Given how pervasive online meetings are, it makes sense to want to recreate the interactive capabilities of in-person meetings. Here are FIVE tips and tricks using Zoom to help make your meeting feel more engaging.
One Person per Square
Why? I know this sounds a little bizarre, and sometimes your friend has a quieter office or better camera. Studies show that we are more likely to weigh in and treat the participants as equals if we are all the same SIZE. This way we all get to see your pretty faces and no one has to fight for camera time.
Keep your Mic and Your Video ON
We know that you like to multitask, but you wouldn’t hold a separate conversation or fall asleep in an in-person meeting. To keep everyone accountable the Host will be manually turning on your video and microphone. Of course if you need to eat feel free to mute temporarily, but try to consciously stay engaged by thinking about how your actions would be read if the people in the conference were sitting around a table in front of you.
Switch the Zoom to Gallery View
There are 3 video layouts when someone is not sharing a screen and two when someone is. Please for either option turn on the Gallery view. This will allow you to see as many participants as possible all at once. This way you can read the participants for social cues, know when someone is about to speak, or even physically raise your hand if you want to be heard.
Another cool feature of Zoom is that when applicable you can allow all participants to annotate on a shared screen. This is great for brainstorming sessions, or to have the group highlight areas that they think are significant (creating a virtual heat map).
Save time for a Group Activity
One of the best things about Zoom is the cool features it offers. You can change your background to a quick green screen or you can make a collaborative team picture or collage at the end of each meeting. This can take time, but as long as the meeting leader directs each person in their video square to show a color, make a shape, etc… and then takes a screen capture of what they can see it becomes a fun team-building exercise. Better yet, no one has the same view as the team leader, so they won’t know what the final picture looks like until it is sent to everyone at the end of the meeting.