Zoom Etiquette – Chido Nwakanma

In the age of the coronavirus pandemic, most interactions have gone online. Zoom is the platform of choice for meetings, parties, seminars, and workshops, as well as classroom learning.

Zoom is so pervasive, and abuses are manifesting. Here is a Zoom etiquette to guide usage.

1. Zoom is a platform for engagement across frontiers. Engage actively in the absence of direct physical contact.
2. Look into the camera as if you are looking into the face of your audience.
3. Speak clearly. Pronounce your words distinctly.
4. Observe Zoom engagement protocols. Mute your mic when you are not speaking; turn on speaker mode to view the person speaking at any point in time; use video mode to allow others see you, click chat to comment when you do not want to disturb the meeting. You can also use a static photo of yourself if you are saving costs by not running video.
5. Mute your video if you want to do anything else while a session is on. Any other action other than listening or speaking to the group is an avoidable distraction.
6. Avoid the proclivity to abuse the social order because of the convenience of Zoom.
7. Do not call Zoom meetings for 7 pm upwards. It is family time in most homes.
8. Observe lunch hours between 12noon and 2 pm. The convenience of Zoom does not cancel breaks and time for lunch and refreshments.
9. Sunday meetings have traditionally been for social activities such as Old Students Associations, Town Unions and similar. The pivot to professional meetings might be a stretch.
10. Dress appropriately for your Zoom meetings. Dress as you would do if it were a physical meeting in the office or a hotel or similar venue. It avoids the embarrassment of public undressing.
11. Do not distract everyone by moving your camera up and down during a webinar.
12. Be very prepared. Have your notes if you would need them. Be very organised.
13. Avoid too many Zoom meetings on any given day. Do not be seduced by the ease and convenience to load sessions upon meetings.

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