Zoom Best PracticesThis in depth article will discuss the best practices we have experienced while utilizing the Zoom platform as a Host, Panelist, and Attendee on both the meeting and webinar sides.
THE 5 best Practices for Zoom Meetings and Webinars.
If you are new to Zoom or an experienced professional, read on to learn the best strategies for a succesful meeting.
Below are quick links to best practices for your role in Zoom. Read on though for our 5 of our Best Takeaways!
Zoom Participants Per Day
1. Bandwidth Test
Before your big day arrives make sure that you perform a check on your network connection to confirm that it meets the minimum standards for your role in Zoom.
Hosts: 10mb DL / 10mb UL
Panelists: 5mb DL / 5mb UL
Attendees: 3mb DL / 5mb UL
Here are a few of our favorite test sites
If you cannot meet the requirement for the meeting, your organizer has the ability to create a dial in number that will be attached to the meeting invitation email. If you have an IOS device, it is directly clickable to join the meeting.
2. Zoom Update
Below is a helpful link to updating to the latest Zoom software. This will give you the best user experience possible since new features are added constantly.
3. Webcam Etiquette
Optimal lighting is a key element to providing others with a good viewing experience. Lighting should always be in front of you and your computer. If it is behind you, a silhouette will be created. Pro Tip – Try to look into your webcam while presenting as it makes for a more personal feel.
4. Audio Options
If possible, use a headset with a microphone whenever possible. The audio quality on most laptop computers is sub par for meetings and they will pickup background noise even if it is in another room. To test audio and video prior to a meeting visit http://zoom.us/test .
Another good practice is to mute yourself if you need to cough, move papers around, or have a side conversation. You should also mute yourself if you will not be talking as background noise can still be picked up from your microphone. If you do need to use your laptop sound, make sure the mic is unobstructed. Many of todays protective laptop cases cover the microphone of the computer.
5. Screen Sharing
Make sure to have your content open and ready before initiating a screen share. If you have a video in your PowerPoint, make sure to enable the “share computer sound” option before starting a screen share. For a dual monitor setup, please read our Presenter (Panelist) best practices section below.
Now, let’s get to some critical advise for each role in the Zoom platform.
We are going to break this section up into three categories:
Registration and Onboarding – Make sure that your registration form is concise and just ask for pertinent information. You do not want a lengthy and tedious process for attendees to register for an event. Be mindful of how many registration forms they probably fill out a month right now. Facilitating a quick and easy registration process is an important first step to a successful virtual event.
Promote early – Get the word out on social media and industry sites as soon as you have the date set for your event to generate early registration.
Session length – Do not exceed 2 hrs for your sessions without a break. Attendee fatigue will diminish your retention of materials being presented.
Presenter Rehearsal – A week before the event you should have rehearsals scheduled with your presenters. This will take about 10 minutes per presenter, and should be performed at the physical location they will be utilizing for their session. Below is a list of items to test:
1. A bandwidth test using one of the links at the top of this blog.
2. Confirm they have the most up to date version of Zoom.
3. Allow the Presenter to take control of the screen share and video to confirm they are comfortable with the Zoom platform. Have them present some of their content.
Staff Rehearsal (Hosts, Co-Hosts, and Organizers) – A few days prior to your event create a test webinar with the same settings you will be using for the event and have your staff log in to it for a conference management test. This is a great way to get your Moderators (Co-Hosts) familiar with the controls in Zoom and shake out any bad settings, or computer issues prior to the event.
During the session the Organizer will go over roles for the virtual meeting with the staff and allow them to practice with each other. Assign a staff member to manage chat, Q&A, and tech support. The Host can make a Panelist an Attendee or vice-versa to create a “day of event” environment for the test. Record the session in case someone was not able to participate and they wish to view it at a later date. This test should run for a minimum of 30 minutes.
On the day of your event, make sure to open your Zoom webinar 10 – 15 minutes early to allow Attendees and Panelists to interact via chat. Confirm that the Moderators (Co-Hosts or Panelists) are logged in about 10 minutes before the session start time. Have pre-made Q&A ready to go to facilitate discussion at the end of the presentation and most importantly, don’t forget to record!
Download the Q&A and chat logs so you can ask the Presenter to reach out to Attendees with unanswered questions. Download the Attendee reports for CEU / CME crediting. This will also have engagement stats that may be useful when planning your next virtual event. Follow up emails should be sent 24 hours post event with replay links, CEU/CME crediting forms, and feedback surveys.
If you will be presenting content at your meeting, read on for our best practices to streamline your Zoom experience while engaging attendees with memorable content.
Bandwidth Test – Use one of the links at the beginning of this blog to perform the test. Share your results with the Organizer by either taking a screenshot of the test or sharing the results with one of the share links. Below are links to instruct you how to take a screenshot on your device or computer:
Dual Monitors– A great way to manage your content in Zoom as well as PowerPoint is to setup your computer with a secondary monitor. This will allow you to see your presenter view of PowerPoint on one screen while sharing the presentation screen with your Zoom audience. There are many unique ways to configure this monitor setup. I suggest trying a number of different options to find one that is perfect for your personal productivity. Here is a link to help you get this setup for Zoom:
* Remember to enable the share audio option if you have videos or audio to play within your content.
Backup call in number – Included with every Zoom invitation email will be a phone number and Webinar ID/Passcode in case your internet connection goes down or you experience computer issues. Offer your Hosts/Organizers a copy of your slide deck in case this happens. Below is an image of a Zoom invitation email with the dial in option:
Confirm the latest version of Zoom – To ensure the best possible experience for yourself as well as Attendees, update to the current version of the Zoom application. Here is a video link to show you how to check for updates in Zoom:
Arrive early and have your PowerPoint ready – Plan on arriving 10-15 minutes prior to the session start time to interact with the Moderator and Attendees. Once you arrive in the Zoom session, open your PowerPoint content either on your primary display or secondary monitor. This will save time when you are ready to begin presenting. If you have a title slide, share your screen as this is a good way to reassure your attendees they have arrived in the correct Zoom webinar.
Make it Interactive – There are many ways to create a memorable virtual session on Zoom. Even though it is traditionally practiced to wait until the end of a session for Q&A, you can open it up early to facilitate discussion. Also, Attendees can “raise their hand” which is a quick way to do a poll. If you have dual monitors setup, try to keep an eye on the Q&A and chat windows to see if you are receiving any feedback.
*You can also ask your moderator to send you chat messages with the amount of time you have left. This will keep you focused on your content and not the clock!
Bandwidth Test – Use one of the links at the beginning of this blog to perform the test. This is crucial for you to have a productive experience on Zoom. Also, plan on using a viewing location that has a consistent internet connection.
Register Early – Register well before the session start time in case you experience any technical difficulties. Registering 5 minutes before the start of the event and running into problems is both challenging for you as an Attendee as well as the Host who will have a number of responsibilities leading up to the virtual event.
Mute your Microphone – This is geared more towards a meeting than a webinar as you cannot unmute your mic in a webinar without permission, but we felt it was a good piece of advice in any case.
Monitor chat and Q&A – Keep these windows open on the side of your screen as it may lead to pertinent information during the webinar.
Post event – Look for follow up emails after the event to watch on demand content and offer valuable feedback to the meeting Organizers. This is a great way to help your Organizer plan for their next event.