It’s ok to admit it: after four months, you’re having trouble staying focused on Zoom meetings. Although you and your coworkers and clients have tried their best, weeks of non-stop video calls have caused energy levels to drop and attention to wander. To a certain extent, it’s only natural: it’s harder to process non-verbal cues over video calls, and response delays of as little as 1.2 seconds can lead to perceptions that people on the call are less friendly or focused. There’s even a name for the phenomenon: Zoom fatigue.
But since the health and safety of our communities demands that we stay physically distanced for a while longer, it’s important to brush up on some easy tips to keep focused and engaged on your next Zoom—whether you’re presenting or just listening in.
TIPS FOR PRESENTERS
1) Look directly into the camera. Having your eyes on the camera will mimic direct eye contact, enhancing your presentation’s impact. Studies also show that standing or sitting back from your camera so that your torso is visible can make you seem more friendly.
2) Use Zoom features such as polling questions and Q&A and web resources like Wheel of Names. These can be implemented to make the meeting more interactive while keeping listeners engaged.
3) Reduce background stimuli. When you’re presenting, you want listeners to focus on what you’re saying rather than your background. Try to find a spot in your home that doesn’t have a lot of distractions or use a virtual background that will encourage listeners to stay focused on you.
TIPS FOR VIEWERS/LISTENERS
1) Avoid multi-tasking. Studies have shown that people who multitask can’t remember information as well as those who focus on what’s at hand. Switching between task can cost as much as 40% of your productivity time. Close any irrelevant tabs that might distract you, such as Slack or your email inbox, and put away your phone to stay present during the meeting.
2) Stay focused on whoever’s speaking. When you’re on a call with a large group, your attention can subconsciously spread trying to see what everyone on the call is doing or on their background. Choose speaker view to keep attention on the presenter, which will help you stay focused throughout the meeting.
3) Be a prepared and active listener. Take a couple moments before the meeting to reaffirm the purpose of the meeting and your role in it. Examples of active listening include acknowledging previous statements, nodding and providing verbal feedback. This can help prevent information from being repeated.
Try incorporating some of these tips to help you stay focused and energized as you Zoom throughout your day.