As the world endures COVID-19, business is shifting to the online world in a dramatic way. Even before the virus hit, more organizations were recognizing the benefits of working remotely, and so a shift to video conferencing has begun to make sense in recent years. Zoom remains as a ubiquitous platform for those wishing to connect from the safety of their homes.
Zoom’s popularity is unquestioned. It boasted the top market share among web conferencing technologies in April 2020 at 42.82%, and the daily downloads from January through March were:
January 2020: 56,000
February 2020: 1.7 million
March 2020: 2.13 million
But with that transition to video conferencing comes many questions and potential issues: how do we keep meetings secure? How do we keep them personable so that they maintain the human element we are so used to having when we meet in person? And what’s the best approach as far as purchasing a plan and rolling this out to an organization?
Since the onset of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders in the U.S., we at Bald Guy Studio have been consulting with organizations to educate them and help them successfully implement Zoom to their stakeholders. Here are some topics to consider, along with some tips, as you plan your transition to Zoom meetings.
This was a hot topic ever since COVID-19 brought on the mass migration of organizations, employees, and students to Zoom. And rightfully so — Zoom was initially riddled with vulnerabilities before improving their security features beginning in the spring of 2020, and there was also a learning curve in terms of organizations suddenly having to learn something new and not necessarily knowing what to do to keep their meetings secure.
Fortunately, and as you might expect, Zoom wasn’t about to lose market share and frighten users off with faulty security. Zoom’s AES 256-bit GCM encryption is firmly in place.
Depending on your organization’s needs, you may wish to implement some (or all) of the various security features Zoom offers. One of our favorite ways to secure a meeting is by requiring a password when scheduling your meeting.
Another way to prevent unwanted guests in your Zoom meetings who might encounter your link in a wayward email for instance is to lock the meeting. Simply click the Security button on the toolbar inside your Zoom meeting application and select “Lock Meeting.” This is a great option if you’re running a meeting with a strict invitation list, or a class or workshop only open to those enrolled or registered. You can also lock the meeting after you’ve determined that everyone who needs to be there is in attendance.
We get that it can be hard to replicate in-person meetings on Zoom. Some professors, in fact, have shared that since shifting their courses to Zoom, they are missing out on the energy they take in from meeting in a classroom, as well as non-verbal cues from students and natural conversational pace. While video conferencing may not possess all the elements of in-person human interaction, there are ways to make it more personable.
One of the simplest things to do to replicate that face-to-face interaction in your Zoom meetings is to position your camera in a way that will invite others to engage with you. Setting the camera up to at least eye level (or higher) will allow your face to best be seen by participants while avoiding the dreaded “up the nose” shot. This also ensures that you are not looking down on others in your meeting, and will increase the likelihood of better attention and interaction overall. Experiment with your setup ahead of time. You may want to consider stacking your laptop or monitor on top of some books, or using a tripod for your smartphone that you can adjust to the right height.
For more tips, see our post from improv pro, Kathy Klotz-Guest about working with the flow of human energy.
The right plan for your organization
Zoom has several paid account options to choose from, including those for businesses and for educational institutions, with varying benefits and levels of support. You’ll need to consider a number of factors, such as your budget, your organizational needs, and which employees to distribute licenses to. You’ll also need to determine who has administrative rights and ensure they are trained on the platform in order to support the rest of the organization.
Which of these points have you already considered for your organization?
What areas might you need further planning or assistance with? <