What a difference a month makes! We have gone from no handshaking to elbow bumps, to six feet apart and now sheltering in place with masks. In our new world, Zoom has replaced the workplace meeting. It’s a great tool for distance learning, game night, coffee klatches, or virtual cocktail hour. While there’s no substitution for good etiquette, just because you’re on a video doesn’t mean your manners shouldn’t stay in check. Whether they’re for business or social, ensure that your contributions are professional, efficient, and valuable.
How can we connect on Zoom? How can we not. My first Zoom experience was a cocktail hour with childhood friends. Physical connection is an important part of life, but surprisingly second best turned into something special and real.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Video Call?
- Have A Host. Someone needs to take charge for setting up the meeting with links and time to call in.
- Sound Check. Check both sound and video settings before you begin your session.
- Make Introductions. For business meetings, this is a must. If it’s personal you will know one another, but either way make sure all voices can be heard.
- Mitigate Distractions. If you’re having a cocktail party there might be a slight distraction – just don’t slurp on air.
- Clarity. Your house may not look like Versailles, but just make sure you are clearly seen, not all your junk.
- Focus. Look at the camera not yourself, otherwise it’ll look like the focus is on you. This is not the time for selfies.
- Keep It Clean. Going to the bathroom on film would be an embarrassment. If you need to excuse yourself, make sure you hit the pause button.
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said in his weekly San Francisco Chronicle column, “This pandemic has given all of us the opportunity to re-evaluate what we really need. People have learned that they can do without just about all of it. And what they really miss is being with each other.”
Until we can all be back together again, the likes of Zoom will have to do.
My first virtual cocktail hour with zoom: childhood friends Brenda, Katina, Kelli, Laurie, and Teri.