Thanks in large part to the pandemic, Zoom was one of the fastest-growing apps of the last two years. The popular virtual meeting software now hosts 3.3 trillion meeting minutes per year, and the number is expected to grow more in the future.
However, Zoom meetings are still a new thing for many people, and it can be challenging to figure out exactly how you should behave during one of them.
We’ve put together this article to help. It highlights 10 Zoom etiquette rules for 2022 that will help you get the most out of your next Zoom meeting. Let’s get into it.
10 Zoom etiquette rules for 2022
Always be on time
For many, the idea of meeting someone on a computer inside of their home somehow makes the event feel less formal, but it’s important to fight back against that inclination. Zoom meetings should be considered the same thing as traditional face-to-face meetings.
You wouldn’t show up late to an in-office meeting, and you shouldn’t show up late to your Zoom meetings either. Doing so tells your counterparties that you don’t value their time, and that’s a poor note to begin a business conversation on.
Have yourself set up well before the meeting occurs to mitigate any technical issues you might have. Ready the link so you can hop in right on time.
Use video whenever possible
Experts say that up to 93% of all communication is nonverbal. This means it’s important for your audience to see you if you want people to understand your messages during a Zoom meeting.
Many people would prefer to keep their cameras off during a virtual meeting, but doing so could cause an employee, lead, or client to misinterpret your tone. If that’s true, your meeting could be doing more harm than good. You want to make sure there’s no way you can be misunderstood, especially if your business is on the line.
Plus, it’s common courtesy to leave your video on. It’s hard for people to feel connected with you when they don’t even know if you’re still there. Turning on your video allows you to respond easily to what’s being said and shows you’re an active listener.
Dress like you’re in the office
The clothes that you wear are a signal to the world. That’s true in real life, and it’s true on Zoom. If you show up to a virtual meeting noticeably still in your pajamas, people are going to think that you’re not taking the conversation seriously, and they may decide to do the same. This can kill the productivity of your meetings.
You should always dress for a Zoom meeting in the same way that you’d dress if you were meeting with someone at the office. Some meetings are more relaxed than others, and some companies have more casual dress policies due to remote work. Of course, depending on your normal office attire, that might not mean a suit and tie. You just don’t want to be less formal than you are in the office.
Your appearance matters, and you always want to put your best foot forward. Make sure you’re taken seriously by dressing nicely and keeping up with good hygiene before any Zoom meeting. This will no doubt help you feel more confident as well!
Use a professional background
There’s research that shows 67% of people get distracted during virtual meetings. That can happen for many different reasons. One of the most prominent is that someone may become distracted by a busy or unprofessional background.
For example, maybe you’re hosting a Zoom meeting from your kitchen because that’s the room that has the most natural light in your home. If you’ve got roommates or family members walking through the shot throughout the meeting, though, it may interrupt your counterparties’ focus.
That’s why it’s best to build a professional background somewhere in your home that you can use for Zoom meetings. If that’s not possible, then try using Zoom’s blurred background feature to at least minimize the potential for distraction.
Invest in a high-quality webcam and microphone
Your meetings matter and that means investing in the tools to make those meetings the best they can be. Likely, you don’t need top-shelf tech for your weekly team meeting, but you can give yourself an advantage by spending a bit more on a quality webcam and microphone.
To avoid a choppy video feed, you need a webcam that offers at least 20 frames per second. A low-quality camera means your team may have a hard time seeing you. This can lead to interruptions in conversation and difficulties for your colleagues and clients to feel connected with you. With a quality camera at your disposal, you’ll have no problem keeping eye contact and nonverbal communication solid.
A quality microphone is also an important asset to have. People need to be able to hear what you have to say clearly. If they can’t, key parts of your message could be lost, and your meetings may not be as productive as they could be. Having a microphone that picks up your voice clearly while blocking out background noise is ideal to maintain professionalism.
Skip the multitasking
It can be very tempting to multitask when you’re in the middle of a Zoom meeting, but doing so makes you appear as if you’re not paying close attention to your meeting partners.
Plus, when you try to respond to emails or look at social media posts during a meeting, you’re prone to lose track of the conversation. You don’t want to create a situation in which you end up being called on to provide input and aren’t able to respond.
Limit the tabs you have open to what’s pertinent to the meeting. Have your phone on silent and put it away. Limiting distractions makes you completely focused on the meeting, keeping them productive.
Maintain eye contact
Maintaining eye contact during a conversation has a ton of benefits, including:
- Making your words more memorable
- Helping you connect with the person you’re speaking to
- Making you appear more honest and forthcoming
These are all things a speaker wants to achieve. Plus, it allows other people in the meeting to feel like you’re taking your topic seriously and prompt them to do the same.
Start a meeting on mute every time
Your Zoom setup has a lot of moving parts. Sometimes, your microphone can pick up noise and static that you don’t need the other people in your meeting to hear. This can be shocking for meeting participants and is not a good first impression.
That’s why it’s a best practice to start your Zoom meetings on mute. That way, you can check to make sure that everything is working properly before you begin speaking. Additionally, if you’re ever late to a meeting that’s already started, you won’t have to worry about inadvertently interrupting it due to microphone problems.
Don’t speak over other people
In a normal, face-to-face meeting, it’s often possible to have multiple people talking at the same time—especially if the meeting is taking place in a larger room. In a Zoom setting, this can’t happen. When you talk over people on Zoom, it comes across as rude and pushy. Everyone will have to stop speaking so that you can get your point across, interrupting the flow of the meeting.
That’s why a better strategy is to wait until everyone else in the Zoom room is finished speaking before making your point. If you’re a participant and have something to add, you can also hit the “Raise Hand” button to loop back to you at a good stopping point.
Build breaks into your presentation
It can be really hard for people to stay focused during a Zoom meeting since most will be working from a home environment full of distractions. Rather than work against the biology of this, it can be helpful to build some breaks into your presentations—especially if they last more than 30 minutes.
Doing so will give people the opportunity to get up, stretch their legs, and devote some attention to anything that might’ve been distracting them during the meeting. That way, when they return, they’re ready to give you their full attention.
4 tips for Zoom meeting hosts
Consider laying out your company’s etiquette rules in advance
If you run a company and host Zoom meetings, it’s a good idea to let people know what your expectations are for Zoom etiquette in advance.
This way, you don’t have to embarrass anyone during a meeting who didn’t realize what they were doing, and you won’t have to continuously remind your employees what your expectations of them are.
You don’t necessarily need to put out a formal document to do this. It can be as simple as sending out a company-wide email that outlines your expectations for this new technology. You can even cover these items at the beginning of the meeting.
Don't make private meetings public
As Zoom meetings have become more popular, they’ve become increasingly targetted—by online trolls and other nefarious groups. That’s why it’s a good strategy to get into the habit of making all of your meetings private.
Send out your private link to participants beforehand. Doing this will seriously reduce your chances of experiencing a meeting-interrupting intrusion.
Use a cohost
It’s also good practice to assign a cohost whenever you lead a Zoom meeting. Cohosts can control various aspects of the Zoom room, including unmuting and muting people—as well as removing participants if necessary.
Having a reliable cohost to help you out with these responsibilities will help you keep the meeting moving forward even if you begin experiencing some technical difficulties. They can take care of the room while you cover important points and facilitate discussions.
Try using a virtual teleprompter
If capturing a precise voice and maintaining eye contact are things you value in your meetings, then you should try using a virtual teleprompter. Teleprompter software isn’t just for webinars or speeches; you can use the same software for work meetings, too! They can help you maintain eye contact, focus on nonverbal communication, and set the structure of your meeting (like including breaks).
A virtual teleprompter is a business enablement tool and an important one at that. You want your meetings to be as productive and professional as possible; with a teleprompter, you can facilitate a meeting with clear direction and purpose.
Unlock the power of virtual meetings with VODIUM
If you want to start getting more out of your Zoom meetings, then investing in a virtual teleprompter could be the best way to do so. VODIUM offers a lightweight, easy-to-use teleprompter that you can use to keep yourself on track during your meetings.
Using a teleprompter makes it much easier to get your main points across without appearing stilted or unnatural while you speak. It can also help you maintain eye contact more often so that you connect with your attendees more consistently.