3 Ways to Improve Zoom Meetings with Your Clients

If quarantine had a popularity contest, Zoom would have reigned supreme—and to think there was once a time when this company was not a household name! Zoom meetings have allowed companies to remain as “business-as-usual” as possible during the uncertain times of the past year. Most importantly, Zoom has allowed us to maintain a personal connection to our client base, which is pivotal to healthy business collaborations.  Although Zoom has been a lifesaver for businesses and families alike throughout the pandemic, unfortunately, it is still only a substitute for face-to-face communication; there are still many obstacles you must consciously work to overcome in order to achieve successful communication. As a respected business leader, it is our duty to overcome any communication barriers and ensure that our client interactions are of top-notch quality. In this article, we discuss three ways in which you can improve the quality of your Zoom meetings with clients.

1. Familiarize Yourself with Customizable Options

As with any new technology that you integrate into your daily business operations, there is a slight learning curve while familiarizing yourself with Zoom and all of its settings. It is certainly of no help that over the last year, as its popularity skyrocketed, numerous changes have been made to this application. Due to these constantly changing features, it’s even more vital for you to ensure that your team is familiar with the default settings and how to appropriately customize them.  One feature we feel is especially important to client communication is to turn on the “Always Display Names” setting, so that you or your clients are never second guessing names. We’ve also all heard of that urban legend where something embarrassing happens in the background of a coworker’s Zoom meeting, so protect yourself from this unfortunate mishap by customizing your background to something simple (and safe!). Another feature we highly recommend is the “Waiting Room.” Use this feature to gather yourself and prepare rather than immediately being thrown into a client meeting. 

2. Organize Your Zoom Experience

Conducting a high-stakes client meeting via Zoom can feel overwhelming and unnatural, even a year later. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to minimize this stress. Take time to prepare prior to meetings in the following ways:
  • Adjust your settings to automatically record and save meetings
  • Have an agenda handy (and distribute to other meeting participants beforehand)
  • Adjust privacy settings prior to meetings for peace of mind
  • Distribute the meeting link and ID prior to the day of the meeting
  • Select the “Hide Non-Video Participants” setting so that you can direct your focus
By following these suggestions, you will enter your client meetings feeling prepared and confident; and in doing so, you will ensure that you get the most out of your client communications.

3. Encourage Participation

At this point, we all have Zoom-meeting fatigue, which is why it’s more important than ever to engage with clients and encourage them to participate in virtual meetings. A great way to encourage participation is to direct meeting attendees to use the “Reaction” and “Chat” features. Because time is of the essence during virtual meetings, these features allow for interactions between individuals while not disrupting the flow of the original agenda. The chat feature allows additional notes and resources to be shared with ease and referenced at a later date.  Above all, the goal to keep in mind while considering virtual meeting participation is that your job is to encourage rather than intimidate. Speak with energy and convey to your clients that their ideas matter and that you are genuinely interested in collaboration rather than a lecture.  Are you looking for a strategic, full-service marketing firm centrally located in Nashville? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation. Our team is happy to sit down with you to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve each and every one of them.

3 Ways to Improve Your Team’s Zoom Meetings

Despite unexpected roadblocks, businesses across the globe have evolved to find a new normal. Even across wildly different industries, teams have adopted innovative technologies to help us operate as a digital workplaceZoom. Video conferencing has become second nature, as it’s now a tool that many use daily. Though we’ve gotten used to consistent Zoom calls and remote-work etiquette, we are ready to move beyond the basics. So, let’s take our Zoom skills to the next level. In this post, we will discuss three ways to improve your team’s virtual meetings. 

Design your Virtual Meeting

Think of your meeting as a playevery cast member has a role to play, no matter how big or how small, to ensure that the meaning is clearly conveyed. All cast members rely on one another to fulfill these specific roles to make certain the whole thing goes off without a hitch. What should your cast look like? Several key roles include the following:
  • The Moderator—It’s important that a team member keeps things moving along, ensuring that all important agenda topics are addressed.
  • The Facilitator—The planner, the person to ensure that all key team members are included and all schedules are coordinated to optimize the meeting time.
  • The Notekeeper and Timekeeper—It goes without saying these are important roles. Meeting notes should always be readily available for long-term reference.
  • The “Yoda”—Every good play has its fair share of quirky characters! The Harvard Business Review recommends appointing a person to “cut to the chase” or “acknowledge the elephant in the room.” This will ensure an amount of candor that is vital to meeting productivity.

Meld the Personal with the Professional

Prior to the pandemic era, most professionals might have mentioned small-talk or chit-chat as one of the least favorable parts of a business meeting. We get it. It might have felt a little out of place to hear Dave from IT talk about his new stir fry recipe or Michelle from HR’s kids’ Halloween costumes. But, we are living in a different world where isolation has become pervasive and work productivity and team morale have taken a hit. Humans are intensely social beings, and it doesn’t serve us well to primarily communicate with a screen rather than faces. We often struggle to re-calibrate our communication methods. Many have also reported feeling a lack of purpose and accountability without a physical workspace and coworkers. Therefore, initial meeting chit-chat has now become a life-buoy of sorts, a micro-equivalent of a team retreat. Try including a quick personal/professional check-in at the beginning of your Zoom meetings to help overcome isolation and build camaraderie. 

Get Comfortable (But, Not Too Comfortable)

So, maybe we were willing to overlook the poor lighting, weird camera angles, and background-Zoom-bloopers within the first few months of our new virtual workspace; but now, we are seasoned Zoomers, and it’s time to show it. If you’re anything like us, there was definitely an initial thrill of discreetly wearing sweatpants during the usual team meetings. However, with quarantine-fatigue running rampant, dressing for a face-to-face work environment has been shown to steadily increase productivity and motivation for virtual employees.  Here are some additional tips to improve your appearance and increase your motivation:
  • Turn on your camera whenever possible.
  • Test any technical issues 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.
  • Review the agenda prior to the meeting, taking personal speaking notes.
  • Dress and conduct your facial expressions as though the meeting were face to face.
Are you looking to better connect and engage with your customers in this new virtual age? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.