How To Be A Zoom Superstar

There is no substitute for good etiquette in all of our daily interactions. Zoom is really a face-to-face meeting that requires you to conduct yourself as you would if you were all present in the same room.

It’s one click to start or join any meeting, and Zoom provides easy collaboration and participant controls. You don't need an IT team to roll out and manage Zoom but you do need to become proficient at it, especially these days.

It takes time and effort to learn a new skill but Zoom is easy to set up, use, and manage.

Preparation is key

Preparing for a Zoom meeting should be similar to how you would prepare for an important face to face meeting. Remember, 1st impressions are made in 7 seconds or less. Here are a few tips to present yourself in a polished and professional manner on Zoom. 

Be punctual

Join the call up to 5 minutes before the meeting start time. Being late for a Zoom call that you are hosting is poor etiquette and it will not make a good impression. If you are the host, welcome all the participants and introduce people. 


Dress as if you were in the office. No workout clothes, hats or other non-business attire. Be respectful, attentive and polite.

Practice Good  Posture

Be mindful of your posture. Being seated at a chair helps you to sit upright, which improves how you look on video.  Adjust your seating height (if needed, and if possible) so that you are not hunched over. Good posture contributes to a good video.      

Use Virtual Backgrounds 

You can use Zoom backgrounds in order to hide your real-life background. Virtual backgrounds add interest to your Zoom session. You can also consider using a background that is paired with a learning unit theme. To use virtual backgrounds, access settings by clicking on the gear icon. Another helpful tip is to choose clothing colors which contrast with the virtual background of your choice. 

If you use a darker virtual background, be sure to wear lighter clothing. The opposite is true as well. This contrast allows the application to better define the outlines of your face and/or upper body in reference to the background.

Ambient Noise

Be aware of the noises that exist around you. While some can't be helped such as street traffic, sirens, etc., be sure to launch your Zoom meeting from a room that doesn't pick up noises emanating from your own home such as the dishwasher, washer and dryer, or the TV that may be on in the other room

Best practices for framing 

A good rule of thumb for Zoom video conferences is to show as much of the host as possible, while minimizing the background. The best way to achieve both criteria is to show as much of the host's face as possible. The goal should be to try to fill the frame with your face so that participants can better see your expressions and thereby improve the interpersonal connection between host and participant. This also reduces background distractions.

Good Lighting Makes The Difference

Proper lighting is vital to producing a great-looking video, and it can make all the difference to how you come across to your audience.

To produce the best videos possible, make sure the area in which you work is well-lit with lights being either front to back or slightly front and the side. You want to avoid being directly below lights and never have lights directly behind you. 

If the lighting is directly above you, it will cast harsh, unflattering shadows. If the lighting is directly behind you, it will cause you to appear darker. It's called being "backlit." Both situations should be avoided at all costs. 

A backlit situation can occur when you are seated in front of a window with bright sunlight pouring in, or in front of direct light from a lamp or other source emanating from behind.

Another challenge with lighting is that it affects those who wear glasses. While it's not terrible, the lens glare could be distracting. Test the position of your light source so that you reduce glare and achieve an image that looks more like the picture shown below.

Eye contact

Making eye contact is very important for interpersonal communication. Video conferencing poses a challenge in this area. While the video is on, you will no doubt be looking at your instructional content and at your participant videos. As far as what participants see, you’ll seem to be looking down the whole time. 

Just as in real life, it’s good to make occasional eye contact with your participants You can do this by occasionally looking up at the laptop camera. You might even give a smile and use the time to ask a clarifying question, perhaps as a formative assessment, or a check-for-understanding. This will re-establish a sense that you’re figuratively closer to your participants 

Don't Multitask, Everyone Can See You 

Be aware you are on camera and try to avoid doing other tasks, checking emails, looking at your phone etc. 

Stay focused.

We all attend alot of meetings as our new way of doing business even if we would  prefer to be doing other things.  The best way to get through yet another meeting is to stay on task (which can be very difficult while working at home) and keep unnecessary conversations to a minimum. It can get very hard to be productive when several people are all talking at once, and even more so when overlapping audio and shuffling video screens are involved. Remember, you are in charge of the meeting.

I have been on Zoom for a few years now and I am still learning new tips. One thing I have learned is to always do a tutorial on any platform first before I dive into it. Knowing the basics can save you a lot of time and headaches. 

I help many clients to become more confident and proficient at using Zoom so that they can differentiate themselves from their competitors. Zoom, after all, is a great marketing tool. If you would like to learn more about how you can be a superstar on Zoom please don't hesitate to contact me, I'd love to help you.  Contact me anytime for a courtesy consultation.




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