Helpful ideas from our business network to pivot, re-image, and make opportunities.
Zoom Best Practices
* To avoid Zoombombing, rather than posting the login information on the web, email it to participants directly.
* For large groups, set people to enter the call with their sound muted. For very large groups, it may be helpful to have participants turn off their video feed as well, given potential limitations of bandwidth.
* Use the waiting room function, and set it so that people can't join ahead of the host.
* The host should call in several minutes ahead of time. We use the waiting room feature to start the call once there are several people ready, so as not to just try to fill time while people call in, and then have them interrupt conversation already underway. We'll admit co-hosts and guest speakers first so the team is ready when the public is added, and then start housekeeping/introductions/content right away. Latecomers can be welcomed via the chat section.
* Check email and text messages just to see if anyone is struggling to get into the call, and messaging you for help.
* It's helpful to have two or three staff actively hosting large calls - one to manage the spoken conversation and presentations, one to respond to postings in the chat area, and if a third is available, that person can manage logistics - muting those with background noise and monitoring the waiting room to add people calling in.
* It can be helpful to have a second computer at hand for looking things up, recording attendance, etc.
* At the beginning the call, spell out preferred etiquette.
* Remind people to mute themselves as needed.
* Encourage people to use the chat function to provide their contact info if appropriate, and to post questions and resources.
* Let people know how you'd like them to get into the conversation - whether to speak up, raise their hand, or just post to the chat section.
* If people introduce themselves, remind them to do so concisely - or if you're working at building community within the group, invite them to answer a fun question while they're at it. We've tried having people introduce each other, but people can get left out that way, so we've gone back to having the call host do it.
* At the end of the call,we copy the chat content and paste it into an email to ourselves before ending the call, then edit it and send it to participants.
* Remember that your Zoom image is part of your business image - dress and manage your camera field accordingly.
* If you've got something to market, your profile picture can serve that purpose (business name / logo) when your video feed is off.
* An uploaded background picture can do the same when your video feed is on, but sometimes your face can meld in and out of the background picture, so test that before you go live in a call with it.
* Test your lighting before your call, keeping in mind that natural lighting conditions may change.
* The appearances of Zoomcats and kids can be fun, but be sure to mute yourself if they might make noise - but no need to be embarrased by the existence of your "coworkers"!
* Turn off your camera if you have to take care of something so your activities don't distract others from the business at hand.
* If people post their contact info in the chat section, copy and paste it into an email to yourself, or screenshot it, so that you can follow up with them.
* When you follow up, keep it simple. Offer them a connection, or help with something, or ask for a quick conversation to see how you can help each other.