Two office workers are bored and yawning during meeting

11 Zoom Tips & Tricks to Make Meetings Suck Less

We’ve all been there. You’re in a Zoom meeting and it’s just… not going great. The call is dragging on forever, technical mishaps are flustering the presenter, your colleague won’t stop asking questions – and you can’t wait for the agony to be over. Dull and poorly organized Zoom meetings SUCK. 

Scene from the Wizard of Oz

But it doesn’t have to be this way! We can all live bigger, brighter, and less sucky lives with a few simple Zoom tips and tricks. By following this awesome Zoom rules, you can set a good example (that hopefully catches on).

So – want to learn how you make your Zoom meetings suck less AND be 10x more productive, just by following a few tips? Who knows, you might even start looking forwards to the occassional Zoom call. Gamechanger!

Here’s a quick cheat sheet to ALL the best Zoom meeting tips, if you’re short on time:

  1. Set an agenda
  2. Master the keyboard shortcuts
  3. Share the meeting details in advance
  4. Bring in some visuals
  5. Run a poll
  6. Use tl;dv
  7. Automatically save the chat log
  8. Create action points BEFORE the next meeting
  9. Use fun filters
  10. Keep it short, or take a break
  11. Have a snack

So let’s take deep dive into some of our top Zoom tips & tricks to make meetings suck less:

Older woman dives clumsily into water

Efficiency Tips for Zoom

Set an agenda

The easiest way to make meeting to suck? Make sure it has no point, no meaning, and just sort of flops about like a fish out of water.

If you want to avoid this, one of the easiest Zoom tricks is to set an agenda. This way everyone attending knows what is going to be talked about and when.

It’s a good tip to start with the most important topics and then move down the line so that if people need to leave early, they at least heard the main points.

Sharing the agenda beforehand will make sure people come to the meeting prepared.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Master ALL the Zoom keyboard shortcuts

There are a lot of keyboard shortcuts that come with Zoom and they are there to make your life 10 times easier. I mean, who doesn’t love a shortcut!? They save time, money, and a whole heap of mouse clicking.

Some of the most important and commonly used ones are:

  • Start or join a meeting: Press  + J on your keyboard.
  • Mute or unmute microphone: Press  + M on your keyboard.
  • Share screen: Press  + S on your keyboard.
  • See all participants (in thumbnail view): Press  + T on your keyboard.
  • Press the PARTY button to release the confetti cannons… ok, we made that one up.

Tips for Zoom Engagement

Bring ALL the graphics

If a picture is worth 1,000 words then bringing in a load of visuals must be worth at least 10,000.

Slideshows, presentations, and other visual aids help to keep people engaged and can make complex topics easier to understand. Just make sure that you don’t rely on them too much and that you still provide verbal explanations and context.

Have some fun with them as well. Graphs or charts are a great way to visualize data, but could you make them more interesting? More funny? Could the chart include cats? HA! Trick question, ALL charts can include cats.

Visuals really help make Zoom presentations interesting and memorable. Even just adding some colour or animations to slides can help keep everyone’s interest.

Chonk chart for cats

Run a poll

Polls are a great way to collect feedback from your participants and get them engaged. Zoom has a built-in polling feature that you can use to ask questions and see results in real-time, or there are several additional add-ons and virtual meeting tools that offer awesome polling options.

Ask for feedback, questions or input on certain topics (even anonymously) or simply request that participants pick their favorite Taylor Swift song. Even a silly poll at the beginning of the meeting is going to grab the audience’s attention from the get-go.

Man experiences success at his computer

Instant Recall Zoom Tips

Use tl;dv

tl;dv’s whole raison d’être is to make Zoom meetings (and Google Meet ones too!) suck less. This online meeting tool is literally designed to help you spend less time in meetings and have more productive meetings overall.

By using tl;dv to record your Zoom meetings, you gain access to a timestamper, transcriber, and editing tool that will help you quickly and easily summarize complex topics, and create actionable items for follow-up. You can also use tl;dv to take and consolidate minutes.

Best of all – it’s super easy to use and FREE! Simply download the extension (it takes seconds) and you’re good to go. Just click one of these shiny buttons below and see for yourself. You can thank me later.

Automatically save the chat log

If you want to have a record of what was discussed in the meeting (and who said what), you can automatically save the chat log. This way, you can refer back to it later if you need to. To do this, simply go to your Settings and select the option to “Automatically save in-meeting chats.”

While other awesome, amazing tools can record the video and transcribe, making sure that you can grab those chat notes as a default, then you have ALL the information you need.

Plus, I bet you always lose the links people post in the cat. Yeah, me too.

Create action points BEFORE the next meeting

At the end of each meeting, take a few minutes to create action items for follow-up. Assign each task to specific people and set deadlines for completion. This will help to ensure that things actually get done and that you’re not just having endless meetings with no results.

It’s super simple and while it does seem like a bit of admin, it really will make life SOOOO much easier. If you know what is being done, who is doing it, and by what date, trust me, this is going to make life a breeze!

A tiny potato believes in you

Tips for More FUN Zoom Meetings

Use silly filters

If you want to add a bit of childish fun to your meetings, use filters! Zoom has many built-in filters that you can use to change your appearance. You can make yourself look like a cat, a pineapple, or even turn yourself into a potato (slight, potato theme going on here…). While not the most professional zoom trick on this list… it’s one of the most fun. 😈😈😈

To use a filter, simply click on the Video icon in the bottom left corner of the screen and select Video Settings. Then, click on the Face Beauty option and choose the filter that you want to use.

Don’t forget that funny Zoom backgrounds are also an option!

Have a snack

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time on Zoom calls, you might as well make sure that you’re well-fed.

Have a snack before or during the call to help you stay focused and energized. And, if you’re feeling really generous, you can even share snacks with your fellow participants by sending out snack boxes from places such as SnackBoxUSA or Graze. Just make sure to hit Mute when you chew!

Keep calls short (or provide breaks)

Sometimes a Zoom meeting is just boring because it’s dragging on. Keeping Zoom call short and sweet will place minimum demand on colleagues’ time and focus – but sure, sometimes a topic needs more consideration than a 15-minute synch.

Any presentation or call longer than 40 minutes should allow for a toilet, coffee, or scream break. After 5-10 minutes, participants will come back feeling recharged and looking less like they wish they’d never been born.

Friends are bored

Get ready to level up your Zoom game

By following these simple Zoom meeting tips, you can make sure your Zoom calls are as productive and enjoyable as possible. Fun and efficiency can go hand-in-hand, because it’s through fun that you’ll capture your audience’s attention and encourage engagement. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start Zoomin’ smarter than ever before!