A Practical Guide to Better Zoom Conferences
Who hasn’t heard of Zoom? The use of this unified video conferencing platform took off when the pandemic limited our communication.
Zoom is a simple, consistent tool your church pastors can use for small meetings or even big conferences. Video Conferencing (VC) or Video Tele-Conferencing (VTC) is a way to better experience visuals and audio in a digital meeting.
Zoom has found a way to make meetings online less about technology and more about the simplicity of conversation. It’s fairly easy to create the video link and send it out to multiple members.
However, there are a few things to know to make your Zoom conferences more enjoyable and inspirational for everyone. “Zoom fatigue” is now a real issue, with the video conferencing app being used for so many daily activities. From family reunions online to educational classes, to church services.
Here are seven great tips for better Zoom conferences, every time.
1. Record your meetings
If several of your church members or donors cannot attend live due to schedules or opposing time zones, simply record the conference. Recording on Zoom also comes in handy if you are doing pastor interviews and want to save time writing notes.
2. Utilize Screen Sharing
This is very handy when reading Bible passages or showing inspirational slides to your congregation. It is also one of Zoom’s key features. Whoever is leading the meeting has an easy option for screen sharing, so that what they are seeing or reading from is visible to all the others on the Zoom call. This video feature is what makes Zoom superior to other video conferencing platforms. It’s easy to start a screen share, type Alt+Shift+S on your PC. Then, to pause or resume the screen share, just type: Alt+T.
3. Mute audio on attendees
Whether you have a small or large group in your video conference, it is good to have everyone mute themselves so that only the main speaker is being heard. Otherwise, you end up with a sea of voices and a lot of audio static, which is not pleasant for anyone. The exception to muting everyone would be when you want people to join in audibly, perhaps you are quoting Scriptures together, or singing praise songs during your Bible meeting. But keep this to a minimum. Request people to mute themselves upon joining the video call. This avoids ambient and background noise disrupting your conference. To mute everyone at once, the meeting host can hit this shortcut: Alt+M.
4. Display Attendee names and location
It can be convenient for the meeting host to know all the names, and fun for others joining the online fellowship to see where people are logging in from. To make this standard, the meeting host can Go to Settings > Video and then check “Always display participant’s name on their videos.”
5. Don’t forget to take breaks
Take mini breaks throughout the conference, for the health and sanity of all on the Zoom call. Encourage people to go and drink water or tea during the break, or to get some fresh air and sunshine. Keeping your members and donors health in mind is important, especially as everyone makes the digital shift in communications. It is hard on the eyes and body to sit staring in front of a computer for long hours. Limit the video sessions to 30 or 45 minutes at most, with conference breaks announced before and during the meetings.
6. Think about visuals
If you are live-streaming and recording your Zoom sessions, think creatively for the best experience. Use several cameras to show the speaker in a conference gives attendees more of an interactive feeling. You can also have the speaker against a large screen displaying those who are on the Zoom call (granted you have permission from those attending). When members see each other visually, there is a shared feeling of community and unity.
7. It’s all in the details
Some church groups and even business corporations offer swag bags to those attending the conference. This can be a small pack of goodies, notes from the conference, inspirational posters, socks for comfort during the Zoom conference, etc. Get creative when putting together your swag bag, considering what sponsors attending an in-person live conference might appreciate. Digital tools such as USB sticks are a small, easy gift for the swag bag. They can include conference highlights, audio or visuals to download, etc. Consider investing in these little details that make a conference engaging and fun for all attending.
We hope that as you move into a new era of communicating with your church members, things will flow in the right direction. If you need guidance or help getting set up, contact us at Donorwerx.
We focus on providing powerful digital tools to help churches reach their full potential and carry out their important missions. To find out more, check out our blogs and resource pages.
“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5)
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