Getting the most out of a Zoom meeting

Image via PhilCare

A Zoom meeting is only as good as its facilitator. Tina Lucic, a member of Zoom’s customer marketing team, gave tips on how to create a conducive meeting.  

“Set the right expectations,” she said in a webinar organized by the videoconferencing app. “Tell them what they can expect in your session and how you expect them to contribute.”  

Before the meeting:  

Check your lighting — Position yourself in front of a window, or use a ring light. For low light environments, adjusting the light in the video settings is an option.
Know your platform — Familiarize yourself with the controls of the videoconferencing app you’re using. Know what eye level looks like for your gadget.

At the start of the meeting:  

Address housekeeping items — How long is the meeting going to last? Will the meeting be recorded?
Inform people how they can participate — Will the chat box be open throughout the meeting, or should attendees use the Raise hand feature instead?
Acknowledge your virtual meeting attendees by name — Introductions are also useful especially for smaller groups. 

“Start your meeting off with an ice breaker,” Ms. Lucic added in the aforementioned webinar. “Maybe ask the [virtual attendees] to use a backdrop to show where they’re from.”   

During the meeting: 

Assign an in-person meeting facilitator — Given that in-person connection is “arguably more powerful than digital connection,” assign an in-person meeting facilitator to be the virtual attendees’ in-person representative. He/she works in the background: supporting the main facilitator, raising questions sent through the Q&A box, and sending links related to the meeting’s talking points in the chat.
Ensure breaks are scheduled throughout the hybrid meeting
Utilize collaboration tools — Support the real-time flow of ideas through digital canvasses like Zoom’s Whiteboard, or promote interaction through game-based apps like Kahoot!
Manage participants privileges for more efficient proceedings — Zoom’s security button, for instance, allows hosts and co-hosts to enable closed captioning, request that a participant start their video, or put participants in a waiting room. Participants in a Zoom call, meanwhile, have access to controls such as changing their screen names, accessing the chat box, and clicking meeting reactions.

“Give [everyone] a chance to be an active part of the session,” said Ms. Lucic, adding that a host should allocate a portion of the meeting to questions. “People are giving you their time… Even though you cannot answer all of them, make sure that you try to.” 

A hybrid meeting is a meeting with any combination of people joining from an in-person location, like an office space, or remotely, as in their homes. While this option offers flexibility and cost-effectiveness, it also comes with challenges that include distractions from external interruptions, as well as a lack of tools to enable collaboration.  

Per PhilCare’s 2021 Survey of Filipino Workers, half of the respondents said they worked from home. Of these, 20% had a hybrid work setup. A quarter of all respondents (25.2%) also said they preferred a new normal work setup where they worked more in their workplace than at home. — Patricia B. Mirasol 

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