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Team VODIUMMay 9, 2023 12:35:29 PM9 min read

Zoom Etiquette and Rules for 2024: How to Get the Most Out of Your Zoom Meetings



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Thanks mainly 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 is expected to continue growing.

However, Zoom meetings are still new to many people, and it can take time to figure out exactly how to behave during one.

We’ve put together this article to help. It highlights 10 Zoom etiquette rules for 20242 that will help you get the most out of your next Zoom meeting. Let’s get into it.

10 Zoom etiquette rules for 2024

Always be on time

For many, meeting someone on a computer inside their home makes the event feel less formal, but fighting back against that inclination is crucial. Zoom meetings should be 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 on which to begin a business conversation.

Get set up well before the meeting to mitigate any technical issues. Prepare 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 tells us that it is essential 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. This can cause more harm than good to your meeting. While presenting, you want to ensure you are fully understood, 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 quickly to what is 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 will think you’re not taking the conversation seriously, and they may decide to do the same. This event can noticeably kill the productivity of your meetings.

You should always dress for a Zoom meeting the same way 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. That doesn't mean a suit and tie, depending on your usual office attire. You just don’t want to be less formal than you are in the office.

Your appearance matters, so you’ll always want to put your best foot forward. Dress nicely and maintain good hygiene before any Zoom meeting to ensure you're taken seriously. Undoubtedly, This will help you feel more confident presenting as well!

Use a professional background

Research shows that 67% of people get distracted during virtual meetings. Distractions 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 room has the most natural light in your home. If you have roommates or family members walking through the shot throughout the meeting, 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, try using Zoom’s blurred background feature to minimize the potential for distraction.

Invest in a high-quality webcam and microphone

Your meetings matter, which means investing in the tools to make them the best they can be. While you likely don’t need top-shelf tech for your weekly team meeting, you can give yourself an advantage by spending 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 need help seeing you. Poor video quality can lead to interruptions in conversation and difficulties for your colleagues and clients in feeling connected with you. With a quality camera, you’ll have no problem keeping eye contact and nonverbal communication solid.

A quality microphone is also an important asset. People need to be able to hear what you have to say clearly. If they can’t, your audience could miss out on crucial parts of your message, and your meetings may not be as productive as they could be. A quality microphone that picks up your voice clearly while blocking out background noise is ideal for maintaining 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 to be not paying close attention to your meeting partners.

Plus, you're prone to lose track of the conversation when you try to respond to emails or look at social media posts during a meeting. You don’t want to create a situation in which you are called on to provide input and cannot respond.

Limit the tabs you open to what’s pertinent to the meeting. Put your phone on silent and put it away. Limiting distractions makes you entirely focused on the meeting, keeping it 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 many moving parts. Sometimes, your microphone can pick up noise and static that you don’t want the other people in your meeting to hear. This can be shocking when meeting participants and does not make a good first impression.

That’s why it’s a best practice to start your Zoom meetings on mute. That way, you can ensure everything is working correctly before 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 typical face-to-face meeting, it’s often possible to have multiple people talking simultaneously—mainly if the meeting occurs in a larger room. In a Zoom setting, this can’t happen. When you speak over people on Zoom, it comes across as rude and pushy. Everyone will have to stop talking 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 has finished speaking before making your point. If you’re a participant with something to add, you can hit the “Raise Hand” button to loop back to you at a good stopping point. 

Build breaks into your presentation

Staying focused during a Zoom meeting can be challenging 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 allow people to get up, stretch their legs, and devote some attention to anything that might have been distracting them during the meeting. That way, they’ll be ready to give you their full attention when they return.

4 tips for hosting Zoom meetings
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Consider laying out your company’s etiquette rules in advance

If you run a company and host Zoom meetings, informing people of your expectations for Zoom etiquette is a good idea.

This way, you don’t have to embarrass anyone who didn’t realize what they were doing during a meeting, and you won’t have to continuously remind your employees what you expect of them.

You don’t necessarily need to create a formal document to do this. It can be as simple as sending a company-wide email outlining 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 targeted by online trolls and other nefarious groups. That’s why it’s an excellent tip to help you get into the habit of securing your meetings by making them private. 

Sending your private link to participants beforehand will reduce your chances of experiencing a meeting-interrupting intrusion. 

Use a cohost

Assigning a cohost whenever you lead a Zoom meeting is also good practice. Cohosts can control various aspects of the Zoom room, including unmuting and muting people and removing participants if necessary.

Having a reliable cohost to help you with these responsibilities will help you keep the meeting moving forward even if you begin experiencing technical difficulties. They can take care of the room while you cover essential 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, you should use a virtual teleprompter. Teleprompter software isn’t just for webinars or speeches; you can also use the same software for work meetings! 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

Investing in a virtual teleprompter could be the best option if you want to get more out of your Zoom meetings. VODIUM offers a lightweight, easy-to-use teleprompter that you can use to keep yourself on track during meetings.

Using a teleprompter makes it much easier to convey your main points without appearing stilted or unnatural while you speak. It can also help you maintain eye contact more often, allowing you to connect with your attendees more consistently.

But don’t take our word for it. You can sign up for a free trial of VODIUM today to experience the value for yourself!