Zoom: Best Practices in a Meeting (One-Page Guide)

This guide will help your guests and you get the most out of your Zoom meeting experience.

Learn more about Zoom meetings.

Prepare for the meeting

1. Set up your equipment

2. Look your best

  • Lighting should come from in front of you or from the side, in order to best light your face
  • Keep your background clear of distractions
  • Look at your webcam, not at the screen
  • Use gestures and mannerisms that you would typically use in person

Participate productively

1. Make sure everyone can hear you

  • Use a microphone when you speak.
  • Make sure the microphone is on and close enough to pick up your voice, no matter what location you are in.

2. Help everyone focus

  • Don’t have side conversations.
  • If you aren’t talking, mute or turn off your microphone.
  • Avoid noisy activities like typing while your microphone is on.

3. Reduce distractions

  • Sit or stand somewhere with a neutral background (or use a virtual background).
  • Make sure your camera is on a steady surface to prevent shaking
  • Turn off your camera if you need to take care of business outside of the meeting (ex. someone in-person needs your attention). Turn the camera back on when you are present in the meeting again.

4. Use Zoom’s tools

Zoom offers numerous features that help meeting and webinar attendees participate in meetings.

In a meeting:

These are the Zoom meeting controls referenced further below:

zoom controls

The “Participants” panel in Zoom is where an attendee can raise/lower their “hand” and say yes/no without speaking.

  • Be sure to keep yourself muted if you are not talking. The mute function is located at the far left of the Zoom meeting controls. The host of a meeting may elect to automatically mute you so as to avoid causing extraneous noise. Once you finish speaking, be sure to mute yourself again.
  • Use the “Chat” function to send a message to the host or other attendees, either privately (one-to-one) or publicly to the entire group, without causing a distraction. The function is located in the center of the Zoom meeting controls dashboard.
  • Zoom allows the ability to “raise your hand” to be recognized and called upon by a moderator. The “Raise Hand” function is located in the “Participants” display, accessed at the bottom of the Zoom meeting dashboard. More about raising your hand.
  • The “Participants” display also allows meeting attendees to click a “yes” or “no” button to indicate support for something discussed during the meeting, as well as to indicate whether a meeting should be sped up or slowed down.

5. Calling from a phone?

Zoom has a tutorial for best practices if you are participating in a meeting from a phone with/without using the Zoom app. See the tutorial here.

As mentioned in section 4, be sure to keep yourself muted unless speaking.

Hosting a Webinar?

Check out these resources:

Checklist for Webinar Hosts Instructions for Zoom Webinars

If you are the host

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