Page 10 - Scene Magazine 46-01 January 2021
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There are several considerations to make your Zoom meeting more productive. Preparation is the key.
 Have you considered the difference between working from home and working from where you live? After nearly a year of working outside the office many of us that have made the successful transition have been able to establish an effective working environment, which includes a place to live and a place to work.
We have transitioned to a closet of new working attire, one that has become acceptable, an attire of leisure. Some- times we even see a shirt and tie while part of a Zoom meeting, though less often the longer this goes on.
A benefit for many could be the
lack of distraction from others and tasks at the office. Well, unless you have the added responsibility of pets, children, and teaching.
Best of all is the use of time once spent in commuting to work (or home)
or to meetings. Though for some, that time was valuable for planning, organizing thought, preparation, or even unwinding to transition from work to home. That time can still be planned into your day; you’ll just be doing it from your home office space instead.
In order to be effective many have turned to an online meeting space. It
is in this space that we try to establish
a similar level of interaction, outreach,
and building relationships that in-person meetings provided. Many have discovered that Zoom meetings can meet the basic needs of interaction and decision-making in every-day work activities, but still have difficulty creating the same level of inquiry, brainstorming, reading of body language, or bonding as a face-to-face meeting
afforded. It can be challenging to under- stand the non-verbal cues that we could when meeting in-person. Knowing that, we need to learn to listen differently, pres- ent differently, and interpret differently. The reality is that someone not talking during a meeting can easily be distracted by their surroundings so we must also learn how to stay engaged, or to keep others engaged, all while accomplishing the end goal... a successful meeting.
Even now, there are individuals that feel uncomfortable entering or participat- ing in a Zoom meeting. I would encour- age you to get online and read about all the settings and what you can do with them. It will get better if you do. Go to or YouTube to learn more.
There are several considerations to make your Zoom meeting more produc- tive. Preparation is the key. First I would suggest that you try scheduling around other meetings that you know of. There is not much more exhausting than going from Zoom meeting to Zoom meeting. Depending on where you sit, even your back can ache after a day of staring into the computer screen. We really do sit differently when in a Zoom meeting than when working on a computer.
Next, begin and end on time, which also means that the participants have the correct links in plenty of time. Although implied, it must be said that you should invite those that have a meaningful rea- son to be a part of your Zoom meeting. And if you want input you have to create the opportunity for it. The video feature can help you to know who is involved in your meeting, as well as the participant
list, and help you to engage them better
if necessary. Notes in the chat, either personally or to everyone, can help to provide information needed for the meet- ing as well. So be sure everyone knows the intent of your time in session. Sending out an agenda will help with this.
Additional challenges can be overcome by making sure that someone is in charge of every meeting. It can keep the meeting on track and can help to eliminate using buttons in the wrong way. Security for entering your meeting may need to be ad- dressed as well as waiting rooms. If you’re in charge of letting folks into a meeting and get distracted by leading the meeting, you may want to consider elevating an- other person to handle program controls. Furthermore, if it’s more of a presentation than a meeting you may want to con- sider a webinar instead. With a webinar you can still have several presenters but attendees can’t interrupt or screen share unless they are granted permission.
Audio is another issue with online meetings. Start your session from a location that has an appropriate level of internet service. Be sure that everyone can hear you. Know where the “Mute all” button is. Eliminate background noise and potentially switch to a headset or earbuds for more sound clarity. If you are muting everyone be aware that unmuting will become necessary if you are asking questions and are expecting an audible response. (As a participant, it is important to mute yourself if you are not talking. It helps the overall atmosphere of under- standing when there is not a competition with children or pets in the background.)
Enhancing Your Onlin

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