How To Measure Your Zoom Performance and Improve
If you’re like many other professionals, you rely on Zoom to communicate with peers, supervisors, and clients. You may even use the video conferencing platform to keep up with friends and family.
No matter where Zoom factors into your life, we can all improve our Zoom techniques to make the most out of our personal and professional lives. There are many aspects to effective Zoom performance, and it’s essential to understand which metrics to monitor and improve.
Below, Poised explains how to take your video call performance to the next level.
Troubleshooting Technical Issues With the Zoom App
Running into network problems can render your video calls unproductive, both in accomplishing work and improving your communication skills.
You can prevent disruptive network issues by regularly monitoring network performance and measuring latency, jitter, packet loss, and other network metrics. It's also critical to monitor your Internet connection to stay on top of potential issues before they interrupt your Zoom meetings.
Perhaps you’ve seen the dreaded "Your Internet Connection is Unstable" message when using Zoom. This is the default notification when a user's connection is buffering, freezing, disconnecting, and unstable overall. The quality of your Internet connection plays a vital role in Zoom app performance.
Common symptoms of an unstable connection are:
- Packet loss
- Frozen screens
- Poor audio and video quality
- Meeting disconnection
Regularly monitor your bandwidth and make any necessary adjustments to your Zoom settings to keep your Internet connection and Zoom performance as robust as possible. You can even conduct a speed test to optimize your connection and HD video quality.
You may need to switch to a new Internet provider or plan that provides more bandwidth and capabilities if it comes down to it. Even if you have to pay for a more expensive plan, it can help your video meetings run more smoothly and pay off big in the long run.
If you need a little extra assistance, luckily, Zoom’s website (zoom.us) provides instructions for troubleshooting most minor issues
8 Ways To Measure and Improve Your Video Call Performance
Resolving common technical problems is critical to conducting successful video calls. But how well can you communicate once the Zoom app is doing its job?
Here are eight ways to measure and improve your performance during video meetings:
1. Check for Filler Words
Nothing can make you seem less confident than packing your presentations with filler words. These words serve no purpose but to fill the dead space between sentences and ideas.
You know, like, on, off, and so are among the most common fillers. While these words are normal and tolerable in moderation, using them excessively can irritate your listeners and make you appear ill-prepared or nervous.
Fortunately, it's simple to identify and eliminate fillers from your vocabulary. For example, you can record your presentation before delivering it to your team and take note of every filler word. Doing so will reveal how often you rely on fillers and the specific words you use most frequently. Another strategy is to deliver your presentation to a friend or family member and ask for their feedback.
If you’re looking for an easier way to improve (and in real-time), try an AI-powered communication coach like Poised. Poised will monitor your video call performance in real-time and produce long-term analyses to help you eliminate filler words. Using fewer fillers in your virtual meetings will go a long way in helping you engage your audience and deliver your message more impactfully.
2. Analyze Eye Contact
Eye contact is essential for effective video call performance. Initiating and maintaining eye contact helps to build trust with listeners and speakers. Consider the vital role the eyes play in social encounters: The eyes are usually the first facial features we scan for information when observing others.
Improving eye contact is simple but requires a bit of dedication. One option is to video yourself rehearsing your presentation in front of a few friends or family members.
Then, review the recording and observe each time you look at your notes or slides instead of the audience. Keep practicing and recording yourself until you’re no longer dependent on your materials and can maintain steady eye contact with your listeners.
Another easy tip is to put a removable sticker or sticky note where your camera is — this can remind you where to look. Of course, it goes without saying that it also helps to know your key points like the back of your hand!
3. Examine Your Body Language
Similar to eye contact, your body language will significantly influence your overall performance in virtual meetings:
Crossing your arms will indicate you’re uncomfortable or defensive while maintaining an open posture with your palms turned up will make you appear confident. Uncrossed arms also signal that there isn't a barrier between you and your listeners, helping you seem relatable and your audience feel included.
Furthermore, don't hesitate to incorporate gestures into your speech to emphasize key points. Combining figurative language like stories and metaphors with gestures can engage your audience and make your pitch more compelling.
With that said, you don't want to overdo the gestures. Identify places where gestures will seem natural in your presentation, and use them to highlight your message's essential concepts and takeaways.
For example, count off a list of numbered items with your fingers, and spread out your arms to emphasize a wide or expansive concept. If you really want to persuade your audience, place your hand on your heart when telling a personal story.
Gestures ultimately reveal how you feel about the topic under discussion. Make sure your gestures invite listeners into your presentation and encourage them to connect with you on a deeper level.
4. Check Your Pronunciation of Tricky Words
Another mishap that can cloud your message during meetings is failing to pronounce or enunciate words correctly. Mumbling and mispronouncing words can distract your audience from your key points and make you seem incompetent.
The first step is to ensure you understand the correct pronunciation of all the words you’ve prepared to say in your meeting or presentation. Avoid complex words unless you know how to say them and understand their meaning.
Some words are easy enough to say but prove to be problematic when surrounded by certain other words in a sentence, such as:
These are just a few of the countless English words that require a bit of extra effort to communicate effectively. Recording yourself and practicing your speech is the best way to identify the words in your vocabulary to be mindful of. Speaking slowly and steadily and practicing tongue twisters can also help you improve pronunciation.
5. Look at Your Tone of Voice
Your voice reveals a specific type and level of energy each time you speak. Being mindful of your tone of voice can help you maintain more control of the message you send to your listeners.
For example, does your tone of voice indicate that you’re confident in the point you’re delivering? Will your message evoke positive or negative emotions? Are there specific voice inflections you can use to emphasize your takeaways and help your audience better absorb your ideas?
Think about the overall feeling you want your message to inspire in the audience, and use the appropriate tone of voice to accomplish it.
Here are some traits to consider for specific meeting talking points:
6. Focus on Your Breathing
The way you breathe will significantly impact how well you deliver your message during video calls. Ideally, you'll maintain a steady breathing pace throughout your entire presentation and strategically choose times to pause and take deep breaths.
It's common to breathe more rapidly when you're nervous. Unfortunately, a short deep breathing exercise can reduce nervousness and anxiety and allow you to carry on with minimal disruption.
Try to keep a steady, normal breathing rate while slightly changing up your speaking pace. You don't want to talk too slowly or quickly, but introducing a variety of speed and rhythm can make your presentation more interesting and help your audience engage in the content.
Most importantly, avoid shallow breathing. Maintain a good posture, pause for a deep breath before delivering key points, and breathe normally to stay calm and relaxed.
7. Monitor Yourself for Interrupting Others
Learning the art of active listening is non-negotiable if you hope to become a master communicator. Part of active listening is responding to speakers as they deliver their message, but you want to avoid interrupting. Be cognizant of how often you interrupt others, and wait until a natural break in the delivery to ask questions or voice your engagement.
AI like Poised can alert you to your sharing/listening ratio, so you can keep track of how often you are speaking.
8. Use a Real-Time Video Call Coach
Improving your video call performance is hard work, and you must commit to the long game. But you can speed up the process by incorporating a real-time communication coach like Poised. Our AI software provides valuable insights during meetings to help you improve on the spot and overviews of your performance over time.
Start Improving Your Zoom Calls Today
Video conferencing platforms like Zoom are opening new opportunities for companies in all industries. But you must be able to navigate technical problems and execute impactful communication to take full advantage of these tools. Consider the tips above as you continue to sharpen your communication skills, and watch as your colleagues notice your improvements!