Zoom meetings have become a staple in remote and hybrid work environments. You have likely been a part of virtual meetings for a while now. Yet, now it is your turn to host a Zoom meeting. While hosting these virtual meetings may be more pressure for you, the best way to overcome this challenge is to master the art of it through the keys to success.
1. Establish a Space Specifically for Hosting Zoom Meetings
If you are hosting a Zoom meeting, you will likely be hosting many more. Therefore, setting up a space ideal for virtual meetings is essential.
The first element you will need to consider is lighting. A substantial level of brightness is crucial so others can see you clearly. That way, participants can see your facial expressions and respond at an appropriate time. Yet, avoid bright lighting facing directly from behind you and into the camera. Otherwise, the contrast will increase and make it challenging to see your face.
Another important consideration is the camera’s angle. You will want it to be at the right height to position yourself within the center of the screen. According to research, 26.7% of people in the U.S. find it challenging to pay attention because of a lack of eye contact. Therefore, how you angle your camera is crucial so it looks like you are making eye contact with the other participants. If you have a laptop, you could stack it on top of a few books to ensure the camera is at eye level.
Lastly, ensure you carry out professionalism by having a neat background. One trend that has taken off within the last few years is having aesthetically pleasing artwork and shelving set up behind the person at a Zoom meeting. Many professionals also choose Zoom backgrounds — images you can upload to the software. Be sure to pick the one that fits the tone of the meeting.
2. Assign a Co-Host
Successful Zoom meetings occur when you keep the flow well-maintained and organized. The optimal length for most calls falls between one to two hours. Beyond that timeframe may cause attendees to lose focus.
Therefore, consider assigning a co-host. Doing so can be instrumental in sustaining productivity because they can act as your assistant. While the primary host focuses on delivering content, the co-host can manage the administrative aspects. For instance, if someone is experiencing technical glitches, they can help that employee privately while the meeting continues. This allows the main presenter to stay focused on the core objective of the meeting while keeping it within the desired timeframe.
A co-host also helps by monitoring the chat for questions, noting them and bringing them up during a Q&A segment. They can help you drop relevant links or documents into the chat as well. They may even admit attendees from the waiting room or mute participants with too much background noise.
3. Use Screen Sharing
Whether you are presenting results from a marketing campaign or teaching your team a new lesson, ensure participants stay engaged. This is crucial during a Zoom meeting because an invested audience is more likely to absorb and retain the information. Furthermore, it stimulates collaboration and insightful discussions.
When you have more people interested in your presentation, they ask more questions. This leads to a more productive meeting, helping you meet the overall objectives of it. The most effective way to keep participants’ attention is by using the screen-sharing feature. This allows the host to display content directly from their computer to all attendees.
By using visuals to support your explanations, you make your points clearer. Plus, you reduce the chances of participants becoming distracted. To share your presentation on Zoom, follow these three simple steps:
Once you start your Zoom meeting, click the ‘Share Screen’ button at the bottom of the software’s window.
Select the application or window where your presentation is open.
Click ‘Share’ so all attendees can see what you are presenting.
4. Communicate Expectations Beforehand
It is important to set guidelines before the meeting occurs so your team understands what to expect. Communicating these expectations allows participants to prepare beforehand, making the Zoom meeting experience smooth. It gives employees time to gather their materials, make room in their schedule and ensure their software works properly.
To ensure all participants know what to expect before the meeting, consider sharing some topics you will cover. Providing them with a detailed agenda allows them to understand what the conference will be about. This part of hosting a Zoom meeting is essential because it allows them to come prepared with questions and insights to share.
It also helps set your expectations for proper Zoom meeting etiquette. Should participants keep their microphones muted? Are employees permitted to chat during the presentation? Consider what will be professional and appropriate according to the type of meeting you will have, and ensure everyone is aware.
5. Maintain Effective Communication When Speaking
Effective communication is one of the most essential elements of successful virtual meetings. However, eight out of 10 business leaders need help it. Leveraging your communication skills allows you to get your message across in a way everyone understands. It is especially essential in a virtual setting because non-verbal cues are more easily understood in an in-person meeting.
Therefore, it is best to adopt good communication habits before you host a Zoom meeting. For instance, consider sticking to the topics you plan on discussing. The issue with many virtual sessions today is they need more focus. Oftentimes, the host may drift to an irrelevant matter, steering the entire conversation off track.
While spontaneity can be fun and keep the meeting interesting, it is key to stay within your lane so everything makes sense. Another best practice is to ensure you have the best technology for the meeting. Technical glitches can occur, and poor audio and video quality may distort the message you are sending.
To ensure everyone can hear and see perfectly, keep your Zoom software updated so it fixes any bugs. It also helps to have headphones with a built-in microphone. These tech tools often reduce background noise and ensure your voice is clear.
Lastly, be mindful of your body language. Even though you are behind a screen, your body language still speaks volumes. Be sure to maintain eye contact when speaking by looking into the camera. Also, avoid distractions, sit upright and use hand gestures to emphasize points.
Host a Successful Zoom Meeting
Zoom meetings are necessary for remote and hybrid teams to get together and learn about the latest within their company. However, these virtual gatherings can have pitfalls without the keys to success.
Be sure to prepare before the day of the meeting following these best practices. Remember — a Zoom meeting should be professional, but it is also important to have fun. That way, your team can look forward to future calls.