Zoom Calls – Steal the Show, or at Least Don’t Be an Idiot

by Louis Parks
  • Zoom, Skype, Teams, they’re here to stay.
  • It’s time to learn the rules, time to get your VoIP game going.
  • Just remember to get dressed.
Zoom
See, your forebearers suffered, too (CC BY-SA 3.0, Fuelrefuel).
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Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, whatever, video meetings and conference calls are here to stay. The age-old curse of the endless meeting hasn’t gone away, it’s just gone fully digital.

According to a survey done by GetVoIP who, admittedly, are a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider, 83% of employees claim to spend a third of their week in meetings, that’s a lot of time. Additionally, during COVID, many companies recruited via video calls, many are still doing so and recruitment firms make use of the software as a matter of course, though getting the numbers on this is a fruitless task.

But, back to work, and that terrifying “third of a week” stat. If you’re spending anything like that amount of time in video calls, firstly, I feel sorry for you and, secondly, we’ve interviewed our team, pooled our ideas and interrogated our HR department to come up with a list of do’s and don’ts that are sure to elevate your Zoom game. So, read on remote workers and office slaves alike.

How to be a Great VoIPer

Without further ado, here’s what to do, and what not to do, in your daily call(s):

Tech Talk – Be the Virtuoso

So, you've ditched the conference room for a cozy space at home, or you’re joining from your office desk. Bravo! But before you start broadcasting and fighting over the departmental budget, or who’s been drinking your almond milk from the fridge, do a tech check. Update your conferencing software, charge your laptop (or keep the charger handy), test the camera, mic, and, oh, maybe look over that fancy presentation you're about to unleash. The virtual stage is yours, but make sure all your props are in working order.

Punctuality: The Golden Ticket

Time, as they say, is money. And that hasn't changed in the virtual realm. Be fashionably early, check your tech in the grace period, and show everyone you mean business. Late entries not only disrupt the flow but also scream, "I've got better things to do."

Mute and the Art of Silence

A modern mic picks up a lot noise, never forget that. If you’re working from home, then there also cats, dogs, doorbells and more. Long story short, if you’re not talking, your colleagues don’t want to hear Mr. Snuffles coughing up a hairball. Mute when you're not speaking, and for the love of collaboration, silence those loud notifications. Your colleagues will thank you.

Dress to Impress (At Least from the Waist Up)

This is one for you homebodies: Working in your pajamas is a pandemic-approved privilege that has remained in place until today. But remember, video calls are your runway. Brush that hair, slap on a crisp shirt, and make sure you're not the ghostly figure haunting the meeting. Dress not just for success, but for that promotion you'll never get. Joking, we’re joking.

Eyes on the Prize – Literally

Alright in the words of Madonna, “Vogue!” Look at the camera, not the screen. Gaze into that little lens, not at your colleague's pixelated mug. Eye contact, even through the lens, says, "I'm here, and I'm paying attention." Connect through the webcam; it's the eye of the video conferencing tiger.

No Multitasking, Please

It's tempting to fire off emails or play online chess during that weekly catch-up. But resist the urge, you multitasking machine! It's rude, and your distracted demeanor is as noticeable as a cat in a dog park. Focus on the meeting, and save the multitasking until you’re talking to sales.

Lights, Camera, No Grain

Good lighting is the makeup of video calls – it makes you flawless and men can do it, too. Too little light, and you're that weirdo in a dark alley. Too much, and you're a deer in the spotlights. Find that sweet spot where your face is radiant, not grainy. Take the time to set up your lighting; you're worth the effort, darling.

Minimize the Circus

No one wants to see your dirty laundry – literally if you’re working from home – or your desk clutter. Keep your background simple and plain, tidy your desk, and get everything looking organized. Your colleagues don't need a backstage pass to your life; keep it professional. Too messy? Just go for a blurred background, nobody cares why you’re doing it.

Visuals for the Win

Visuals aren't just for show-and-tell; they're your secret weapon. Share your screen, collaborate in real-time, and keep those meetings engaging. Remember, they’re not just talking heads, they’re your colleagues and all this would be much easier in person, but it’s not, so make do. But remember ….

Share, But Don't Overshare

Screen sharing is like letting people peek into your soul (or at least your desktop). Confirm everyone's seeing what you're seeing, share only what's necessary, and for the love of cybersecurity , close those tabs, your life is all about forex ! Nobody wants to discover your love of cat videos … or worse.

So, dear digital drones, as you embark on another day of virtual conquest, keep these tips in your arsenal. Zoom forth, Skype on, and Google Meet your destiny. Now, we’ve got a meeting IRL, time to button up our pants.

But, wait, is that the next big thing in video conferencing just around the corner…

Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, whatever, video meetings and conference calls are here to stay. The age-old curse of the endless meeting hasn’t gone away, it’s just gone fully digital.

According to a survey done by GetVoIP who, admittedly, are a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider, 83% of employees claim to spend a third of their week in meetings, that’s a lot of time. Additionally, during COVID, many companies recruited via video calls, many are still doing so and recruitment firms make use of the software as a matter of course, though getting the numbers on this is a fruitless task.

But, back to work, and that terrifying “third of a week” stat. If you’re spending anything like that amount of time in video calls, firstly, I feel sorry for you and, secondly, we’ve interviewed our team, pooled our ideas and interrogated our HR department to come up with a list of do’s and don’ts that are sure to elevate your Zoom game. So, read on remote workers and office slaves alike.

How to be a Great VoIPer

Without further ado, here’s what to do, and what not to do, in your daily call(s):

Tech Talk – Be the Virtuoso

So, you've ditched the conference room for a cozy space at home, or you’re joining from your office desk. Bravo! But before you start broadcasting and fighting over the departmental budget, or who’s been drinking your almond milk from the fridge, do a tech check. Update your conferencing software, charge your laptop (or keep the charger handy), test the camera, mic, and, oh, maybe look over that fancy presentation you're about to unleash. The virtual stage is yours, but make sure all your props are in working order.

Punctuality: The Golden Ticket

Time, as they say, is money. And that hasn't changed in the virtual realm. Be fashionably early, check your tech in the grace period, and show everyone you mean business. Late entries not only disrupt the flow but also scream, "I've got better things to do."

Mute and the Art of Silence

A modern mic picks up a lot noise, never forget that. If you’re working from home, then there also cats, dogs, doorbells and more. Long story short, if you’re not talking, your colleagues don’t want to hear Mr. Snuffles coughing up a hairball. Mute when you're not speaking, and for the love of collaboration, silence those loud notifications. Your colleagues will thank you.

Dress to Impress (At Least from the Waist Up)

This is one for you homebodies: Working in your pajamas is a pandemic-approved privilege that has remained in place until today. But remember, video calls are your runway. Brush that hair, slap on a crisp shirt, and make sure you're not the ghostly figure haunting the meeting. Dress not just for success, but for that promotion you'll never get. Joking, we’re joking.

Eyes on the Prize – Literally

Alright in the words of Madonna, “Vogue!” Look at the camera, not the screen. Gaze into that little lens, not at your colleague's pixelated mug. Eye contact, even through the lens, says, "I'm here, and I'm paying attention." Connect through the webcam; it's the eye of the video conferencing tiger.

No Multitasking, Please

It's tempting to fire off emails or play online chess during that weekly catch-up. But resist the urge, you multitasking machine! It's rude, and your distracted demeanor is as noticeable as a cat in a dog park. Focus on the meeting, and save the multitasking until you’re talking to sales.

Lights, Camera, No Grain

Good lighting is the makeup of video calls – it makes you flawless and men can do it, too. Too little light, and you're that weirdo in a dark alley. Too much, and you're a deer in the spotlights. Find that sweet spot where your face is radiant, not grainy. Take the time to set up your lighting; you're worth the effort, darling.

Minimize the Circus

No one wants to see your dirty laundry – literally if you’re working from home – or your desk clutter. Keep your background simple and plain, tidy your desk, and get everything looking organized. Your colleagues don't need a backstage pass to your life; keep it professional. Too messy? Just go for a blurred background, nobody cares why you’re doing it.

Visuals for the Win

Visuals aren't just for show-and-tell; they're your secret weapon. Share your screen, collaborate in real-time, and keep those meetings engaging. Remember, they’re not just talking heads, they’re your colleagues and all this would be much easier in person, but it’s not, so make do. But remember ….

Share, But Don't Overshare

Screen sharing is like letting people peek into your soul (or at least your desktop). Confirm everyone's seeing what you're seeing, share only what's necessary, and for the love of cybersecurity , close those tabs, your life is all about forex ! Nobody wants to discover your love of cat videos … or worse.

So, dear digital drones, as you embark on another day of virtual conquest, keep these tips in your arsenal. Zoom forth, Skype on, and Google Meet your destiny. Now, we’ve got a meeting IRL, time to button up our pants.

But, wait, is that the next big thing in video conferencing just around the corner…

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