If you went back a few years, Skype would be the undisputed king of video conferencing. They held a vice-like grip on the market. Yet, slowly but surely, Zoom became a formidable competitor. Until, finally, with the global pandemic, they became one of the most popular video conferencing apps around. Meanwhile, Skype had given way to Microsoft Teams.
Yet despite the longevity of Zoom, tons of remarkable features are either unknown or underappreciated. Most people are still Zoom amateurs.
Well, no more!
Follow these tips, and you’ll be a Zoom pro in no time:
Mute Yourself (And use the spacebar)
Have you ever been on a call, when you can hear a person speaking in the background? Unbeknownst to them, everyone on the call can listen to their side conversation or even any muttering under their breath. While this can be amusing, if you accidentally bad mouth your boss or a client, you’re in for a world of hurt. Therefore, mute yourself!
When video conferencing this is as easy as tapping the spacebar. So, when you want to speak, give it a tap, then when you’re finished, tap it again. It’s that simple.
Remote work allows you to enjoy the freedoms of home. But it does come with unique downsides. On a video call, if your home is messy, or perhaps the décor isn’t quite up to scratch, you won’t want to show it off to your team or a client.
Thankfully, virtual backgrounds were invented. If you’re interested, go to Hello Backgrounds to learn how to use the zoom green screen. Their backgrounds will replace your usual backdrop with a stunning natural scene or a stylish apartment. The choice is yours.
Record Your Calls
Back in the day, if you missed a meeting, the best you could hope for was reviewing the minutes or a quick catch up with a colleague. If a critical conversation took place, you would have been out of the loop. Today, there’s the ultimate fix. With a virtual meeting, keeping a record is as simple as a click of a button. Such records aren’t just useful for catching up. They serve as a helpful catalogue of the prior meeting, for future reference. Plus, when running a training session, the meeting can be recorded to be used as a resource for new starters.
Sharing is Caring
With virtual meetings, collaboration is dialled up to the max. Screen sharing is perhaps the most used feature of virtual calls. The ability to share work, display your presentation, or talk through the figures for everyone to see is invaluable.
However, when you are screen sharing, you will want to silence any desktop notifications. There are apps such as ‘Muzzle’ which shut down any annoying or embarrassing pop-ups. Or you can take the long route and go through your computer’s settings.
Look Your Best
One of the rewards of working from home is you don’t need to spend hours applying make-up and doing your hair. Even for guys, there’s little need to coiffeur and shave. Then you find yourself sitting in a long meeting with a client and catch a glimpse of your camera. Bags under your eyes, bed head dialled up to eleven.
Amazingly, there’s a digital fix. In Zoom, you can select the option ‘Touch up my appearance‘. This handy little feature will smoothen your wrinkle, hide your blemishes and soften those imperfections. You’ll still need to make a bit of an effort though.
Or, if you’re sitting in on a call, consider this naughty tip. You can select for your screenshot to appear in the meeting as your profile picture. You’ll like picture-perfect: literally!
Finally, embrace the virtual whiteboard. Unlike their real-world counterparts, virtual whiteboards don’t smudge, they aren’t restricted to three colours of pen, and can be cleaned with a click. Use these essential tools to sketch out ideas, draw out diagrams and flowcharts, or to have a good old-fashioned brainstorming session.
If you’re looking for a quick icebreaker on a Monday morning, or a way to wind down on a Friday afternoon, consider a game of Hangman or Pictionary. Everyone will be able to follow along. Plus, it’s a fun and inventive way to use the tools at your disposal.