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Hackernoon logo4 Zoom Tweaks To Improve The Quality of Your WFH Meetings by@kunal

4 Zoom Tweaks To Improve The Quality of Your WFH Meetings

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@kunalKunal Mishra

Tech Writer. Creating Graphics.

The Coronavirus outbreak is no less than a fortune for Zoom. The cloud meetings app has seen enormous growth that roots from the disruption of normal routine due to lockdowns everywhere. From the surge of Zoom app downloads worldwide to the company almost doubling its annual revenue, 2020 may have a bad start for most of us but for Zoom it’s their heydays.

When adults around the globe are busy with #WorkFromHome meetings while their children are packed with online classes, it becomes more than important that you make a good impression of yourself in a meeting. So here are 4 quick actionable tweaks that can make your Zoom meeting experience better than before.

#1 Change that dull background!

Are you always in search of a perfect background for your professional meetings?

Background on a meeting should be clean and clutter-free, just the converse of which is our messy remote working rooms.

Robert Kelly‘s daughter made international headlines

Even if you find a nice place for background, your conference can get interrupted by any pet or family member.

Addedly, using the same background can be boring.

So, this is the time you get rid of that dull wall behind your back to use stunning backgrounds for your meetings.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open settings in the Zoom app.Tap on Virtual Background.Zoom has three virtual backgrounds preloaded but you can add a custom one. Try any one of them for testing.You’re are all set. Tap the ‘+’ icon on the right to add custom backgrounds.
  2. You might see a dialogue box saying “Your computer doesn’t meet requirements.” Don’t worry. Just take a single coloured wall for background and tick the “I have a green screen” and you’re all set to rock.

PS: This is one of my favourite Zoom Backgrounds. You can make such a GIF for you too.

#2 Check your appearance before others do

It happens to me sometimes that I suppose I’m looking nice when all of a sudden I glance over my video and that supposition turns false.

I immediately turned off my video. (Shift+⌘+V)

Things like that can be a disaster especially when you’re in a meeting with a relatively fewer number of people. People can notice you easily in that case.

To prevent this from happening further, I have set up my Zoom app to show me a preview of myself before entering into a meeting.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Head to the settings in Zoom app.Tap on Video.Tick the checkbox that reads “Always show video preview dialogue when joining a video meeting
  2. There are a bunch of other options worth checking out too. Like ‘Turn off my video when joining a meeting’.

And there are enhancement options too like ‘Enable HD’, ‘Mirror my video’ and ‘Touch up my appearance’. But the last one didn’t make any apparent difference on the video.

The actually significant enhancements can’t be made by software alone, you need to set it up yourself. Here’s what I’d advise you to do:

Make sure your face is well-lit. It’s better to make use of natural lighting but it’s up to what suits you.Place your laptop’s camera or webcam to your eye level. And don’t hold your head with your hands even if the meeting’s way too boring.Straighten your backbone. This makes you look attentive and it has health benefits too.

#3 Make Yourself Heard

A meeting is not always only about hearing. You need to converse as well. While chats can be great for off-topic conversations, you’ll have to unmute yourself and put your words forward with your voice when necessary. 

And then, you would learn the importance of audio enhancements. Bad quality audio can not only make your words and opinion go in vain, but they will also drown the impression you made through the video. Here are some quick tweaks to improve your audio:

Make sure your voice can be clearly heard. It’s better if you have any earphones or headphones because they have better microphones than your laptop. Do a microphone test. Head to Settings>Audio in the Zoom app and ‘Test mic’.De-noise your audio. In the same screen, tap on ‘Advanced’. You’ll find three options there — Suppress Persistent Background NoiseSuppress Intermittent Background Noise and Echo Cancellation. You’ll have to do some experimentation with each of them to figure out what works for you.

#3 Shut Participants Up As They Join

If you’re a teacher taking a class, you’d want to mute your students. So that any noise in their surrounding doesn’t disturb the whole class.

And because you don’t see any option to mute participants, you’ll have to request your students to mute themselves. And this can be frustrating. Here’s a quick solution.

  1. Head to this link.
  2. Scroll down until you find the ‘Mute participants upon entry’ toggle.
  3. Toggle it on.

Now each participant will be muted by default when they enter and you can control whether they can unmute themselves.

There are many such toggles worth having a look there. Like ‘Participants video’ which turns on the participant video when a meeting starts. Though, participants can alter this later. And ‘Breakout room’ which allows you to split the meeting into two smaller ones.

Another one I think will be useful is ‘Show a “Join from your browser” link’ which lets you make a link that doesn’t require the participant to download the Zoom app and instead he can do the meeting on his browser.

#4 Zoom For GSuite

You can even schedule a Zoom meeting on Gmail using the Zoom for Gsuite app. The work case scenario can be that you see an email asking you to schedule a meeting and you can schedule it on Gmail itself without going to the Zoom app.

You can do pretty much everything you’d need to do. And with one click, you can add your meetings to Google Calendar.

You can add an invite to a Zoom meeting within an email in Gmail natively.

You can get the list of all other Zoom integrations here.

That was pretty much it. All these tricks helped me enhance my Zoom experience

Sum up

Online meetings wasn’t an unfamiliar term. It’s just that, that it is a necessity now which it previously wasn’t. Your company or school could’ve taken meetings and classes online. Some did, but entirely online. Because they didn’t feel the need to. Among a number of positive things, this outbreak has brought is the need for digitalization of businesses. A step as little as looking professional in online meetings can help catalyse this digitalization.


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