6 ways to look like you are actually paying attention at a Zoom meeting

The usage of Zoom and any other kind of video conferencing systems has become the go to way in which employees at thousands of companies have been interacting since COVID began earlier this year. 

This isn’t something new per se but its definitely taken on a whole other meaning of how we operate due to so many of us still being virtual months into this pandemic. And it will continue this way for the foreseeable future as we don’t know when and if COVID will take its final bow. 

So for now, Zoom it is. It’s become part of our daily work lives where we spend hours a day communicating with our fellow employees and the powers that be about the ongoings within the department and company each of us works for. 

A common problem many have developed along the way is the ability to be present from start to finish in each meeting. This could become a problem if others notice you doing things like looking bored, constantly checking your phone or appearing as if you’re ready to take a blissful nap. You don’t want to risk your employment over something as small as this so remaining alert is key no matter what.

There’s also the technical side of things that can become a big nuisance for you if you aren’t looking camera ready the second you click join. If they can’t see or hear you correctly then a whole new set of anxieties will spike which, again, you don’t want to have happen. 

That being said, here are six ways you can look more present in your upcoming Zoom or virtual meetings.

1. Lights, camera, you

Lighting is crucial for any Zoom meeting. You don’t want to show up in a darkened room that could double as something from a horror movie. Make sure you are in a brightly lit space where the people in that same chat can see you clearly and not wonder about where the heck you are filming from. Which leads to my next point…

2. Webcam 101

Something worth dropping some cash on, especially if you are using a personal computer for your Zoom meetings, is a high-quality webcam. Lighting is one thing but you don’t want to have a weird filter or look grainy while chatting with your colleagues about something important.

3. Engage, engage, engage

When it comes to being present in a meeting you want your presence to be known without being overbearing. There’s an exception to this rule if you are the focal point of said gathering which means it will be your voice heard during most of it. For anyone else, stay focused, ask questions and do your best to be part of the conversation so they know that you care.

4. Body language

Slouching on your chair is cute if you’re watching a funny YouTube video but it doesn’t look good at all if you’re in an important Zoom. Try to remain in an upright position with your eyes glued to the screen from beginning to end. This can be really tough to do, especially if they go on for longer than expected, but it can show a huge sign of disrespect if your body language reads as bored or even worse… bothered. 

5. Enter a distraction-free zone

If you can find a place that is the definition of peace and quiet then go there immediately before your meeting begins. This can be a struggle for those of us that have noisy roommates who don’t understand that someone else is living there.

If that’s the case then go to a local coffee shop (mask on, of course) or a spot where you know you won’t be distracted. It’s one thing to have the stresses of your everyday work meetings but to add on something similar that has nothing to do with your employment is totally unnecessary.

6. Dress the part

This is sort of self-explanatory but don’t look like you just came for the gym or rolled out of bed. Sure, sweatpants can be part of the ensemble if you’re only being shown from the waist up but this is another great example of looking present in a Zoom meeting if you attire matches your commitment to said meeting.

Also this is a great time to spend some cash on some new looks given how we are in the middle of the busiest shopping season of the year.