There are a lot of accepted, and most often unwritten, rules for how to participate in a virtual meeting so you don’t annoy your fellow attendees. Some are obvious and generally followed; some are more subtle or ignored. Which ones are you guilty of?
We’ve all seen it during those ubiquitous virtual meetings (aka “Zoom,” which has become both a noun and a verb this past year)—the unfortunate results of horrible lighting, a camera too close, or Zoomers who look at their screens, rather than the camera. Here are four tips from the Seattle Times for how to address some of the more annoying aspects of virtual meetings, and I’ve added one of my own. Can you pick it out?
Pet peeve #1: I can’t see you.
Lighting is your friend. Diffused lighting from the front, preferably higher than your face is best. You can sit in front of a window, get one of those circular lights, or just put a lamp on a stack of books behind your computer screen.
Pet peeve #2: What are you looking at?
It’s natural to look at the screen, but it leaves you looking down (often resulting in the dreaded appearance of multiple chins). Look into the camera at the top of the screen. Better yet, raise the computer. There are gizmos designed specifically to do this, but a stack of books does the job just as well.
Pet peeve #3: There’s someone at your front door.
You’ve undoubtedly been on the other side of the computer screen of someone with a “live mic” with the barking dog or other household noises coming through loud and clear. Unless you’ve actively engaged in a back-and-forth conversation or presentation, mute your mic.
Pet peeve #4: Is that a plant growing out of your head?
Use your cellphone in “selfie” mode you to check out your setting before joining a meeting. How is the lighting? What’s in the background? Adjust as needed before you log into the meeting.
Pet peeve #5: I know it’s a lunch meeting, but…
Don’t eat while on camera. If you need to finish your lunch, turn off your video feed. Your fellow meeting participants will thank you. Trust me on that.
What’s your favorite part of virtual meetings and your least favorite? Drop me a message and we can commiserate.
As Director of Franchise Development for Great Clips, my job is to help prospective franchisees figure out if investing in a salon franchise is a good match. I’d love to hear from you, wherever you are on this journey. Give me a call!