-to-the-side conversation or anything else that will call attention away from the speaker. The virtual workplace is a space where employees should feel respected, heard and supported, and there is no reason that this should change due to the fact that a meeting is happening over a video call.

Don’t Get Frustrated

Video conferencing and Zoom meetings transformed from an occasional feature to a daily reality for many companies literally overnight. Over the course of 2020, the number of people using Zoom, BlueJeans, Google Meets and other video conferencing software programs rose from tens of millions to hundreds of millions as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this technology has allowed people to continue to work, collaborate and support each other, there have definitely been a few technical difficulties. This is a new form of tech for many people, and they have had to learn the ins and outs of it essentially on their own, relying on web guides or communicating with colleagues for advice. Not everyone will know how to solve every little problem, and getting frustrated and angry will certainly not make them any better.

Even if all meeting participants have the right program and have a basic knowledge of troubleshooting, with so many meetings happening over video conferencing it is inevitable that there will be problems that are completely out of anyone’s control. The internet signal won’t be strong, there will be a power outage, a cat will take over the camera or any number of unpredictable things will occur. Instead of letting these issues create a long-lasting negative atmosphere, by creating an environment where people don’t panic or feel a great deal of stress with problems outside of their control and instead can even laugh it off, it will make for a much more positive and effective Zoom meeting for everyone.