NexTech will be using ZOOM conferencing extensively for our Fish Tank competition. This is a very effective conference technology that allows many people to join through video and audio – it’s the next best thing to an in-person meeting. Participants are able to join via their computer (with a webcam) or mobile device. (We recommend using a computer or tablet to maximize your video conference experience.)
If you have not used ZOOM before, here are a few tips that will allow you to be an expert in no time.
Prepare for a ZOOM Conference
Download the Zoom app to your computer or mobile device before joining a Zoom meeting. You will be prompted to perform this download before you can join a Zoom meeting. To get the Zoom app, go to the Zoom Download Center.
Join a test meeting after you’ve downloaded the app to get familiar with the Zoom features and controls. This allows you to join a meeting with a computer (there is no one at the other end). You’ll be able to confirm your video, speakers, and microphone during this test.
Maximize your ‘bandwidth’ and system. Your internet connection quality (upload and download speed) is important for video conferencing. Here are some tips:
- Perform a ‘speed test’ on your system by going to websites like speakeasy.net or speedtest.net to determine your connection speed. If your connection speed is poor, you may need to join with voice only.
- If you’re using a home internet service, reboot your modem and router ahead of your video conference if they have not been restarted in a long while.
- Restart your computer or mobile device ahead of the conference and be sure to close unnecessary browser windows, tabs, and applications.
- Clean your webcam. (Dust or fingerprint smudges can affect the quality of your video.)
- Prior to a conference, test your audio and video again. You can do this by joining a test Zoom meeting. (You can also test and make adjustments just before joining your actual Zoom meeting.) Pay attention to the angle of your webcam. It should be eye-level and directly in front of you. The webcam distance should be one that allows you to appear fully in the video frame.
- During a video conference, avoid video streaming or gaming on the same network. This will maximize your video conference connection.
Look and Sound Good
The following recommendations will help you look and sound confident in a Zoom meeting.
Join from a Quiet, Bright, and Uncluttered Location
- Your wall art and room decorations should be work-appropriate, and your surroundings should be tidy and clean.
- Your room should be quiet. Background noise can be an annoying distraction and can stifle any meeting’s flow.
- Make sure your room is well lit. Bright lighting above and in front of you is best. Avoid having a bright light behind you in order to avoid appearing like a shadow or silhouette.
- Mute your phone. If you’re using your computer, put your phone on airplane mode (or shut it down).
While it is tempting to be very casual when joining a conference from home, you’ll want to look professional and well-groomed for your video conference. Dress as if you’re meeting someone face-to-face or going to a formal event.
Yes – grooming is a must! Enough said.
Mute Your Mic When Not Speaking
During a conference, mute your microphone when you are not speaking. To mute, click the microphone icon at the lower-left corner of your Zoom window (move your cursor to that part of the screen to see the icon). NOTE: You can also temporarily mute your microphone by pressing the space bar on your keyboard.
Once muted, you’ll see a red slash across the icon.
To unmute, click the icon once more.
- During a video conference, look at your webcam. This is especially important when you are speaking. Of course, you can look at your notes and any other references. However, avoid unnecessary glances away from the webcam. This will allow you to appear interested and confident.
- Don’t text, read email, or play games while on the video call. It’s easy for other participants to notice if you aren’t fully focused and present during the video call.
- Avoid speaking when others are already talking. Simultaneous speaking is especially challenging in a video conference.
- If you would like to speak, raise your virtual hand. To do this, open the Participants window and click the ‘raise hand’ button. The host will acknowledge you when your turn to speak is up.
Click this “Participants button” to open the Participants window.
Click this ‘Raise Hand’ button to alert the host.
Here are select resources from the Zoom website. Take a moment to review these ahead of upcoming NexTech video conferences. For a complete list visit, Zoom Help Center.