ZOOM ETIQUETTE … Evelyn Cannata

Evelyn Cannata

New terminology has entered into our  vocabulary called “Social Distancing.”  Definition, no hugging, no kisses, no handshakes. Enter the new FaceTime, ZOOM.  According to Business Daily, Zoom was a video conference system founded in 2011 by a Chinese-American, Eric Yuan, who came up with the idea while a VP of Engineering at Cisco Systems. His company had no interest in this idea, so he quit. End of story? He is now a billionaire worth $7.5B and still going strong.

Enter Etiquette By Evelyn. Yes, there is business etiquette for Zoom Business Meetings. During this pandemic, many people are entering the world of online meetings for the first time faced with the chaos of audiovisuals, mute, unmute, backdrops, and lighting. If you have never used Zoom before, click the link to download Zoom before the day of the meeting (do a trial run) and familiarize yourself with any features you may need to use on the day – video on, mute/unmute the microphone, stop/start the video, screen share, double-checking your default settings. Test your audio and video before you join a meeting. Do not wait until you enter the meeting. Position your camera correctly, making sure you are not a shadow or a bright sun. Join the meeting in a quiet area. Join 5 minutes early before the meeting starts.

Provide your name. Please do not eat or drink while on the call. Remember, you are not going to the gym, so please no gym clothes or heaven forbid, pajamas, unkempt background, a barking dog, or children yelling. There is a mute button when not talking, however, what happens frequently is that you forget to unmute when you want to speak, so your lips are moving but no sound.

TIP: Keep your audio muted automatically by going to Settings >    Audio > Mute microphone. To quickly unmute when needed, just press and hold the space bar down. Stay focused and look at the camera. Ladies, please no low cut or sheer tops. Gentlemen, no graphic tee shirts, remember, this is a business meeting. There is a “raise your hand” button, so you can “wait your turn” and not talk over people. The host should be the last to leave. One last piece of business meeting etiquette; everyone can see you staring at your phone  instead of paying attention to the video meeting. Keep your phone to the side, on mute, turned over, or even better, turn it off until after the meeting. Please do your homework, learn about other items on Zoom. Just think of a Zoom Meeting as a face-to-face meeting and conduct yourself as you would if you were all there around the conference table.

                             “Welcome to our new normals for now.”

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