Here, we share our Zoom top tips and business insights from having thousands of members and visitors through our digital doors, holding more than 300 events on Zoom in one year alone.
MNC went to a fully virtual networking meeting provision overnight at the start of the 2020 Pandemic. Along with millions around the world, we chose Zoom, right at the beginning before it was ready for global demand and went through every learning curve with it as their developers and infrastructure ramped up in order to cope. As we move forward, MNC has adopted a hybrid model of meetings incorporating both in-person and digital business networking meetings and events – Zoom is here to stay!
- Firstly, it takes a bit of bravery! No one has ever felt so exposed as when they first logon to a Zoom meeting from their dining room table or their sitting room! Remember, everyone feels the same when they start. You can always check out your background first to make sure you’re not giving way any family secrets or exposing Grandpa’s smalls!
- There are lots of virtual tools to help you present your very best side! On Zoom you can ‘enhance my appearance’ it makes you a bit fuzzy around the edges but perfect for an off day. There are so many different video filters you can add! Fancy funky sunglasses? No problem (they move with your face). Want to add a dash of panache with a French beret? Voila! Lost your lipstick? Choose a new colour!
- Take care if you use the virtual backgrounds when you are networking. They disguise all manner of domesticity, but use with caution. We’ve seen business people disappear through them like a ghostly spectre! If you move around too much the movement fizzles out the tips of your fingers or tops of your head, so try and sit still!
- Turn up on time! Set an alarm – latecomers always miss the instructions or important rules of engagement and you’ll put yourself at a disadvantage. It’s also bad form, manners that work in real life (remember that?) also apply in the virtual business world. It’s difficult to sneak in late in a zoom meeting as the doorbell announces a newcomer.
- Have links you want to share ready to copy and paste into the chat box. The chat box moves fast with people’s information and greetings. So, help yourself by having your own social media or website links ready. It really makes a difference.
- You can save the chat – it’s a bit of business networking magic! There are many messages broadcast in the chat box and often it moves very fast. To save yourself the extra task of making notes just save the chat. Click the three dots in the corner of the chat and it will give you an option to save. It will automatically save in a Zoom folder on your laptop. (Savng the chat is not an option on some mobile devices).
- Avoid sending private messages in a chat box – the save function very often saves all the messages and they are then visible to any delegate or attendee who has saved the chat!
- People still buy from people! If you are attending a business networking meeting or any virtual, business event make sure you treat the time as you would any other business meeting. Be professional, avoid the swearing, represent your brand or business professionally. If you’re asked to mute then do so. Remember to smile – smiley people shine on a screen.
Remember, things don’t always go to plan in a virtual world! You don’t always have control over the provision of broadband, the parcel delivery or other interruptions! So smile, accept the unexpected! The very best way to overcome these frustrations is to follow up after the meeting, via social media, email or a good old fashioned phone call – remember those….? That way you will still build up business relationships and make the most of the time that you allocated to that meeting.
We’ve seen it all – blank screens, children fighting in the background, underwear on radiators, the most spectacular nostrils and or just feet in holey socks on screen! Plan ahead, be prepared, if you deploy your most friendly, business-like manner you won’t go far wrong.