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Could I ask for advice please - how to come across well in zoom meeting - tad out of my depth

13 replies

SnakesOrLadders · 13/10/2020 21:15

New to role graduated my MA this year I am pretty enthusiastic about my subject area which relates to my work.
My managers have been really supportive and put me forward to lead on specific parts of our work- in the next few days I’ll be representing our organisation at various online meetings and I’m so nervous.
The meetings will be people much senior to me in other organisations and I’m scared I’ll embarrass my firm or not look knowledgeable.
How do I come across well in a virtual setting/seem more confident/professional all of the above?! Any helpful advice much appreciated

OP posts:
Dinosauraddict · 13/10/2020 21:17

Make sure you take yourself off mute before you start talking, make sure proper introductions are made as if it was a f2f meeting, make sure whatever is behind you in shot is professional enough...

JontyDoggle37 · 13/10/2020 21:27

Prepare for the meeting well. Read any papers in advance and ask questions to your line manager on anything you’re uncertain about.
Be super clear on the objective the meeting is supposed to achieve.
Take notes of decisions and actions so you can report back effectively.
If anything isn’t clear, ask politely for an explanation. As you’re new, you can just say ‘my apologies I’m fairly new and and a bit more background on this would be really helpful.”
Best of luck!

DameMargaretofChalfont · 13/10/2020 21:32

Please, please, please be selective about your camera background!

I had a zoom meeting yesterday with a colleague who was sat on her unmade bed. The sheets were all messy, clothing was thrown across the bed and her bedside table was overflowing with glasses, bottles, books and general crap - it all looked so unprofessional.

Make sure the camera is slightly above your eyeline so you are looking up rather than having the camera looking up your nose.

littlebillie · 13/10/2020 21:38

This is always the worry try to relax and put something on you feel confident in - it does help

Could I ask for advice please - how to come across well in zoom meeting - tad out of my depth
user128472578267 · 13/10/2020 21:42

Look at the camera when you speak so people feel like you're making eye contact.

Address people by name if you're asking a question to someone specific rather than just looking in their direction - they can't tell whose video you're looking at!

waltzingparrot · 13/10/2020 21:47

I've been watching the SAGE indie zoom meetings on YouTube and it's quite easy to see who presents themselves better than others and appear more professional. Your opening line seems to set the tone. Quite a few open with "can you hear me x repeat, repeat - don't know why, just never sounds professional or commanding. Maybe watch to see what looks/sounds good

BathtubGin · 13/10/2020 21:53

Have more than 1 screen- so zoom on 1 and your papers/infor on another so that you keep looking ahead.

Practise getting the distance right- not too close. Don't end up looking up of down- get the camera to head height. Tilt the screen to get the best look. The big forehead look doesn't suit anyone

Get a bright top/blouse. It give you more presence.

I have 2 areas- a sofa with cushions and the laptop on a coffee table and the laptop on a desk. Which I use depends on the call.

Never zoom from the bedroom.

Don't have a light behind you or to the side- this includes windows and sunlight

Look at what is in the screen- one of my colleague has nudes- very lovely classic art but some people wouldn't like it.

KitchenDancefloor · 13/10/2020 22:26

Follow the lead of others when it comes to whose turn to talk.

Some formal meetings require a 'hands up' to indicate you are ready to contribute with the chair inviting everyone in turn.

Some are more of a genteel 'after you' 'no after you'.

Some are more of a robust talking over each other (doesn't work online).

I have all three types in the same organisation depending on the meeting chair's style.

HoldMyLobster · 13/10/2020 23:27

Practice beforehand using whatever technology you'll be using in the meeting.

If you'll be using 2 screens, then practice with 2 screens and make sure you know which one to look at.

Work out where you'll put your notes, and put them in order.

If you'll have the door closed then practice with the door closed (I had one meeting where I closed the door to my office for the first time ever and ended up really hot and red-faced).

Talk more slowly.

Smile and say hi and give people time to say hello back.

SnakesOrLadders · 14/10/2020 19:55

Thanks all I’ve prepped a bit this evening and hopefully tomorrow will go ok.
Really appreciate all the advice taken it all on board 🤞🤞🤞

OP posts:
KitchenDancefloor · 16/10/2020 17:08

So, how did it go?

I saw a meme about meetings that I can't find but it went something like this:

First - You long to be invited to the meetings where decisions are made

Second - You have a seat at the table, prepare well and set out to impress with your ideas

Finally - you would do anything legal and possibly illegal to get out of another f@&£ing meeting

May you forever stay at stage 2!

SnakesOrLadders · 16/10/2020 19:33

Thank you for asking :)
Surprisingly well I felt I held my own and once I realised I had a decent grasp on the subject I felt pretty confident. All the tips really helped to put me at ease thanks all.

OP posts:
Rapunzathepenguin · 16/10/2020 19:42

So glad it went well. And I'd echo the comment about "may you always stay at stage 2 about meetings...I'm not joking when I say one previous job was so full of meetings it was one of the things that tipped me over the edge into full on burnout that I'm only just coming back from. I don't know when the flip they thought we were supposed to get our actual jobs done. I actually hid in the loo on more than one occasion as I just couldn't bear having to listen to another 3 hours of colleagues drivelling about stuff that could have taken 15 minutes to sort out.

I'd also echo the background thing - our flat is tiny and I am terminally untidy. I ended up buying a plain white fabric screen from Wayfair for about £40 ish to stick behind me if I'm on a call where I can't use a fake background as I can't turn my main computer round so the curtains are behind me (I can with the laptop but that's much older and much slower). Until I had that I had a King size throw I used to chuck over the sofa, but sometimes the cats photobombed me...

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