While technology and the need for internet-based meetings and gatherings have grown exponentially in the last few years, there are plenty of us who are newbies to the phenomenon. As we try to play “catch up”, zoom etiquette is a hot topic right now for us seniors, particularly because all of us inevitably are going to be invited to or participate in this virtual method of communication. Zoom can help us take classes, attend family reunions – and even connect with family to view important celebrations and lifetime milestones such as graduations or weddings when we can’t be there in person!
This week, we look at a few more TIPS for a helpful foundation as you learn how to interact on Zoom:
- BE ON TIME! Having everybody on time means you’re ready to hear the important ground rules, agendas, etc. Otherwise, you’ve missed when the host to have some sort of outline or agenda. You’ll miss important things like, how long the meeting is expected to last, or when you’ll be allowed to ask questions. Then you’ll have to ask and take up the time of other participants.
- ACTUALLY, BE EARLY. Because of technology glitches that even experienced ZOOMers can face, it’s always good to click in a few minutes early to try to make sure you can connect. BUT if you’re early, don’t worry if you’re in a ‘WAIT ROOM” because the meeting hasn’t started yet. Just wait–and grab that extra cup of coffee early. Also, if a host lets you in early, respect that they’re still getting ready and don’t chat in this early time unless they initiate.
- Use the “Raise Hand” feature if you want to speak. The host can call on you and keep others muted. Also, learn how to use the “chat” feature, that allows people to post comments or questions during the meeting.
- Chat Appropriately. While I hope you’re not being rude in your chats (something the younger generations are trying to tackle, as it’s easier to be unkind when typing and say things you’d never say in person!), what I mean is to only CHAT (type in the chat box), to the group, when it’s relevant. You can select the person to chat to (Either ALL, or an individual participant), however if you want to chat too an individual, consider sharing your info so they can reach out after the class/meeting, or you may miss important pieces of the meeting.
- Dress the Part: Is this a business meeting or interview? A family birthday gathering? Typically business casual attire is best for most meetings. It shows the others in the chat that this is important to you, you’ve thought about it, looked forward to it, and prepared. People don’t appreciate viewing pajamas or sweatpants, but (to tell a secret) I’ve heard plenty of today’s professionals laugh about how they don’t get out of their pajama bottoms, since they know only their upper torso is visible.
- Don’t Multitask during the meeting, unless you’re a pro who knows they can water plants around the living room while they listen to a lecture. For most of us, this just distracts us and makes us miss important pieces. (And if you do, certainly don’t let others see you doing that! That’s what the “Camera Off” function is for!)
Did you miss our other tips? Click here to view: “Tips for Web Meeting Etiquette and How to Avoid Blunders”
Need to walk through the BASICS of how to log in for the first time? We’d recommend Youtube, as it has PLENTY of great tutorials, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9isp3qPeQ0E