Three weeks ago my kids had no interest in online meeting apps.  Fast-forward a few weeks and the Corana virus shutdown has prompted them to request a plethora of apps for online hangouts.  To be fair though, it’s not just the kids.  Last night I spent many enjoyable hours in an online pub courtesy of Zoom.  At one point in the evening there was a rapid fire round of “who could come up with the most hilarious background”.  This got me thinking, how should we be using this feature in a more professional context.

By now, you’ve most likely been in an online meeting where on of the attendees kids has made an appearance!  For the most part, and given the circumstances, the vast majority of people seem to grateful for seeing another person, even if they end up taking over the agenda.  Sometimes they can provide a welcome distraction from the more serious discussions taking place.

Speaking of distractions, the last few weeks have offered an unprecedented look into the homes of the people we meet.  If you have a nice space to work this may not bother you too much.  However, if you (like many of us) are using a makeshift office space in some corner of your house or you’re having to spend three hours cleaning the kitchen before you can “go” to work then a Zoom background could be answer.

A Zoom background provides you with the opportunity to create a highly professional impression when you are meeting with clients.  If you’re having a team meeting, you can get a little more creative.

You can use any photo or video (depending on the spec of your computer) to create a background. If you have a photo of your office you could use that or there are plenty of websites that offer high resolution and professionally taken photography.

Here are a few worth taking a look at:

https://www.zoomvirtualbackgrounds.com/

https://www.canva.com/templates/search/zoom-virtual-backgrounds/

https://unsplash.com/collections/1887152/zoom-backgrounds

https://www.shutterstock.com/search/zoom+background

Setting up a Zoom Background

Once you’ve picked an image you’ve got to get it into Zoom.  to the uninitiated this may seem daunting but in a few clicks you can start impressing everyone at your next meeting with you’re new found skills.

First things first, find an image you want and save it somewhere.

Next open up a Zoom meeting. Once you are in click on the arrow next to the video camera:

Click on the option “Choose a virtual background”

Click on the “+ Add Image” button and find the images or videos you want to add as your Zoom background.

Once you’ve added you’re images, simply select the one you want and you’re ready to go. If you have issues check out the official Zoom background video here.

Depending on your computer’s specification, you may need to use a green screen to get the best results (you can find one fairly easily on Amazon).

 

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