For many, switching from working in an office to working virtually is simple. For others, working remote is how they work day-to-day, so it’s just business as usual. However, for those who hear “zoom” and think of fast cars or a children’s television series, the “new normal” is a new challenge.
First, what is Zoom? Zoom is the “leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems.” Put simply, Zoom is to tele-commuting as conference rooms are to in-person meetings.
The Zoom.us website has a huge library of tutorials for beginners and experienced remote workers on how to use their videoconference platform. However, PR pros offer insider tips that take a page from the media training playbook we share with clients to prep them for television appearances. After all, a video conference has many similarities to a TV segment. Here are simple PR pro tips:
- Keep it Clean – when it comes to where in your home you choose to hold your video conference, make sure the area behind you is clean. Nobody wants to see a laundry bag hanging behind you, or any kind of distracting clutter. Think of how austere your office conference room is – or a TV talk show set – a blank wall and perhaps a piece of art? That’s the backdrop you’re going for.
- Dress Up – You may be working remote in your PJs, but you should make an effort to look professional. Let your look reflect your position – are you a doctor? Wear a lab coat. An attorney? A button-down shirt and tie. For most, a business casual look is just fine. The good news is that you can still wear your pajama bottoms because you’ll only be seen from the waist up.
- Face It – Of course in a face-to-face live meeting you are mostly mindful of your facial expression. Because videoconferencing is up-close and you’re on camera throughout the session, make sure your expression doesn’t convey negative emotions like boredom or anger (even if it’s your cat your mad at and not your colleague). Think of the TV talk show-host – they always look pleasant and upbeat. That’s your best look.
Other things to remember
- Be courteous to other participants and don’t interrupt
- Speak clearly, but don’t shout
- Keep distracting body movements minimal
- Maintain eye contact by looking into the camera
- Don’t carry on side conversations with others in the room
And here’s the most important tip…Smile!