Everything You Need to Know About Zoom Meetings
Technology has been incredibly valuable in recent times.
It’s allowed us Freelancers to work from home and keep in touch with loved ones.
Many people have flocked to Zoom, utilising the software for virtual, face-to-face communication.
If you’ve heard the name thrown around in conversation or have been asked to join a Zoom meeting and are feeling a bit lost, we’re here to help.
Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about Zoom Meetings.
What is a Zoom Meeting?
There’s a good chance you already know what a Zoom meeting is, but if you’re still feeling completely in the dark let us tell you what it’s all about.
Zoom is a particular software that hosts video meetings.
This means you can schedule a video appointment with your clients or colleagues.
For Freelancers, Zoom can be invaluable.
Or use Zoom to schedule with a friend or family member so that you can chat face-to-face no matter where you happen to be in the world.
With many employees now working from home, it is no surprise that a huge number of people have flocked to video meeting software like Zoom.
It’s hard to beat face-to-face conversation, even if it is via a screen.
If you are looking to become a Zoom expert and perfect your video meetings, you’ve come to the right place.
What Can I do With Zoom Meetings?
As you now know, Zoom Meetings are a type of video conference.
With this software, you can do three key things:
1. Have a one-on-one engagement
If you need to have a discussion with one other person, this option is perfect. Simply jump into a meeting and have a chat.
2. Have a group meeting
Zoom allows you to hold a video meeting with multiple participants. If you purchase one of the higher-tiered packages, you can have up to 500 people on one video call!
3. Share screens with other participants
Online meetings can be tricky because sometimes you just need to show somebody what you mean. With Zoom, you can share screens so that you can do just that.
Other Zoom Meeting Features
The Zoom software has no shortage of helpful features.
Here are some of our favorites:
1. Transcript recordings
Meeting notes can be tedious, but with Zoom nobody has to be responsible for compiling the minutes. You can select a setting so that the conversion is automatically transcribed.
2. Appearance touch-up If you’ve had a breakout or don’t feel like doing your daily make-up, use this tool to smooth away fine lines and clear up your complexion. Nobody will ever know.
Feeling a bit tired? Maybe you’re sick of doing your make-up for a single video meeting? Well, the beauty touch-up feature means you don’t have to!
It will clear your complexion and reduce fine lines, all with the click of a button.
3. Virtual backgrounds
House looking a bit dirty? No problem. Zoom lets you add a virtual background so you don’t have to show your real one. Maybe you’ll choose to be sitting on a tropical beach somewhere!
7 Tips for Using Zoom Meetings
If you’ve jumped aboard the Zoom meeting train, you probably understand its basic functions.
At its core, it is a software that facilitates video meetings so you can virtually connect with colleagues and loved ones.
We’ve compiled 7 tips for using Zoom meetings to help you get the most out of the technology.
1. Get organized by scheduling appointments
It can be easy to lose track of commitments, but Zoom makes scheduling easy.
You can connect the software to your electronic calendar so that scheduled appointments are automatically added to it. This way, you won’t miss a thing!
2. Track attendees by downloading a report
Sometimes it’s important to know who attended a meeting, especially if you are running an online class or a work seminar with a lot of people.
When the seminar is finished, it is possible to download a list of attendees and their details so you have a record of exactly who was there.
3. Don’t forget anything by recording
If somebody can’t attend a Zoom gathering or you need to share the discussions with other people, use the software to record your meeting.
This way, you can just forward on the recording to get everyone up to speed.
4. Utilize the screen sharing function
One of the most difficult things about online meetings is the inability to show things to the other attendees.
Zoom addresses this problem with a screen sharing feature.
With the click of a button, you can share your screen with the other guests to help communicate a point.
It’s also a great way to have a group brainstorm as everyone can see the ideas.
How many times do you use visuals to communicate a message in a typical meeting? We’re going to assume a lot.
There’s always somebody who jumps up to draw on the whiteboard or jot down ideas.
This visual representation of the discussion helps everyone to stay on the same page and ensures ideas don’t get forgotten.
The problem with video meetings is that it’s difficult to share images or brainstorms.
With Zoom, this problem is somewhat rectified with screen share.
If somebody is struggling to explain something, they can share their screen and talk you through it while you see it.
It’s also a great way to do a group brainstorm via video as one person can collect all of the notes in a place where everyone can see them.
5. Show attendees you care by setting up a waiting room
Sometimes things happen and you might be late for a meeting.
Setting up a waiting room shows guests that they are in the right place, even if you haven’t started the meeting yet.
This way they will have a place to wait but won’t yet be mingling with other guests, which may be inappropriate in some situations.
6. Save time with keyboard shortcuts
Zoom has a range of keyboard shortcuts that will help you to navigate the software quickly and easily.
Try ‘Alt + I’ to invite people, ‘ Alt+M’ to mute people, and ‘Alt + s’ to share your screen with the other participants.
7. Virtual backgrounds
While many people have decided to spruce up their office spaces with plants and colour, providing an excellent backdrop for their video meetings, some people have not had this chance.
Hide your dull or dirty background by using a virtual one!
You could transport yourself to the beach or exotic city and nobody will ever know what you’re hiding behind it.
These 7 tips will have you using Zoom like a pro in no time!
7 Steps to Having an Effective Meeting Via Zoom
Video conferences can be difficult, but there are a range of things you can do to ensure your virtual meetings go smoothly.
Use these 7 steps to have an effective meeting via Zoom.
1.Use the scheduler
If you are going to host a meeting, you want to make sure that everyone who needs to be there is in attendance.
Use the scheduling tool to book a time in advance and ensure it is in your calendar, as well as the calenders of your guests.
You’ll never miss a video meeting again!
2. Ensure your audio and video settings are set properly
There’s nothing more frustrating than beginning a meeting only to find out that one person is on mute, another can’t get their video working and somebody has a weird echo happening with their audio.
Always check your audio and video settings properly before starting a meeting to ensure they are clear and operating effectively.
All participants should learn how to control their audio.
If you are in a noisy setting or at home with your children and pets making sounds in the background, mute yourself.
This way, the conversation can progress as normal without any interruptions. Just remember to unmute yourself when you need to talk!
3. Introduce everyone
Just because you are meeting via screens doesn’t mean you should lose all of your manners.
If you are the host, make sure that all guests know each other.
Begin by briefly introducing everyone in the session so all attendants know who they are talking to.
Obviously this doesn’t matter if your team already knows each other, but it’s a good habit to get into.
If all participants are familiar with one another, it’s still worth beginning a meeting with a short introduction to welcome everyone and check-in with them.
4. Keep your gaze on the camera
When using software like Zoom it can be really tempting to stare at yourself while you are talking. The problem with this is that when you appear on the screens of other participants, it won’t seem like you are looking at them.
This is especially true if you have a webcam that is set up above your screen or in a position that does not align with your own vision on the screen.
Try to focus on the camera instead to ensure other guests feel as though you are focused on them.
5. Focus on the agenda
Video conferences are especially challenging with big groups and it can be difficult to stop people;e from talking over one another.
If things get off track, bring it back to the agenda.
You always want to finish a meeting having achieved what you set out to achieve.
6. Always have one person in charge
We cannot stress this point enough.
There is absolutely a thing as ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ and this certainly applies in video meetings.
Allocate a single person to host each video meeting so they can manage the conversation and technical requirements.
For instance, this person should be responsible for muting people when necessary or making sure that the video is being recorded.
If these responsibilities are not clear, a meeting can be chaotic and you might not achieve your objectives.
The host should also be the person who steers the conversation back to the agenda when things get off track.
7. Be organised
Science says that the human brain can only pay attention for 7 minutes.
Consider this information and work out how you can structure your meeting into shorter blocks so that you can get the information across in a short amount of time.
It’s always worth having a meeting plan and clear agenda so that you know the material that needs to be covered and the decisions that need to be made.
We all know that video meetings can be challenging, but with more Freelancers and people working from home than ever before they have become a vital tool in our everyday work lives.
The good news is that there are things you can do to make your video calls more productive and less frustrating.
These tips will help you in your Freelance business and to stay in touch with your colleagues.
Achieve what you need to by making your Zoom meetings better.
Read more: 9 Tips for Starting Your Freelance Business