Last Friday night I left Zoom open on my computer in the kitchen. People would come and go through my online meeting room and we’d chat and drink cocktails. Sometimes I would hear a “John, John, over here!” and see a friend waving from the screen. It felt like when we used to leave our back door open inviting neighbors to pop in for a drink, only tailored to these days of coronavirus and quarantine.

“Quarantini” anyone?

I’ve been a fan of Zoom for years, and I’m excited to see more people using it. Granted, there was a learning curve to climb in the early days. I once tried to squeeze in a Zoom meeting after a hot yoga class only to forget that Zoom involved video conferencing. You can imagine my embarrassment when I “showed up” sweaty and without a shirt.

I’m savvier about Zoom these days. I estimate that I spend up to ten hours a week on Zoom conferences these days.

Here are some tips for making the most out of your online conference call.

  • Look healthy. Light your face indirectly, from a front-facing angle. Use a weak light source so you don’t end up looking washed out
  • Don’t look down on others. Try to make eye contact by positioning your camera so that you are looking slightly up at the camera.
  • Use “Touch up” In Zoom, go to Settings, Video and click “Touch up my appearance”. This will soften and warm your image just like the warm filters in Instagram.
  • Dial-in early. As everyone gets better with video conferencing,  expectations are you must be competent at video calls. Do everyone else a favor and dial-in early and test your tech. Just like at the office, be prepared and start the meeting on time.
  • Start on a positive note. Go around the horn and ask everyone to share something that is positive in their lives. These days, everyone is coming from a different place with different challenges. By starting on a positive note, I have noticed that there is more engagement and creativity during the call.
  • Install KRISP This is the single best tip that I can give you. This cool app uses AI to rid your conversations of background noise and static. That’s right, no one will be able to hear your dog barking in the background. And the feedback goes away. Here is a link that will allow you to try it for free. Click Krisp here

Let me invite you all over for a virtual chat.

Call me on Zoom anytime. As long as I’m not already on a call, I’ll let you in. www.ZoomWithJohn.com