By Paul P. Tung
Since the beginning of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, people use virtual meetings through apps such as Zoom with increasing frequency. Having been in many of these meeting myself and observed the behaviors of some of meeting participants, I hope the following suggestions will help improve all of our meeting etiquette.
1. Proper Attire and Conduct: In general, one should treat attending virtual meetings similar to that of traditional conference room meetings, i.e., dress properly, no eating of snacks, no phone calls or private conversations with people next to you (except if one mutes his/her microphone), turn off the video camera (by clicking the video button at the lower left corner of your Zoom Screen) if one gets up, moves around, or even lies down (turning one’s video off would not affect one’s ability of viewing others in the meeting), etc.
2. Proper Equipment in a good WIFI Environment:
Using a computer to participate in virtual meetings is highly recommended as opposed to using a mobile phone or iPad. If you do use the latter, please make sure you have a sturdy support for your equipment so that it won’t move around to affect your screen view seen by other attendants of the meeting. A WIFI connection with download speed above 60 Mbps is desirable.
3. Change Screen Name:
Change your screen name to your real name instead of names such as “My iPhone”. In the upper right corner of your Zoom screen there is a button with three horizontal dots. Click on it and you will get a pull-down menu. Click on “Rename” and type in you real name in English or Chinese depending on the type of meeting. You can also type in your organization should the nature of the meeting require one to do so. Please note that the resultant name will only be there for the current meeting. In a subsequent Zoom meeting, your original name, be it “My iPhone” or something else, will appear again.
4. Adjust Microphone/Speaker Volume:
Adjust your microphone and speaker volume to a proper level. You may want to ask the meeting host at the beginning of the meeting to make sure it is at a pleasant level to the listeners.
5. Look Great on Zoom:
a. Lighting is critical. If you can, sit facing a big window. Natural light is almost always better than artificial lights. Make sure the light source is in front of you, not behind you, so you don’t get accidentally silhouetted.
b. Control your background. Your natural environment says a lot about who you are. Be mindful of what is in your background.
c. Position the camera right. Ideally, you want the camera to be straight on or slightly above you, pointing downward for the most flattering angle.
d. Fill the frame. Position yourself so you’re squarely in the middle of the frame, with your nicely lit and smiling face filling up at least one-third of the space.
Please feel free to make additional suggestions.