How to ace a zoom call

If you’re unsure of what online video best practice looks like, check out these handy tips and tricks to help you get sorted.

Video calls should be treated like any interaction you might have with a lecturer, supervisor, instructor or friend in real life - manners are still important, and treating people with respect is key! 

Location, location, location

First things first. Where is your camera pointed, what’s in the background, and are you out of bed?!

Good lighting is important. It ensures that other people on the call can clearly see your face. It’s also important to make sure it’s the face people can see and not other parts of your bod. No one wants to chat directly at a neck, chest, or half an ear and a shoulder.

Also, if you’re surrounded by mess and you can’t face cleaning it up, become the ultimate master of disguise and use an interactive background.

Crumb-free zone

You may be feeling a little hungry, thirsty, snackish, or more…but depending on the situation, now is probably not the time to eat. Hold off on the burger during a tutorial, but feel free to snack away if you’re hanging with friends (just make sure you chew with your mouth closed….)  Drinking is fine, but if you’re a slurper, hit the mute button first!

Be the host with the most

If you’re in charge of organising a virtual gathering, there are a few things to bear in mind. Keep to time, and sign in a little early to welcome people as they arrive. Make sure you do a round of intros at the start if necessary. If there is one key speaker, encourage the other participants to hit the mute button, so people aren’t distracted by various background noises coming from other people’s screens.

It’s also best practice to stick around until the very end! To quote Zoom, “a host leaving everyone else in the meeting is much like bailing on your own party.” Not cool.

Practise picture protocol

If you fancy taking a screenshot or a recording of the gathering, make sure you get the consent of other call participants first! No one likes being snapped or filmed unawares, and at UoA, we are all about consent in every situation, so no covert screen selfies please.

Live by the code

We may all be working, socialising and learning from home, but we’re still a part of the University community. This means following the guidelines of the Code of Conduct and treating fellow students and lecturers with respect. Navigating all our experiences on line is tricky for everyone, so be reasonable and forgiving. We are all in this together after all!

Complete the Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination modules online

Email: to get started.

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