The world is opening up a little bit more (extroverts rejoice! Sorry, introverts.), people are visiting loved ones and restarting events that have been paused. Business travel still needs to see recovery, however. Organizations are considering divesting themselves of office space and offering more flexible schedules to staff. This means web conferencing is here to stay.

We’ve all developed some good and bad habits on Zoom, so now is the time to re-check your preparation, delivery and follow through. This post is Part 1 of 2, so look for my update next week!

Agendas and timelines are still important. Now more than ever.

Sometimes video meetings can seem a little more loose, but that’s not an excuse for not having a meeting objective and topics to address. An agenda will help keep your meeting on track and your colleagues focused so you can get back to the things you need to do when you are not zooming.   And, set your meeting time for a shorter window (we really CAN accomplish everything we need to in a half-hour meeting!)

Allow for some chitchat, but keep it short.

We’re starting to get back out there, but there may still be restrictions on gatherings, distancing recommendations and in-person events, which means people REALLY need some social interaction and conversation. Water cooler talk on-line can help you maintain your organization’s culture and create more relaxed environment for your meeting. Have a few minutes of social hour at the beginning of the meeting, or start out with a simple round-the-room question: What’s for lunch? What was something that made you laugh this week? What color pen is everyone using? What’s in the garden?

Avoid Zoom burnout.

Step away from the screen. No really, do it now.


Thanks for coming back. I don’t need to tell you screen fatigue is a real thing, but we all need to be reminded to read a book, step outside, doodle in a sketchbook, stir a pot of risotto or sit in a lawn chair once in a while.

If you regularly meet with a colleague via Zoom, mix it up with a phone meeting instead. This will make it easier for you to change your location (and your perspective). If there are more than 3 people in the meeting, stick with Zoom so you can more easily pick up on visual cues, body language and screen sharing.

Don’t do back to back video conferencing. Some days are just well, days. Lots of meetings, check ins and follow ups. Make sure you build in some time between video calls to wrap up items from the meeting, step away (see above) and prepare for the next. If you go from one to the next, you’ll be less effective for both meetings.

Pause the multi-tasking.

Video is multi-tasking enough. Allow access to meeting. Request to unmute. Make someone a host. Ask for hosting back. Share screen. Monitor chat. Internet connection unstable. MIND BLOWN.

Take a second to turn your phone to silent, resist checking your email and don’t work on other projects during the meeting. Focus on the meeting goals, actions and discussions and if you want, multi-task later when you are back in your own work zone.