Zoom has become the operating system for life in the last two years. It’s how we worked and visited and saw other humans. It’s how children learned and government worked. It’s where happy hours met and families visited.
I spent a lot of time on Zoom everyday for work. We don’t call, we Zoom. If it needs more than text, we Zoom. If there’s any chance we’ll need to share a screen to troubleshoot or discuss a new feature, we Zoom. Even if we’re just using the audio, we Zoom.
Zoom has become our main channel for communication. It’s computer audio is rock solid, it works on every platform (somewhere Webex stumbles for our Linux users). It’s reliable and it’s ready to roll.
I was thinking about some tips I have for using Zoom. They’re not the typical questions you see everyone online covering. How do I sound better? Get yourself a good headset and use it. How do I look better on camera? Lighting and camera positioning.
I have two tips I’ve not seen mentioned elsewhere that I have used since I became a Zoom native.
First, don’t let Zoom open until you’re ready. I’ve clicked your link. I’m ready to join. I make sure Zoom waits for permission to open.
I do this because I want control over when Zoom opens and I am available to others. I also want to have control over Zoom opening in the application or in the browser window. Sometimes I need to have multiple sessions open at once. Most of the time I want to connect to Zoom as an intentional act.
Second, Zoom doesn’t get my audio until I’m absolutely ready.
I have never allowed Zoom to automatically connect to audio. Once I open Zoom and it’s connecting me, I take the extra step to join the audio. This allows me to prepare myself and run through my mental checklist.
Headset on. ✓
Am I muted? ✓
Is my video off? ✓
I don’t like surprises and I want to be in control instead of hoping the software does the right thing. These are two things I’ve done to allow me to stay in control of my Zoom life for the past two years.