If there’s a video conferencing app on everyone’s lips these days, it has got to be Zoom. As social distancing becomes the norm, the smartphone video conferencing app rose to the top like a rocket.
In December 2019, Eric Yuan’s app just had 10 million daily users. Months after, as the pandemic hit America, its daily users spiked to 200 million and counting. Though tons of flak has been thrown against this pandemic video conferencing app, one thing’s certain you’re highly likely going to do a Zoom meeting as a business leader whether you like it or not.
Making sure you’re doing things right, therefore is wise when it comes to Zoom meetings. That’s especially true if you’re in a business meeting. As you may have known now, the app has been largely instrumental in allowing small businesses to flourish during these trying times. A glorious example is the increasing reliance of professionals on the app in telemedicine and cosmetic consultations.
Luckily, you need not look far and wide to know how to maximize your business meetings online. With expert advice, you should be able to sail through a crucial business online conversation in flying colors and Zoom your way to success.
Dress for the Occasion
You might say to yourself why dress up for an online business meeting when you’re actually just in front of your PC or laptop? Well, dressing casual is alright if you’re meeting a friend and just want to chat about the goings-on and whatnot. But a business meeting is a totally different ball game. The stakes are higher. Therefore, dressing to impress is the name of the game.
A good example here is Facebook billionaire college drop-out founder. Mark Zuckerberg, for countless times, is known to be a t-shirt guy at work. Casual dressing is definitely his idea of running a billion-dollar tech firm. But even the great Zuckerberg had to dress up during the time when he was called to Congress. He wore not a shirt but a suit and tie.
So how should you dress in a Zoom business meeting? The trick is to dress in business casual. Thus, you need not don a formal dress unless the occasion calls for it. Don’t overdress too. If the executive you’re meeting online mentions your attire every so often, you may have a problem there. And yes, a visit to a talented barber or hairstylist should bid you well. After all, what’s professional dressing if your hair is unkempt and doesn’t match.
Choose a Fitting Background
We really don’t bother about what’s behind us when we’re talking in a cafe shop. That can’t be said in an online conversation on Zoom. But if you want to make a good first impression online, you really can’t afford to overlook your background. Reason enough why bookshelves have become the top choice for many professionals talking online via Zoom. Well, if you have a bookshelf, it certainly implies you’re learned and an expert on something.
So how to get your background right? For starters, you shouldn’t use a place that’s too busy or too cluttered. That certainly doesn’t speak highly of you. A solid background topped with natural light should be best. If you’re using lighting, make sure it’s not behind you but right in front above you for best effects. Or if you cannot find an ideal location, try Zoom’s standard set of backgrounds. You can even use an image online in this regard.
Speak to the Cam
Well, online meetings are a bit tricky. Bear in mind that you’re using technology here so making sure you adjust to the times is best. Unlike a person-to-person conversation, Zoom meetings happen between two people hundreds, if not thousands, of miles apart. It’s possible then that you can appear cold if you’re not careful.
Usually, this happens when you talk to the person online facing the monitor. To connect best with the person on the other end of the Zoom conversation, you need to talk to the camera. Remember that it’s the camera that sees you and not the monitor. This way you achieve the closest thing to an honest eye-to-eye talk.
Word of Warning: Not minding the camera can also become a disaster for you. To boot, it shows you’re not interested in the meeting and the person you’re talking to. Worse, it can show a negative side of you to the world.
Mute Now and Then
Again, another feature that can give you a good impression is the mute feature. You should use this when you’re listening to someone else talk online. Take note that unexpected interruptions such as your child playing in the background can ruin a good business conversation. Muting allows the other line to speak and be respected at the same time.
Of course, it’s always best to be in a room away from all the noise. But sometimes (and especially if you’re working from home), unplanned noisy distractions happen. Muting allows you to control how you appear online. It shows your professionalism. Most importantly, it speaks volumes about the kind of business leader you are.