Whether you are a first-time Zoom user or a regular who uses it daily, here are some tips for Zoom. (Updated 9/28/2020)


  • Be on time
    • Try to log on five to ten minutes early.
    • Use this time to troubleshoot any technical issues. Try testing the microphone and speaker to make sure you are ready to start the call.
    • This is also a good habit, so the meeting can start on time.
  • Turn on your camera
    • If possible, turn on your video or camera so others in the meeting can see you.
    • This is a great way to interact when we cannot meet in person.
  • Mute yourself
    • Mute yourself when you are not speaking or asking a question.
    • Even if you are not talking, small noises such as moving a piece of paper or whispering to someone else in the room can be heard by the rest of the group and be distracting.
    • To mute or unmute yourself, press on or tap the microphone icon located in the bottom corner of your screen.
  • Chat
    • If you do not want to keep muting and unmuting yourself, try using the chat feature. This is a good option if you do not want to interrupt the current conversation but still want to provide your own input or ask questions.
    • To use the chat feature, click on the chat button on the bottom of your computer screen. For those using a tablet or mobile device, look into the “more” section illustrated as three dots on the bottom of your screen.
  • Look at camera
    • Whether you are doing a presentation or asking a question, be sure to look at your device’s camera when you are talking.
    • Looking at the camera while talking can mimic eye contact, which is important for communication and conversations.
    • When you are not talking, you should look around the screen to see everyone else, similar to meeting in person.
  • Signal that you are done talking
    • If you are in a meeting with multiple people, you may experience people talking over each other.
    • Let others know when you are done talking by saying “that’s all” or “I’m done” or “thank you.” Then, other people on the call can start talking.
  • Be present
    • Try not to multitask during the meeting. Doing other chores or tasks during the meeting can be distracting.
    • Remember, when your video is on, people can see if you are moving around or looking elsewhere.

Best Practices

  • Lighting
    • Choose a well-lit area to sit in. For best results, sit facing the light or window. If the light is behind you, the shadows can make you look darker on screen.
  • Backgrounds
    • Sit in an area with a clean, simple background.
      • Examples include blank walls, bookshelves, or a plant.
    • Busier backgrounds can be distracting and take away from the conversation.
    • You can also choose to use Zoom virtual backgrounds to hide a cluttered background. Click here for instructions on how to set up your Zoom virtual background.
  • Camera angles
    • Position your computer, tablet, or smartphone in a way that shows your face.
      • Stay away from angles that may cut off the top or bottom of your face.
    • Try to position yourself so that everyone can have a view of your whole face.
    • For the best angles, the camera should be level with your eyes.
    • For a tablet or smartphone, consider getting a stand to hold your device. This can limit your movement on screen.
      • If you do not want to purchase a stand, prop up your device against the wall or a stack of books.
      • This way you do not have to hold your device or move it around, as that can be distracting for others on the Zoom call.
  • Be mindful of pets
    • Try to keep your pet out of the room you are calling from.
    • Pets can often distract you and others on the call.
  • Troubleshoot internet issues
    • If you have a poor internet connection, you can always call into the meeting on your phone. While you won’t be able to see the other participants, you can still listen and participate in the conversations.
    • In the event that your internet drops the video/audio call, try again. Rejoin the meeting using the provided link or Meeting ID number.

View our Zoom Resources Page