Prior to a meeting:

  • When using equipment or locations not regularly used, test your meeting connections in advance.
  • Ensure that you have a camera, microphone, and headphones or speakers available. Earbuds or headphones are preferable to avoid audio feedback and echo. Most modern laptops and all-in-one desktops have a headphone jack, microphone, and speakers built in.
  • If connecting from a laptop, plug in the laptop wall power. Battery use can adversely affect video quality.
  • If possible, connect your computer/laptop via a wired Ethernet jack. This prevents WiFi dropouts and speed issues.
  • Be sure to test and confirm your connection before the call.
  • Close any unnecessary programs on the devices you will be using to conduct/join the Zoom meeting.
  • If you will be sharing any content, have it open and ready to share.
  • When possible, establish online video conferencing connections several minutes before the meeting start time.
  • Consider using your phone as a backup device for your Zoom meetings in case your Zoom device crashes.    You will be limited to audio only participation, but you’ll at least have the ability to re-join the meeting much faster than trying to troubleshoot and/or reboot your device.
  • Create a backup communication plan in case you have trouble connecting with remote participants. A backup plan can include asking onsite participants to connect to the meeting through their laptops, using a mobile or speakerphone, and/or collaborating through an online collaboration tool (e.g., Google docs).
  • Be aware of your surroundings and how you appear visually.
    • Select a quiet location with no background noise for your Zoom meeting.
    • Close blinds on windows so that you are easier to see on video.
    • Turn off or silence other devices
    • Wear neutral, solid-colored clothing. Avoid black, white, or striped clothing

During a meeting:

  • Have all participants share their video and audio. No lurkers.
  • Ensure all participants can see and hear all other participants, as appropriate.
  • Ensure conference room microphones are distributed appropriately to pick up all speakers.
  • Ensure location lighting does not limit a participant’s visibility (e.g., avoid backlighting from windows or lamps).
  • Have participants mute their microphones if their location has excessive background noise or they will not be speaking.
  • Have a meeting facilitator — often, but not always, the person who called the meeting. The facilitator is responsible for:
    • Providing an agenda to participants — ahead of the meeting is nice, but minimally at the start of the meeting — that includes an overview of topics to be covered and planned outcome;
    • Establishing the visual or verbal cues, such as raising a hand, to indicate when someone wants to actively contribute verbally to the meeting;
    • Engaging participants at all locations to ensure discussion understanding, and alignment;
    • Limiting “side conversations” and multitasking or ensure all participants are made aware of that content;
    • Make sure all participants have equal access to content by sharing all content within the video conferencing connection and using online tools (e.g., Google docs) whenever possible