Putting the boom into your Zoom: take your virtual meetings to another level | Treena Nairne and Angela Cheung | Skillshare

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Putting the boom into your Zoom: take your virtual meetings to another level

teacher avatar Treena Nairne and Angela Cheung, Turning work from scary to simple

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

23 Lessons (1h 13m)
    • 1. Lesson 01: INTRODUCTION


    • 3. Lesson 03: VIRTUAL BACKGROUNDS



    • 6. Lesson 06: LAUNCHING A ZOOM MEETING



    • 9. Lesson 09: AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT "F.U.N." TIPS

    • 10. Lesson 10: NO-PREP ICEBREAKERS

    • 11. Lesson 11: LOW-PREP ICEBREAKERS



    • 14. Lesson 14: ZOOM POLLS


    • 16. Lesson 16: BREAKOUT ROOMS

    • 17. Lesson 17: LIGHTING FOR VIDEO CALLS



    • 20. Lesson 20: OPENING YOUR ZOOM MEETING

    • 21. Lesson 21: CLOSING YOUR ZOOM MEETING



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About This Class

Hello, Skillshare learners! Welcome to PUTTING THE BOOM INTO YOUR ZOOM – our course to help you run stellar video meetings!

This course is for people who organize and run online meetings, webinars and virtual gatherings and want to improve the whole experience for the hosts and the participants.

We cover the key areas, including:

  • looking and sounding better on-camera
  • increasing audience engagement and participation right from the start, with some great activities and tricks
  • handling questions and answers smoothly; and
  • managing your whole meeting like a pro behind the scenes so that everything runs seamlessly.

Many of our tips apply no matter what video conference software you’re using. But some lessons focus on how to make the most of Zoom’s specific hosting features.

Video conferencing is here to stay. We aren’t going to return to a world that doesn’t have video calls, virtual events and webinars. This is a big part of the new normal for business and personal communication, so it’s essential to adapt. In fact, this could be a NEW FREELANCE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY for you. Being a freelance virtual event manager – a Zoom expert -- is now a real job. Did you know that virtual event producers and planners can be paid anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 dollars per job? You can turn your video meeting skills into extra cash as a side business you can run from the comfort of your own home.

Each lesson is short, easy-to-follow and packed with practical tips for making your next online meeting great. We’ll include audience activities you can use right away, plus actual scripts!

It’s a step-by-step virtual conference playbook.

What you'll learn

  • How to set up and professionally lead great meetings in Zoom
  • How to look and sound your best online without the need for specialized equipment. We have some amazing free tricks and tools for you
  • How to use interactive features, such as Zoom breakout rooms, polling and chat
  • How to make a virtual meeting fun with icebreakers and other online games and activities
  • How to create strong scripts to open and close your meetings that hold your audience’s attention
  • How to communicate with clarity and purpose so you and your audience get things done

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone who hosts or manages online meetings
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Business professionals
  • Executive assistants and administrators
  • Educators
  • Anyone interested in a work-from-home job as a virtual event planner/coordinator


After finishing this course, you’ll be able to set up and lead online meetings efficiently and confidently, so your audience gets great value for their time with you:

  • Get top tips and tricks on how to make the most of Zoom’s features
  • Learn how to deliver your content in a way that keeps your audience engaged
  • Discover hacks to dramatically improve the way you look and sound onscreen – using standard office or home equipment
  • Create professional scripts based on our templates for clear and complete meeting openings and closings

Here’s what participants had to say:

  • “The whole package. Showed how it can and should be done.”
  • “The consideration and thoughtfulness are really visible!”
  • “Super charismatic, informative and the tips are the best added value.”
  • “It‘s worth learning how to host Zoom meetings seamlessly in this time and age!”
  • “Good tips and fun.” 

Meet Your Teacher

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Treena Nairne and Angela Cheung

Turning work from scary to simple


Hello, we are Treena and Angela. Together, we run UPSKILLHQ. We turn your work challenges from scary to simple. And what could be better than that!

We're both corporate escapees (ex-HSBC, Disney, EY, Fremantle) who love learning stuff and then teaching it to others. A student once called us "professional simplifiers" because we always make our courses practical, easy-to-follow with lots of actual examples you can use straightaway.

Thanks for checking out our profile, hope you check out our courses too!

See full profile

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1. Lesson 01: INTRODUCTION: Can you hear me? Oh, you have to give your permission. Go to the toolbar! I can see you! We're looking at double digit growth this year and that's what... Was that the cat?! Hello and a big welcome to "Putting The Boom Into Your Zoom! Our course to help you take your next video meeting to another level. I'm Angela and I'm Treena. We run Zoom meetings and online webinars for multinational clients and we're sharing what we've learned along the way, so we can all get more out of online meetings. The energy that you have is beautiful because it's just very relatable. This course is for people who organize and run online meetings, webinars, virtual gatherings and you want to improve the whole experience for the host and the participants. From looking and sounding better on camera, to increasing audience engagement and participation right from the start, with some great activities and tricks, handling questions and answers smoothly, to managing your whole meeting like a pro behind the scenes so that everything runs seamlessly. Many of our tips apply no matter what video conference software you're using. But some lessons focus on how to make the most of Zoom's specific hosting features. Video conferencing: It's here to stay. We aren't going to return to a world that doesn't have video calls, virtual events, webinars. This is a big part of the new normal for business and personal communication. So it's essential to adapt, not just adapt. This is a new business opportunity. At my company we run virtual meetings about three to four times a week for our clients. And being a freelance virtual event manager, a Zoom expert is now a real job. This is an actual screenshot from a freelance marketplace. You can get paid up to $10,000 per time to be a virtual event producer and planner. That's good money! So why not earn some extra cash from the comfort of your own home as a great side business. Each lesson is short, easy to follow, and packed with practical tips for making your next online meeting great. We'll include audience activities you can use right away, plus actual scripts we've used in the past to open and close our webinars and a preparation checklists so that every detail is covered. Real-world scripts guys! It's a step-by-step virtual conference playbook. If you have any questions or feedback for us, feel free to post them in the discussion. Congratulations for taking the first step to making your video meeting sparkle. So, let's get started. 2. Lesson 02: QUICK START GUIDE TO LOOKING AND SOUNDING GOOD: How to look and sound amazing on Zoom: our Quick Start Guide. First, location, location, location. Just because you can join a Zoom meeting from anywhere, it doesn't mean you should! Choose your space carefully. Find somewhere quiet and not distracting for you. If you're at home, let everyone know you're getting on a call and I put a big sign on my front door asking people not to knock or ring the doorbell. Ensure you have good, reliable internet. For Zoom, the dedicated minimum bandwidth is 20 to 30 megabits per second. You can check your bandwidth on different websites and avoid the risk of spotty wifi by using a land cable like this one. Check your background, make sure there's no potential for distraction or embarrassment. Put your laundry away and don't set up in front of the bathroom door. We have all seen those unexpected cameo appearances. Also it's nice to have a background with a little bit depth if you can. And that means don't sit right up against a wall. We'll get into virtual backgrounds in another lesson. Make sure you can plug in your computer if you need to. I was just on a webinar a couple of weeks ago and a presenter, she was in this panic because she's clearly running out of battery life. She was running around looking for a power cord, trying to talk to us at the same time. Lighting. Now the best lighting is the natural light from a nice large window right in front of your face, which is what we have here. Or if it's at night, you can use a warm soft light. You don't always have to go out and buy one. Look around your house for some nice warm lamps. Just make sure the light is on your face, not behind you or you will get lost in the shadows. And by the way, a little face powder can go a long way to avoid a shiny face, which can make you look uncomfortable and nervous, even if you aren't. Framing. Now prop up your computer so that the camera lens is slightly above eye level. This is where the five finger rule comes in. It's the simplest way to get your framing right - fingers together. Do the above the head salute, adjust your position or your computer until the fingers are just touching the top edge of the camera, you're in the center. and ta-dah, just like that, you've sorted out your framing. Look at the camera lens, not the screen. That way you look like you're making eye contact with your audience, not your computer. And Treena, you taught me the easiest hack for this. Yep, Simply put a sticky note right by the camera lens with a big arrow on it. And we draw a smiley face on there too to remind us both to smile. And for that final touch, you can use the Zoom beauty filter. In Zoom, click on Settings, select video, then tick, touch up my appearance. And now you look beautiful, let's make sure you sound good. Audio quality is more important than video quality, because audiences tend to switch off fast if they can't hear you properly. An external microphone can make a big difference here. New microphone models are being released all the time. So if you want specific recommendations, leave a note in the discussion, or get in touch with us directly. Generally, you want a USB condenser microphone. They range from $35 for a model like this one, to $140 and above, if you're looking for something of higher-quality with more functions. Headphones can help to listen to the participants. We avoid the wireless ones, as in our experience, the batteries tend to die exactly one minute before you need them to. That's it for our quick start guide, we'll explore more advanced tips on lighting, audio and others in lessons to come. Va-va-voom! it's time to Zoom. That is so bad! 3. Lesson 03: VIRTUAL BACKGROUNDS: Virtual backgrounds available on Zoom and many other video conferencing solutions. And that means with some digital magic, you can be in the middle of the forest or outer space, or basking on a beach without ever leaving your house. Generally, we don't use a virtual background, especially when there are two people on camera because the technology can be faulty and bits of you keep disappearing. And we think it's nice for the audience to see your real-world environment. People are just naturally curious and interested in where you work or live. It's humanizing. So when should you use a virtual background, Angela? Well, if your real background is really unsuitable. For example, you live in a complete mess or it's very distracting, or doesn't convey the appropriate tone. or perhaps you just want to have fun like you want a big virtual party. Your background will work better if it's a single solid color. And you should avoid wearing clothes the same color as your background or clothes with busy or shiny patterns, or else Zoom may have trouble digitally separating you. Zoom has its own sets of built-in backgrounds, but you can easily import your own. There are also video filters and some are pretty cute. If you have co-presenters, virtual backgrounds can become a nice branding opportunity or a way to distinguish the speakers from the participants. Just keep it simple. If you're working in a corporate environment, check if there are company approved backgrounds and guidelines for use. And remember, always do a technical check beforehand. 4. Lesson 04: ZOOM KEY MEETING CONTROLS: If you don't have a lot of experience hosting a Zoom meeting, this lesson will show you Zoom's most important functions. When you're the host, which means you're the one who scheduled the meeting, this is what your toolbar looks like at the bottom of the screen. There are some features that only you, the host, will see. Security. As the host, you can lock the meeting once you've started so no one else can join. You can also keep all the participants in a virtual waiting room until you're ready to admit them into the meeting all at once. You can control whether the participants can share their screens, use the chat function and rename themselves. Renaming is a really handy feature. Everyone having the same naming format puts all participants on the same footing. Early on in the meeting, you can explain how to do this. Find your name in the participant list, click more and select rename. Some renaming options you might use are name plus city or office location, helpful for global meetings. Name plus company, name plus department, or first name only. As the host, it's a good idea to include host when you rename so that people can easily identify you. If you're presenting as a team, each person's role can be stated. For example, Treena, tech support and Angela, speaker. Share screen. If you have presentation slides or other documents to show, then open the file on your desktop before the meeting starts. When you're ready, click on share screen and you'll be able to choose from apps that are open on your computer, for example, Powerpoint. Similarly, if you have a video to share, make sure the video is loaded on your desktop, open and ready to go. We don't recommend playing a video from YouTube or other websites just because bandwidth issues might prevent them from playing smoothly. One very, very important extra note here, if you're going to play a video, make sure that the two boxes at the bottom of this window are ticked, share computer sound and optimized screenshare for video clip that ensures your audience will be able to hear the video and that it will have smoother playback. You don't need this when you're not sharing video. Polling - we'll cover this in a separate lesson. So let's look at record. I have automatic recording switched on in my Zoom settings as a default so that I don't have to remember to hit the record button at the start of every meeting. With or without auto records selected as your default, you can start, pause and stop the recording throughout the meeting. If you have a paid account, you can record a Zoom's cloud. If not, it will record to your computer. Breakout rooms. If you've enabled breakout rooms in your settings, you'll see this button. And we're going to get into breakout rooms in great detail in another video. More. At this time, if you have a paid Zoom account, you can enable live streaming in your settings. Once you've launched your meeting, click on More to start live streaming your meeting to Facebook or YouTube. There's a delay between Zoom and these platforms. Zoom upgrades it's features regularly so always check their website for updates. 5. Lesson 05: SETTING UP YOUR FIRST ZOOM MEETING: Like any new tool or somebody else's shower, Zoom can be a little confusing until someone shows you exactly how to use it. For participants getting started is as easy as point-and-click. But for a host, here's what you need to know about meeting setup. Types of Zoom meeting accounts. There are a number of options for large organizations, but we'll focus on the free basic account and the subscription Pro account. The free account gives you unlimited one-on-one meetings, but only 40 minutes if you have three or more participants. The Pro accounts have unlimited meeting times. Both the accounts enable you to have meetings with up to 100 participants. The Pro account has two useful features. One, you can have cloud storage, which means you can record meetings and save them to share and two, you can stream meetings to social media like Facebook Live. Important meeting settings. Before you even schedule a meeting, from the app homepage, click on your profile in the top right corner and select my profile from the drop-down menu. Look at the menu in the left column. Go to personal, then settings. This will make it easy to set up your meetings, but you can still change them for individual meetings. There are many options, but we'll focus here on the ones most hosts will use. Security. Under security settings, you'll have waiting room and meeting passcode options. At this time, all Zoom meetings must enable one of these options for participants to join. Enabling a waiting room means that when they click on the meeting link, participants would go to a virtual waiting room until you admit them into the Live Meeting. As the host, you'll be notified as individuals enter the waiting room and you can check the names and you could admit them one at a time or as a whole group whenever you're ready. This way you can ensure only those who get invited get in, even those who join late, there'll be sent to the waiting room. You can customize your waiting room with the name of your meeting, your logo, and a message like, thanks for joining us today. We will open the meeting at 02:00 PM. If you choose to enable the meeting passcode instead, Zoom will generate a passcode when you schedule a meeting that you can share with the other people that you invite, along with the meeting link. Schedule meetings. Under schedule meetings, you can decide whether you want the host camera on automatically when you join the meeting and whether you want the participants cameras on automatically too. You may prefer to join with the camera off and then turn it on when you're in place and you're ready to go. For participants this depends. Usually we prefer to default to having the participants cameras on because we want to encourage as much participation as possible. And they can still turn off their own cameras in the meeting at anytime. If it's a panel discussion and you want all eyes on the panelists, then you might want to have participants cameras default to off, so everyone only sees the featured speakers on screen. We also recommend, especially for large groups that you select, mute all participants when they join a meeting. The host can then control who can unmute as the meeting progresses. For in meeting basic settings, we recommend you enable most of the features in the meeting section, but there are a few that we don't. Don't use the sound notification when someone joins or leaves, if you think it will interrupt your meeting. Don't use the end of meeting experience feedback survey from Zoom, if you have your own survey or you are not doing one. Don't use disable desktop screen share for users. Don't enable, allow removed participants to rejoin if you remove someone from the meeting, for example, if they're being disruptive, they won't be able to rejoin using the same email address. Don't enable hide participants profile pictures, otherwise you'll only see participants names on screen. We do recommend enabling the meeting interaction functions. So that's chat, screen-sharing, annotation and polling, whiteboards as your default. The chat function can really help generate interaction among the group. Many people prefer to interact this way during large group meetings for different reasons. They don't want to interrupt the speaker. They don't want to unmute themselves because of background noise, or they communicate better in writing. We also think it's really nice to enable private chats between individuals. It enables people to connect, but it doesn't interrupt the flow of the main meeting. Also enable auto saving of chats. So you can have a record of all the questions and comments for follow-up. You should also default to saving whiteboard content and annotations. So you can refer to them after the meeting. For screen-sharing, you can allow all participants to share as a default. If you're usually running team meetings that way, or you can put host only if the audience doesn't need to share. Enable remote control if you often work with other speakers, will need to advance their own slides from your Screenshare. See our lesson on working with multiple speakers. Finally, on this page, make sure that you enable co-hosts. This means that the host will be able to assign another person in a meeting to have access to most of the same functions as the host so they can help manage the meeting. We'll talk about co-hosts in another lesson. Recording. At the top of the settings page, you'll see a second tab for recording settings. If you have a Pro account, you can choose to record locally to your own computer or you can go to the cloud. The benefit of a cloud recording is that it doesn't take up space on your own computer and you can easily share a link with others. You can run out of space after recording a few long meetings though, so make sure you delete them from the cloud to make room. If it's just for my own reference, I usually record to my own computer. If I plan to share it with multiple people, I'll record to the cloud and I'll give people a time limit to review it, say a few weeks. 6. Lesson 06: LAUNCHING A ZOOM MEETING: Launching your first online meeting is pretty simple. You can schedule one in advance, or you can start one immediately to host a new meeting right away, just click on the new meeting button displayed on the app homepage. In the desktop version, click host a meeting, in the meeting window just click on the information button in the top left corner, copy the meeting link and paste it into an email or text to send it to others. What if you want to schedule a meeting for later? In the app click Schedule and on the desktop version, click schedule a meeting in the top right, then select the date and time of your meeting. Zooms scheduling can also be linked to your computer's calendar. So you can generate a calendar invite with the meeting details already there. Just at the email addresses of your guests. But one important warning, if you want to reschedule your meeting, you need to change the details in zoom as well as amend the calendar invite separately. You can use your personal meeting ID, which is unique to your account or have a unique meeting ID automatically generated. Your personal meeting ID is like having a meeting room reserved just for you. One you can use anytime. Just don't use it with people you won't see regularly. Because once someone has the link, they could try to join your zoom at any time, unless you use other security features to keep people out. Launching the meeting is easy. As the host, you can go to the list of your scheduled meetings and select the one you want. Just remember, if you've enabled the waiting room, you need to join first, then admit your participants. If you've enabled the meeting passcode, your participants can join when they want. So don't be late. We almost always use the waiting room and before we start, we do one final check that we're all ready to go before we admit everyone in. So hang on. Take a glance at your mic and camera icons first to make sure they're on. And one of the first things we do at the start of any webinar is ask the audience to either put their thumbs up to the camera or put 'yes', in the chat box if they can see and hear us. And that's scheduling and starting your online meeting, You can download a complete pre-meeting checklists in a later lesson. 7. Lesson 07: PRESENTATION SKILLS FOR VIRTUAL MEETINGS: Are you ready to begin? The scary moment, the moment of truth when the webinar starts. Presenting in a virtual environment is different from being in person. It's easier for the audience to get distracted. And sometimes they didn't feel as connected to the group. But the environment can also be an advantage. You can make a virtual webinar experience even better than an in-person one. Yeah, you can, with a few tricks you can create a MORE intimate atmosphere and build that connection. Angela, I remember you telling me you got to be on a webinar with one of your favorite authors and you thought it was better than seeing them in person? Yeah, it was really cool. He had a free webinar and during the question and answer session, you can put up your hand and he would unmute you. And there he was! You could have a helpful one-to-one chat with an all-time hero. And we were positioned side-by-side on the screen as equals. And I thought, wow, if this was a real event, I would never put my hand up and ask questions. And right then then I felt like I had the best seat in the house. Well, I hope you got a screenshot of that! But that's the power of virtual gatherings right there. Here are the key differences between presenting in person versus an online meeting. Eye contact. Online, you can't connect with people by looking them in the eye. Now you need to look into your camera lens when you speak in order for your audience to feel like you're making eye contact. So we try memorise our webinar opening at least wherever possible. And if we do have notes, we put them either on a giant monitor just behind the camera lens or we'll have an Ipad stand with some very brief words that you can just 'get' in a glance so that we can look into camera as much as possible. Body language. Now body language becomes more about your voice and your face. You have to work so much harder in many ways. You have to show that you're listening by nodding. And a simple smile can be so powerful here. Gestures needs to be visible on screen. So make sure you don't waving your hands off camera. For me, the most disconcerting thing about presenting virtually is the lack of audience, feedback, and atmosphere in the room. Sometimes I'm talking and I'm thinking, can they even hear me? So you should check in more often and be more deliberate with your interactions. Thumbs up if you can hear me. Nod if that makes sense or write, 'agree' or 'disagree' in the chat. Speaking: You might have to speak more slowly because there's often an audio lag. Wait a couple of seconds when transitioning between speakers, make sure one person has finished before the next speaker starts. Visuals. Your audience may have different screen sizes and resolutions on their computers. So if you are using slides or videos, try and make them simpler and clearer. And it's important to keep a margin of safety around your slides because of the floating Gallery View. Don't pack important texts too close to the edges in case they're covered. And also keep the file size quite small. if your internet can be a bit laggy. For example, when I'm hosting meetings in places where the internet quality is really poor I try and avoid slides altogether. If I do have to use something, I find that PowerPoint generally works most better than keynotes and even PDF. And I'll strip the slides down to basics. I remove transitions, gifs, animations, videos. I just keep the file size as small and simple as possible. Final tip, generally keep your webinar shorter than an in-person session and consider having more breaks such as body shakeout sessions and Treena, when you're moderating long, long virtual training sessions, you've no problem having lots of breaks. Yeah, I'm not afraid to say, "OK, well congratulations, everybody, clap your hands for work well done so far. I think everybody's entitled to take a quick break. So if you just wanna go away, get a glass of water, shake everything out. And we'll come back here at 10:"45. And then I'll post a note in the Chat with the restart time too. 8. Lesson 08: MANAGING MULTIPLE SPEAKERS ONLINE: Some top tips for you and working with multiple speakers. Of course, if you're not sitting in the same room, you need to ensure you can coordinate transitions and slide smoothly. When I'm hosting, one thing I usually ask of speakers is give me your slides, it's easier if you can merge F1 slides into one master deck if you can, so that you are not using up time changing and changing sharing screens. We know that some speakers like to control their own slides. In that case, you can give them remote control. They can click inside the Screenshare window, then advance their slides in your deck. Click stop share when you want to take control back. When speakers are switching frequently between each other, We put their initial in the corner of the slides, See that a in the corner. That stands for me, Angela. And then when we have t, That's Treena it's the simplest way to know whose turn it is to speak. I love the sneaky tip, Angela. And FF for us means full frame. This is when we turn off the slides. We do try to escape from slides where we can. It's nice from time to time to show the speaker's full frame and not always in a little tiny box. Also, if you have three or more participants, there's other useful tools open to you. You can tell your participants to switch to active speaker view. That means Zoom will automatically switch to the person who's speaking and put them in the large video window. Or if you want to feature more than one speaker, go to the gallery view, which lets you see thumbnail displays of all the participants. Then drag and drop the screens into whatever order you want. Go to View and select Follow Host's Video Order. Everyone will have the same view. You can spotlight a speaker, which means that you can feature one specific speaker throughout. And one last tip for us when it comes to using multiple speakers, use the rename function to their name, dash, guest speaker, and wait. one more bonus tip. It's nice to give all the speakers the same virtual background to have them stand out from the audience. 9. Lesson 09: AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT "F.U.N." TIPS: You know that National Geographic, they recently reported this thing called Zoom fatigue, and that's the energy drain that people experience because they have to give extra sustained focus to that camera lens, and they've got this gallery of screens in front of them. I totally get it. I've learned for myself, I actually have to build in recovery time after an online meeting. What this means for you as the host is that you need different tactics to make it as easy as possible for your audience to keep their focus in the meeting and their energy levels up. Make your meeting F U N - fun. F stands for feedback. Feedback from your audience should be encouraged and rewarded, gave a small prize for the first person to respond to a question or who volunteers for an activity. I need volunteer who is going to demonstrate charades for us. Elina, fantastic. Alright. Elina you get a coffee coupon too. Not only will that break the ice for others to participate, but the prize would give everyone else an incentive to try to be the first next time. We like giving out coffee gift certificates - they're small, they're cheap, they're easy to send and we put in a personal thank-you note as well. U is for understanding. Check early and often for your audience's understanding. If you're giving instructions, ask them to give you a thumbs up in the camera to confirm they heard you and know what to do. Let them ask questions if they don't using their mic or the chat. This is Angela, I'm Treena. If you can hear us, just give us a big thumbs up in your camera. And the other thing we use, this hashtag tip, we get the audience to post hashtag tip and an interesting tip that they've picked up from what we've said. We give prizes for the first tips and for the best tips and for us it's a really good way to get some insight to what the audience wants and needs, we can make adjustments in real time, and it also means they concentrate just that little bit more. N means not just business. Don't pack your agenda with business from start to finish. Make time for interactive games, stretching or jumping jacks, coffee breaks. Give them some free discussion about weekend plans, you might even give people permission to turn their cameras off for a few minutes of reflection or thinking before returning to the group discussion. We'll talk more about games and polls in another video. Yeah, we have some fantastic ideas on games and other activities to make your Zoom meetings, fun. So check out all of the videos. 10. Lesson 10: NO-PREP ICEBREAKERS: I love that you volunteered without even asking what it was for. You don't even know! I just asked for two volunteers. Icebreakers are games usually used at the start of a meeting to create a comfortable space where people feel connected to the group and ready to work together. Many of you will remember them from primary school, children's birthday parties, maybe even your last team off-site. There are a few great icebreakers for online meetings that you might want to try at the start of your next meeting. Best background. Encourage everyone to turn on their cameras and look at each other with a best background competition. As the host, you might pick on a few people who look like they are working somewhere interesting, like a funky coffee shop or lush garden at home and ask them to tell the group a little bit about where they are. Ollie, I want to know about that picture behind you. So this is the inauguration of the Concorde. If your participants are using virtual backgrounds, you can have a best virtual background competition. Give everyone one minute to upload a background from Zoom or from their own camera roll. You can even invite participants to post in the chat whose background they vote for, and don't forget a small prize. Workspace scavenger hunt. Alright, now we're gonna play scavenger hunt. We're gonna give you one minute to look around your workspace and bring back something that you got on a holiday that is meaningful to you. So your one minute starts now. Give people one minute to grab a series of items from their workspace and show them in the camera. For example, find something red, find something sharp, something digital, something alive, like a pet or a plant or the spider that lives under the desk. Your items could align to your meeting topic. For example, if you're talking about work-life balance, you could ask everyone to pick one item from their workspace that's related to their life outside work and show it to the camera. It could be anything from a family photo to a bobble head of their favorite TV character, to the dog. For any of these activities, you could ask a few people to talk about their items with the whole group or if the group is really large, you could send people into breakout rooms to share in small groups. If you use the breakout rooms, try and keep the rooms to no more than five people and give them at least one minute per person so they can introduce themselves as needed as well as talk about their items. So Sandra, very briefly, explain what you brought to the camera. This is one of those snowballs that we collect and this one is from Hong Kong, from our very first trip to Hong Kong where I live. Question of the day. The chat is another unique space for online icebreakers. Everyone can participate at the same time no matter how large your group is. So try opening a meeting with a light and easy question of the day. You'll see that we've posted a question in the chat. Why don't you share with us one good thing that has come out of the last year for you. We often ask an open-ended question in the chat when we first open up our meeting to get people warmed up and to get them used to using the chat function. Here's a few examples. What's one good thing to come out of this year for you? What's your best stress release tip. What are you looking forward to most this weekend or this season? What's the weather like where you are? This is really good for international meetings. For more structured icebreaker games. Check out our other video on icebreakers. 11. Lesson 11: LOW-PREP ICEBREAKERS: Here are some great games to help you and you're meeting participants get to know each other. They only need a few minutes of PrEP from the host in advance. Would you rather easy to do and super effective at setting a positive tone for your meeting. You all ask a series of questions with two options for answers. You audience can choose option one by holding up one finger to that camera, or option two, by holding up two fingers, would you rather have more money or to have more time? Splits? Splits. So you went to would you rather time travel to the past or time travel to the future? For obviously thinking about that, everybody wants to go to the past, interesting. And that's what I usually say. Bonding, why would you time travel to the past? You are screwing up our future. We like this game because it encourages people to open their cameras early in the meeting. It also makes people look at each other because they want to see how others are answering. Start with easy questions. You can always save tougher questions for later. That way you can build up a quick pace and get people energized from the stop. You can insert one or two. Would you rather questions that are strongly connected with your meetings topic? Keep up an energetic pace, but feel free to comment a little bit of the responses. You can say, Sam is the only one who dares to time travel to the future. What do you think that is? Some quick fire quiz. We like using a high-energy quick fire quiz at the start of the meeting to introduce a few people to the group. You might use it to introduce a guest speaker or group of Palace, for example. Three words, what's your current state of mind? Robbing, intrigued, eager, and attentive, Cool, all tired and hungry. And not everybody can directly participate at once, but they will have fun watching others under a bit of fun pressure. It said funny, once people see someone else to acquit font quiz, they kind of all won in. They always ask me, can I start with super easy questions to get some pace and energy up at the start, then you can progress to more challenging questions. Romantic or practical body? Romantic. Practical. Is your wife nearby? Skip if people struggling to answer. Oh, you can all see yourself first to give them a bit more time. Make the questions positive, give a chance for them to show off and feel a sense of pride. Like, what was your greatest childhood accomplishments? If you're asking for two or three volunteers, make sure you can reward them with a small prize that encourages everyone to participate throughout the rest of the meeting. The point of this game is actually to challenge US specifically in a virtual environment. Pass the pen. The challenge to this game is in the fact it's online. You can use it as a team builder for a small group meeting, say four to six participants. To break larger groups into small teams to work together in zoom breakout rooms. So the idea is that you need to make it look as though you are passing the pan to somebody and that someone else is then taking the pen from you before they pass it on to the next person. So there aren't a lot of rules because figuring out how to do this is actually part of the activity. So what you actually do is in the room, you've got all these people on screen. And the challenges that they've got to be able to virtually pass a pen around the group. So they need to look like someone's actually handing over one pin to the next person. So how it hold up the pen, you say somebody's name, that person has to look like they're taking that pen from you than they say somebody else's name. They pass it towards the camera and the next person takes it back. They get four rounds to do this. Before the first round, they'll make an estimate of how many passes that they can do around the group in one minute. When they've actually done it. They can see how they could do it better. And they try again. If you give everybody about ten minutes, that gives him about four rounds to try and improve their score. You'll one minute stops. 321 now, Sandra, russia. Sandra Lee. Alina. If you're sending the group into small teams and breakout rooms, we recommend having a facilitator in each breakout room to ensure the teens clear on the instructions and that they stay on track. Dock with the time. So how did you do? After the first one minute round, the team discusses how to improve and they estimate the number of rounds that they can achieve. In the next one. We're going to give you one minute now to have a bit of a discussion. You're going to get a chance now to reflect on how things went in round one, what you could do differently in round two, and how you might get the number of rounds up. Typically in ten minutes, the teams can have four tries, trying to improve their score. The time pressure and specific goal of the activity makes this game of fun and efficient way for people to get to know each other's names and work together. They plan, predict, reflect, and communicate. Alright, so this game is called impossible. Paas, the word. So in this one you have an imaginary ball, you throw out, say someone's name, and they have to come up with an associated words. So this is a really good way to get people to know people's names and to connect and looked down the lens. I'm going to sandwich. And then someone's name, I'm going to throw the ball, you catch it, you say an associated work, and then someone's name, and you throw the ball again and on it goes. It's a good idea to rehearse the game with two or three volunteers before the meeting. So you can give a quick demonstration before you deal with the whole group. He's happy. Alina, keep the theme symbols such as animals or whether all food be mindful. The additional challenge this game might pose to people who are non-native speakers or to a group of strangers who are meeting for the first time. Drawing. It's refreshing to do an activity that challenges us to communicate without words. In advance of the meeting, ask your participants to bring a marker pen and some blank paper. I'm going to give you a word and I'd like you to actually draw what comes to mind. Joint activities could be dual, fly things around you in two minutes. Draw your current state of mind. That's very abstract. Okay, when you're ready, Join a folded up to the camera. Let's see what you've done. Artists. So I am so glad that I am the one giving the directions and not doing the drawing. Fantastic sound or Joanna, Tell us a little bit about what you drew. Try at least games and see how they work for you. 12. Lesson 12: INTRODUCING YOUR MEETING TOPIC: GREAT INTERACTIVE ACTIVITIES: We've got a number of other really fun activities. These have a slightly more educational spin to them. Where in the world. You might remember this from primary school. In this case, the host shows a close-up picture or an object to the group in the camera and people try to guess what it is. I'm going to show you part of an image and I wanna see if you can figure out what it actually is. Slowly pull the photo or object back from the camera until they get it. The more they see, the easier it gets. The picture could be tied to a topic. For example, it could be a talk on time management and then you might show a kitchen timer. Or for a workshop on climate change, you might show a photo of the polar ice shelf. Use your imagination. I thought it was either the eye that you would find in a butterfly wing or also it could be, you know, part of the owl. Test your photo or object in the Zoom meeting in advance to see how clearly it shows up with your camera. If you find it's too blurry, you could create a series of three to five slides with the image gradually zoomed out. If it's a small group, you might have people use their mics or you could use the chat for people to guess. Isn't it gorgeous, this is an emperor moth. Sandra you might know that this is the only type of moth of this kind in the UK. And don't you love his antennas, which are unique. Butterflies don't have antennas like this. The first person with the correct answer is the winner and reward them. And then you could explain the significance of the photo or the object. I'm going to ask you to pull those phones out and if you can go to menti.com, that's MENTI.com. Word Cloud. Another way to introduce your topic is to get your audience thinking about what they already know or think about the topic. Get everyone to input into a word cloud. A word cloud is a graphic cluster of words produced from group input, usually through an app. The bigger and bolder a word appears, the more often it's been mentioned by the group. You might have seen this used at live conferences. At this time Zoom doesn't have a word cloud functionality, but you can use something like mentimeter.com. There's a free account, so let's see how it works. OK thumbs up if you can see the screen, you can see a black slide and you'll see a code up at the top. If you can key in that code. Code 3141928, you don't have to put the spaces in. Participants then use their own computers as mobiles to input a six number code and input their answers. As the group's answers are collected, the word cloud shifts and changes. It makes it dynamic and creates a little suspense for the group. You can see how the word cloud is evolving as people's answers are coming up. And when the voting is closed, you then have an interesting snapshot of people's knowledge and attitudes to the topic. And you can even do a word cloud again at the end of the session to see if it changed. I was on a webinar yesterday where we had 300 people and what the presenter was doing was asking everybody just to put their answers in the chat, and then he was trying to review them all as they were all scrolling by at super fast rate and comment on them. And that can be really difficult to give people a sense of the overall picture. Using something like Word Cloud can really make it a lot easier for you to get an overall picture of the sentiments within your audience. And you can see what's kind of nice about this is as people are answering those responses, it's evolving, it's changing, it's something little bit dynamic onscreen. What's missing? Another golden oldie you might remember from your childhood. In this case, the host shows the group a tray of objects in the camera. Give them one minute to look at it. Then close your camera, take one item away, and when you reopen your camera, ask participants to guess which item is missing. I'm going to show you a tray of items. I'm going to give you a minute to take a look at them. And I'm going to take it away and remove one item. Objects can be themed for your meeting. For example, you could ask participants to guess the common theme among all the objects. They could be all made of plastic, or maybe they were all replaceable with a phone app. Or you could ask them to guess why we removed a particular item. It's actually because there is no recycling program available in Hong Kong for this type of plastic, which is a very, very specific thing. Whatever the activity, it's not about the right answer. It's all about the fun. 13. Lesson 13: VIRTUAL MEETING ENERGIZERS: Sometimes the most productive thing you can do in an online meeting is to stop business and give everyone's brain a break. Don't be afraid to mix in a few party games to get people moving. Simon says - an all-time classic. Simon says touch your head. Simon says touch your nose, Simon says, touch your ear. Touch your mouth. Action chain. Here's another one that will get people looking at each other. As the host you show the group a simple action, say a shoulder shrug, and everyone copies. Then you call the name of the next person to add another action to do at the same time, say a head tilt. When people are doing both actions then the second person calls on a third person to add another action and so on. Two shoulders, alright, Resham do you wanna pick someone else to add another action. Sandra. This is a good workout. Charades. If the meeting participants know each other pretty well, you can play charades. You might even reach out to one confident individual before the meeting and ask if they can be prepared to go first as the demo. When you play, you can private message the individual in the chat to tell them what to act out or give everyone a theme and let them choose what to do. But depending on the theme, it might be hard for some people to come up with something under pressure in a meeting. One tip always ask the actor to move back from the camera so you can see most of their body before they start. Have you got one? Act it out. All right. Elephant? Rock, paper, scissors. This is classic and quick. It's known around the world and it's just a fun way to choose people for activities throughout your meeting. 123. Paper wraps rock, right? Remember, scissors cuts paper, paper wraps rock, rock breaks scissors. But can't rock break paper, Can't paper wrap scissors? Come on! It doesn't work that way. Why not? 14. Lesson 14: ZOOM POLLS: And we're going to launch a poll just to get people warmed up. When you're hosting a virtual meeting, perhaps the fourth or the fifth one the audience is joining that day, you've got to take some creative measures to grab your group's focus. Don't be afraid to use the poll. A poll or two can be used anytime during your meeting from using it as an opening icebreaker to connect with the group, as a quick research tool to better understand your audience, as a fun energiser, or even as a formal self-assessment tool for people to check their own learning. Zoom polls have two basic options. Single choice questions, which means participants can only select one answer to your question. or multiple choice questions where participants can choose more than one answer. Zoom will collect the names of respondents if you like, or you can keep it anonymous. You can download a report of the poll results after the meeting if you want. Don't worry, setting up a poll is easy, Go to your Zoom profile page and make sure you've enabled polling in your settings. Once you've scheduled a meeting, go to your profile page to set up the poll in advance. Go to personal, then meetings. Click on the meeting you want to use the polls in and the meeting information page will open. Scroll down to the very bottom and you'll see a section called poll, click Add. Then a window will open where you can add the poll title. The title is just a quick reference for you, the host, you will have a choice to make it anonymous and I almost always click anonymous so you don't know who answered what. And then I make it clear to the participants, look, this is an anonymous poll. I don't know who answered specifically and it makes them feel that they can be more honest in their answers. After that step, you'll then be able to create your question and choose whether you want it to be single or multiple choice. And finally, you can input your answer options. We recommend no more than five, otherwise it's just too overwhelming. And always try make one option other because you'll always get that participant that says, none of these answers fit me. Each poll can contain as many questions as you like, and you can have as many polls as you like during the meeting. But in our experience, having one or two polls and a 90 minute meeting can be a nice match the mix of interactive activities. You should be able to see a poll on the screen. It is anonymous, so please be honest. You really like polls don't you. I do, because I find that it's a really nice way to give people a sense of the group view on a topic. And people are curious on how they compare to everybody else. Yeah, and I like what I've seen you do in training webinars, especially at the beginning, you do a poll to see how much they know in terms of knowledge and awareness. And then afterwards you check back and you can really see a difference in the answers and that's been really affective. Yeah, it's great because people get that sense of satisfaction. 15. Lesson 15: RUN A BIG ZOOM MEETING WITH A VIRTUAL BUDDY: Hosting a meeting is a big job. Not only do you have to organize the meeting, you have to make sure it all runs smoothly and on time. And often you're also a speaker. For bigger interactive meetings, we really recommend you enlist a buddy to help with the behind the scenes tasks. The buddy doesn't have to be in the same room. You, Treena, I know you often work with a buddy in Singapore don't you? I do. If I'm running a meeting with people joining from different places, my buddy could be anywhere. We use a WhatsApp group during the meeting if we need to connect urgently without disrupting the main meeting, you can set up private group chats in zoom, but we get nervous about doing that in case we accidentally send a message to everybody. Your buddy is acting as the stage manager so you can focus solely on hosting. They should always be on a separate computer, and they should always have a full set of all the materials. It's really important to assign your buddies the co-host at the start of the meeting. So they have the same functions as the host. They can run the slides, the polls, and they can open and close breakout rooms. But co-host can't open or end meetings, the host has to do that. But one of the most helpful things a buddy can do for the host is manage and monitor the tech. Right, they can record the session and they can do a backup recording if they have to. The buddy also monitors the chat room so they can check for questions and comments. They could admit latecomers from the waiting room and they could provide help or advice to individuals with tech issues all while the host keeps the meeting moving, the buddy also keeps an eye on timings. I might ask them to WhatsApp me if we start falling behind, so I can adjust as I go. And they can also take notes and we use Google Docs for that so that everyone can share the notes together. Another really important thing I get the buddy to do is monitor any questions that might come up through the meeting that we are using in the Q and A section at the end. So all the way through the chat that's going by they're quickly cutting and pasting all the good questions together and putting it together either in the Google Docs or they can whatsapp it. And then when it gets the Q and A section, they put it all together again for me in the chat or in WhatsApp. In fact, we also worked with our buddy to come up with a few questions in advance, just in case the Q and A is little bit slower and awkward and you don't want that endless silence in the beginning, so our buddy has a few questions hidden up their sleeve to kick things off. I mean, if you get a really good buddy, their not just cutting and pasting the questions for you for the end section, they're also grouping them together in a smart way and thinking about the flow. So some of the questions could be early in your career and all related to that. And then a really good buddy, I always try and get them to flag a really great ending question that you can end the whole meeting on a high. So they could be looking for a question that'll be say something like in one sentence could each of the panelists go along and say what the perfect cryptocurrency world would look like in five years time. And then everything's on a high you see. So are we expecting that they are actually looking for that question or that they've actually prompt a question like that. Both, a great buddy will have both taken care of for you. That's great. If there's a tech failure for the host, a co-host can also step in to keep the meeting on track or by emailing participants and new link if needed. As the saying goes, plan for the worst and hope for the best. 16. Lesson 16: BREAKOUT ROOMS: As the meeting planner and host, you need to find ways to put your audience at the center of the action from time to time. And Zoom boasts a great feature for doing so, the breakout rooms. So what we're gonna do next is we are going to put you into breakout rooms. As the host, you can place participants into groups and send them into separate breakout rooms, up to 50 in one meeting, where they can talk and work together. You can easily organize and assign the groups, send them to their separate breakout rooms, then pull them back into the main meeting when you like. Breakout rooms, they're like separate virtual meeting spaces. In breakout rooms, people can talk, they can use the whiteboard and share screens without anyone outside of the room seeing or hearing them. As the host, you can move from one breakout room to the next and check in on groups as you need. You can also post messages that will be sent to all groups while they're in their breakout rooms. A super handy feature if you have to give them instructions or reminders and when you're ready for everyone to return back to the main meeting, you can set a 60 second warning to wrap up before everyone is sent back to the main room. The 60 second warning can sometimes confuse people. They don't know, should I return to the room right now or should I wait 60 seconds? So yes, the host, you should be clear of your instructions. So you can say something like, when you see the 60 second warning, wrap up your discussion and then Zoom will automatically bring you back when the clock runs out. So how do you assign participants into breakout rooms? Zoom enables you to either select your own breakout room groups or it can automatically split up the group into as many groups as you want. For the automatic sort, when you click on breakout rooms in the toolbar, first you select the number of rooms you want, and then you select automatically. You'll see a list of who's going where. If you want to make any changes, you can pick, move to and shift someone from one room to another, or exchange to swap people around. When you're happy with the arrangement, you just click create breakout rooms and you've done. By the way, your participants will not see those boxes on their screens while you're doing this. If you select manually, a list of participant names will appear. Click on each name, then click on which room you want to put them in. Note, this list will only include people who were already in the meeting. Another option is to preset your groups before the meeting begins. So once you've scheduled your meeting, you simply go to your profile, click meetings and then you select the meeting that you're working on. You got to edit meeting at the bottom. There will be a number of meeting options, but for now, just find breakout room pre-assign, and tick that box. Once you've done that, there are two ways to set your groups. You can click on create rooms, then input the emails of your participants into each room. This only works if each person has a Zoom account with that email address. When you're done, save the list, then save the changes to your meeting. If you have a large group, it's probably faster to upload a CSV file that has all the email addresses and breakout room numbers on it. Again, you'll participants need to be Zoom account holders. You can download a template from this page, fill it in and then upload the complete file. When you're in the live meeting, you can go to breakout rooms to see the list of assigned participants by room. How to handle strays. Sometimes there'll be people left in the main meeting room after you open the breakout rooms. This may be because they've joined the meeting with a different email than you expected or because they joined late. Just go back to the breakout rooms, find their name and assign them to the right room. Tips for breakouts. Beyond assigning people to rooms, think about how you ensure people stay on track and on task during these breakout activities. For example, it can be difficult to get participants to get going when they don't know each other. And if the instructions aren't super clear, the group may not know what to do. It's really helpful to assign a facilitator to each room. Brief facilitators in advance so they understand the activity, the amount of time the group has, and the outcome you want. The facilitator can deliver instructions, take notes, and ensure everyone's taking part. If participants do not know each other, build in a few minutes in the beginning for them to introduce themselves. You might even consider making the team introductions an early break-out activity that stands out on its own, then they'll be more comfortable when they go back into their breakout rooms for other activities. For that reason, it's a good idea to keep the same breakout room groups throughout your meeting, unless you have a very specific reason to change them. Let the group build on the relationships and their teams, try and keep the groups small, groups of five or less are pretty much optimal for a discussion. Don't give teams too much time to complete an activity. A little bit of time pressure will help them stay on task. Too much time could leave them with some awkward silences and uncertainty about what to do. So start by giving them a tight deadline, then check in on their progress and give them a few more minutes if the majority need it. On that note, we recommend checking in with each room after the first couple of minutes just to see if they have any questions and to make sure that they know what there's supposed to be doing. If they bring up something important, you can pass a message to all the groups to share that information quickly. Finally, include a list of team roles that groups must assign before they go into the breakout rooms. These roles might include a discussion leader, someone who makes sure everyone in the group has an opportunity to speak and that the key issues get covered in the allotted time. They can move the group from one agenda item or task to the next. They can cut off anyone who interrupts another speaker or strays off topic, and they can set up key points to ensure understanding. This is a good role for someone who is sometimes more shy or less comfortable spontaneously speaking up and discussions. You can also set a timekeeper. So they've got to set the appropriate timelines for each task. They can give a one or two minute warning before we wrap up and then three minutes before the end of the discussion, they can be the ones to summarize the key points and they can form the next steps. A note-taker can fill in worksheets for the group or informally capture the key ideas in the group and clarify or summarize the key points at the end of the discussion. This can be a great role for someone who usually dominates discussion and needs more experience listening. And you can get a presenter. They present the groups outputs to the larger meeting. And this is a great role for a good listener who requires more experience with presenting. 17. Lesson 17: LIGHTING FOR VIDEO CALLS: All right guys so I've been in TV production a long-time, so when this virtual meeting thing became a thing, friends would come to me looking for tips all the time on how to look good on Zoom, and one of the questions they always ask me is, shall I buy a ring light because I've noticed that Kim Kardashian has one. That's the wrong first question, people. First, you need to understand the basic principles of lighting. Once you understand the basic principles, then perhaps you can work with what you already have around you. So the basic principles of lighting are position, intensity, color, and then bounce, diffuse, flag. Are these the new seven dwarves? Seriously? Now, position, intensity and color. The reason why it's hard to look good on Zoom when you're in an office, is that many offices have those big fluorescent lights. The position is overhead and that's not very flattering for many, many reasons. One, it casts the bottom half of your face in shadow, so that can show your eye bags, it can create a double chin, and because those lights tend to be quite intense, quite bright, if you've got a high forehead, there's often a big glare or what we call hotspot right where you don't want it. Also the color, which is the color temperature of these lights. They're a cool color, which is what we call it, which is a bluish color, and that generally doesn't compliment your skin tone. That's why in the day time, you're always looking for a nice bright window aren't you? Yeah, I love a bright window. What's wrong with that? It's sun. That's free. It's flattering. Don't know what more you can ask for. So you want to position yourself so the window is in front of you. If it's a little too bright, you can either move further back or here is where the other lighting principles come into play. Bounce, diffuse and flag. Bounce is where you reflect the light of something reflective or something white like a white piece of paper or card. So if you look at the lower half of my face, do you see the difference when I bounce some light onto my chin? You need to play around with the lights and the reflection until it looks just right. Then you use a prop and some tape to stick the white card or paper in place. Diffuse, this is when you soften a light by putting something in front of it, You can use a pillowcase or a white sheet or a thin cloth. I find those tissues you get when you buy shoes work really, really well. And if you're going to put them against the light, just be safe, keep a distance if you've got a lamp that heats up a lot. Flagging. Flagging simply means you block some of the light. You see how it's a little hot or bright on this side of my face, I just block off some of the light to even things out. Just like that. And what about in the evening? Exactly the same lighting principles come to play in the evening too. So position, intensity and color. Now Treena I know you use a ring light at night and because I wear glasses and my apartments quite small, I can't move the ring light too far back and I often get this ring light reflection in my glasses so I tend to either use a warm lamp that I already have in my house or I actually use a square light because you notice a reflection less. And then for that final little bit of detail, I might add another light to shine on the background just to give a little bit more depth. You see the difference. The reason why I think it's so important to understand the basic principles of lighting rather than just rushing out and go buying some kit, is that you can't always carry a light with you and you don't always have the perfect location. Sometimes you're forced to set up in an assigned conference room and you have to work with what you have, and very often you'll set up and you know the light doesn't quite work, but you don't know how to fix it unless you know these basic principles. So once you understand these things, bounce, diffuse, flag, you can figure out how to make improvements and change the position or use things around you to make the lighting better. Wow, I've learned a lot. I had no idea. Yeah. You know most of our training, we're all about making you understand the basic principles if you can, and then you can build on from that. There's no point me just saying buy a light and stick it there, its really about understanding what the light is doing for you and then how you can manipulate that light. Absolutely. 18. Lesson 18: BETTER VIDEO QUALITY USING YOUR PHONE OR CAMERA: Presenting two ways to improve your video quality, starting with the free way. Number one, turn your phone into a webcam. There's a few apps available for doing this, and most of them work in the same way, and most of them have a free version. You download the app to your phone, and you also download a piece of software to your computer. You have to make sure both your computer and your phone are using the same wifi. When you're ready to webcast, you click open the software in your computer and voila just like that, you've upgraded your video quality for free. Wow, look at that difference. A couple of extra notes, I will put my phone on a selfie stick, so it's nice and stable. And also I will put a post-it where I'm supposed to look otherwise I'll keep looking at the computer lens by mistake. Number two, you can turn your normal camera into a web camera. So if you already own a camera, you can turn it into a web camera quite easily. Many of them modern cameras like this mirrorless Canon camera, they have a web cam software that you can download. Then you need to buy a cable to hook it up to your computer. For this camera, it's a USB to micro USB cable. For other cameras, it might be an HDMI to USB cable. If you find there's no software available, there's different hardware options you can buy too, like this, cam link. Wow, that is Hollywood style virtual glamour. I know right! A couple of more tips. If you going to use an external camera, you probably need a stand. I use a small flexible tripod like this one, and you don't want to run out of battery life during those longer meetings so I invested in a dummy battery which allows me to plug my camera into a power supply. These are both great. I can use my phone, but I also have a camera lying around that doesn't get used enough. So it's nice to be able to repurpose it. I think if you put together all the tips that we've said: Good lighting, framing, upgrading the camera with something you might have lying around like your phone. I think altogether you really end up looking noticeably different and you can stand out from the rest of the crowd in that gallery. 19. Lesson 19: BETTER QUALITY AUDIO FOR VIDEO CALLS: Now generally, we've been showing you how to improve your Zoom meetings without having to invest in new equipment. But as we've mentioned, we do think an external microphone is a very worthwhile investment. Just that alone will improve your audio quality immensely. But this video will take you through a few more easy tweaks you can make. Do an audio test first and listen back through headphones to check the audio quality. Check for volume, any room noise such as hums or buzzes, if your voice sounds echoey or if it sounds over processed and unnatural. If the volume is too low the first easy way to fix it is to either speak louder or move your microphone closer. We like to put our mics up on a pile of books to get it closer to our mouths. And also putting your mic on a makeshift stand like this, It further dampens the sound. The books can absorb any additional sound, and if you accidentally pull out the cable or if you accidentally spill your drink, your mic is a little bit more protected. This is just using the computer microphone. Haven't plugged anything in at all, lets see how it sounds. I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er hills and vales. I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils. If you're in a noisy or echoey room, you can try and dampen the sound by placing a thick blanket on the floor or table around you. And I've even dragged out my clothes rail to help absorb some sound before, just make sure you can't see it in the camera lens. The next thing to do is to adjust your Zoom audio settings. If you go to settings and then Audio, Zoom is usually set to automatically adjust microphone volume and also auto for suppress background noise. Zoom digitally compresses your voice a lot when it's on auto mode. So turn the auto setting off for volume and switch to low for the background noise setting. That means your voice won't be as heavily compressed. So this is my voice with suppressed background noise set to auto. And then this is my voice with suppressed background noise set to low. Can you hear the difference? It compresses it less. So there you have it. Just a few audio tweaks to level up your audio quality. 20. Lesson 20: OPENING YOUR ZOOM MEETING: No matter how formal or informal your meeting will be, getting your opening right, will make sure you cover the key information your audience needs. A great start might include welcome, self-introduction, and introduction to any of the speakers or special guests. An exciting intro to the topic, remind people why they're here and what's in it for them. Housekeeping. For example, mention if you're recording and how the recording will be used. Is it for the organizers reference only, or is it for sharing with the group later, some tech tips such as how to mute and unmute and what to do if they have technical issues during the meeting. Rules of engagement, such as if you want mics and cameras on or off, when and how people can ask questions or make comments throughout the meeting. And if there'll be a break. Interactive activity like an icebreaker, checkout our videos for more ideas on this, and a transition to learning. We like to take a moment to ask people to put their phones aside, shut the door, and clear their minds before we dive into the core content. A start like this might take three to ten minutes. So any late joiners, and there are always late joiners, they won't miss the critical core content. We're making it even one step easier. We're sharing one of our actual opening scripts for you to use as a template that you can adapt as you need. 21. Lesson 21: CLOSING YOUR ZOOM MEETING: Like a great movie your meeting should have an ending that leaves your audience feeling satisfied. They got what they wanted out of your meeting, what you promised you said you would do at the start and that they know what to do next. For an operational meeting, a good ending should include a wrap-up of the key takeaways or actions, confirmation of next steps, will the minutes be recorded or circulated and when will the group meet again. A final Q and A, and a thank you. If your meeting's more learning focus, like in a workshop or a panel discussion, your ending could include a wrap up of the key takeaways and actions, congratulations to the audience, announcements of any prizes from your activities, upcoming webinars and reviews or testimonials for these, your contact details and those of your speakers and if you're selling something and ask for the sale, we've included an actual script from one of our closings for you to use as a template. Here's a hashtag tip for you. End on time, nothing frustrates people more than a meeting that goes over time. We always plan to finish at the scheduled time or even a little bit early. Yeah for our online workshops, we plan for our core content to be shorter and then when we get to the end of the formal presentation, we'll literally say to the audience, this is the end of the formal part of the presentation, but we'll stick around for 10 to 15 minutes more for Q and A's. But we still close by the scheduled time and we make it clean. Thanks, goodbye and cameras and mics off. Yeah just click end meeting for all. I've seen big webinars with thousands of people on it and the speaker at the end, will go, can we go now? Is it alright to end? Can we go? Click end meeting for all, and then congratulate yourself for a job well done. 22. Lesson 22: YOUR VIRTUAL MEETING CHECKLIST: It's coming up to showtime for the host. That's always a lot to deal with. So we always like to have a good checklist on hand to keep us organised. We provided our checklist here, but here's an overview. At least 30 minutes before, clean up your work area, get your printouts and set up your computer and equipment, plug in everything and make sure you've got power. At least 15 minutes before, go into your Zoom meeting with your buddy and other speakers to check everyone looks and sounds great and that your slides and screen-sharing work. You or your buddy should also e-mail your participants with a final reminder with the Zoom meeting link, and info on what to do in case of technical issues. From five minutes to go, make sure you and your buddy have any messages or links that you want to share ready in a word or notes document to cut-and-paste into the chat. You open up the Chat Box, press Record and turn on your mic and camera and give you a buddy and speakers a one-minute warning at your scheduled start time. Sit up tall, smile into the camera and click "Admit all" and you're off! 23. Lesson 23: THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS!: Hey, congratulations, you've made it. We really appreciate the time you spent with us and would love to hear how your next virtual meeting goes. If there's anything else we can do for you, do let us know. We're happy to take your questions and help you in any way that we can. For our other courses, you can check out our instructor profiles or get in touch. We would love it if you could rate and review us. Meanwhile, we wish you all the best for your next virtual gathering. Thank you again.