Due to Covid-19, all NAPO-CT meetings and events are held on Zoom until further notice. The access link is distributed to members via the newsletter and reminders. Registered guests receive a separate email with the link.
Here are some tips to ensure a positive experience for all participants:
- Do not share zoom links: NAPO-CT zoom meetings are private events. The distributed access link is only for members and registered guests.
- Screen sharing: Only the host and co-hosts have the ability to share screens. However, the host may enable screen sharing for a participant on a per meeting basis approved by NAPO-CT President.
- Be prepared: If you will be sharing content during the meeting, be sure your files are opened and minimized. Be ready before the meeting begins.
- Mute/Unmute: To mute your microphone, select the microphone icon in the bottom left corner of the Zoom call. When the icon has a slash through it, it’s muted. To prevent unwanted, distracting or inappropriate background noise (crunching on cookie, barking dogs or slamming doors), stay mute. Coffee, or tea are OK, but slurping definitely isn’t.
- Talking: Zoom meetings work best when people talk one at a time; it is the only way that everyone can listen clearly to what is being said. Use Zoom’s “raise hand” function or the chat box to make a point.
- Headset: Using a headset or ear buds is best for hearing and speaking clarity,
- Proper camera position: A web camera should be in a stable position and focused at eye level. As for distance, try to position yourself so the camera is seeing you from the chest or waist up, instead of your face taking up the whole frame. Seeing more of you is more natural for the viewer, more akin to a face-to-face meeting.
- More light is better: Video quality dramatically improves with more lighting. Front-facing natural light is ideal or use a nearby lamp in front of you, not behind! A backlit scene makes it hard to see your face and you become basically a silhouette. If a window is directly behind you, close the blinds. Use the Zoom filter to even your skin tone. Tip: Use a selfie-ring light next to your webcam.
- Look at the camera: When presenting or speaking to a group, looking directly into the camera will give the appearance of eye contact. If you look at the image of yourself on the screen, you’ll appear on camera to be looking off to the side. Note: If you wear glasses, use a lower light setting on your laptop or monitor. The bright monitor can reflect in the glasses and be distracting.
- Questions/Comments: Use the chat function to ask a question or insert a comment to ‘Everyone‘ or a ‘Specific‘ participant. However, don’t put a private or inappropriate message in a Zoom chat. The host has the capability to save all chats, so monitor your words.
- Speaker vs. Gallery: Choosing Gallery View allows you to see all the members of the meeting. Speaker View shows just the person talking.
- Stage your background: Your surroundings say a lot about you, so be sure that it says the right things. Keep in mind that people aren’t just seeing you, they are also seeing whatever the camera is pointed at behind you. Ensure that you have a non-distracting. appropriate background. Stick to a plain background wherever possible. Stay away from the cool, but disturbing virtual backgrounds that tend to flutter when there is too much movement. It is annoying!
- Appropriate attire: Don’t replace professionalism with comfort. Dress for a zoom meeting the way you would for an in-person meeting. You may be surprised at the difference wearing professional attire makes. Switch from lounging mode into professional mode.
- Limit distractions: Make it easier to focus on the meeting by turning off notifications, closing or minimizing running apps, and muting your smartphone.
- Be aware of personal movement: It is common for zoom videos to struggle when there is a lot of movement which can cause freezing issues. Be conscious of your movements and restrict them as much as possible. For some this means resisting the urge to talk with your hands. AND, do refrain from private behavior: i.e. scratching your armpits, picking your nose. We can all see you!
- Stop video: If you plan to step away from your camera or participate in distracting movements (such as eating), temporarily disable video. Note: It’s always nice to have a pleasant, smiling photo of yourself in your profile that shows up when your video is off. However, for the duration of the meeting, showing your face can boost connections with participants. Face-to-face meetings build trust and strong relationships.
- Lurking: Lurking is an attempt to hide by leaving your video off. It is a common breach of etiquette. Unless your appearance or background is very inappropriate or distracting, turn ON your video. Of course, there are many reasons behind the lurking: eating, kids, pet’s interruptions, but it doesn’t work for professional meetings.
- Tour of your house: Stop walking around with your portable devices. Meeting participants do not appreciate the tour nor the movement. Save that for your clients.
- Stay focused: Be present during the meeting. You will retain information shared if you refrain from answering emails or text messages during the meeting.
- Screenshot: Ask permission before you screenshot or record. That is the courteous thing to do. If permission is granted, you must also advise the host where you plan to post your screenshot.
- Internet disruptions: Due to the massive increases in residential bandwidth use, internet disruption is common. Best practice is to connect to the internet via an Ethernet cable instead of WiFi. If you know your connection might struggle, enabling ‘view only the speaker‘ allows for better viewing. You can only see a limited number of participants depending on your screen size as it is, and enabling video for all of them will gobble up precious bandwidth. Another method if you are experiencing lagging or skipping during the zoom meeting, use your computer to access video, while simultaneously dialing in by phone for the audio.
- Test run: Check that your hardware (microphone, speakers and headphones) works and that your internet speeds are fast enough to support a decent level of quality for a video before you join in a meeting. Zoom has a feature that lets you test your settings before the meeting begins. Go to zoom.us/test.
- Terminating the meeting: Participants can give a friendly wave goodbye! The host is the last to leave a meeting. Closing the door after every participant has left is just good manners.
Good etiquette is never a bad idea!