• Marcus Teoh

iAuthor's Club Zoom Meeting Preparation

The lock-down period is the perfect time to write our books because we are expected to be home. Here are the seven easy steps we take to prepare a successful Zoom meeting for our club, before during and after meeting.

Aspiring authors committing to a due date in January 2020 wtinessed by Club President Robbin Khoo (far right)

I recommend Zoom (https://zoom.us/) as it is very stable and reliable. If our group is below 100 pax then just the Pro package USD14.99 will do. If we expect more than 100 pax, then top up to include large package for USD50.00. You can see the pricing list here or https://zoom.us/pricing

Zoom Price List as of 29 March 2020
Zoom top up to accommodate up to 500 pax pro-rated fee for the month

The focus of this article is on organizing a smooth and successful Zoom meeting.

144 pax at peak with 2 full hours above 135 participants and still smooth from past experince

Before the meeting: 0. Have you liked iAuthors Club Facebook page yet? Like it first here: iAuthors Club FB Page 1. Prepare a clear announcement or ideally a nice poster because preparation and "marketing the event" and drive excitement is key! You can do so for free using Canva.com. There are hundreds of templates to choose from. Here's a poster I did to promote my workshop.

Task 1) Prepare Marketing/Publicity Poster Task 2) Prepare and share"Dos" and "Donts" List

Dos: Plan where to have the call (quiet place with good lighting facing your face), try out Zoom with the various buttons and features especially muting and unmuting, have strong and stable internet connection, dress appropriately, inform family members ahead for minimal distractions (if locked down at home with family) Dont's: Do the call while driving, leave the video camera and audio on unattended. Bring your phone or laptop to the bathroom.

2. Communicate the agenda ahead of time, especially on timing and have a meeting host and time keeper if needed. The host can also be the timekeeper (ideally) but if he/she is already occupied you can have someone do it.

Meeting Organizer Tasks: Task 3) Share meeting agenda to manage expectations so everyone has sufficient time to speak or knows when to speak

3. Hosts (and Meeting Chairperson if he/she is also the host, best to have separate host for large groups) to be extremely familiar with the following: - Audio mute and unmute button (participants too)

- Video mute and unmute button (participants too) - Give a name to yourself on Zoom so participants can see each other's name. For some it could show iPhone or Asus until you update it. Add profession too for value added

branding. E.g. "Marcus Teoh - Zero Budget FB Trainer"

Rename your Zoom name so your name and profession can be seen

- Chat box to "Everyone" or to just an individual on the right (Host can disable public chatting too) - Different view settings from gallery to spotlight focused on speakers - Slides and screen sharing and management from the PC

- (Optional) Virtual backgrounds are available in Zoom itself like a seaside or you can customize to showcase your company logo and branding. However graphic quality can be reduced.

Meeting Organizer Tasks: Task 4) Test Zoom especially key features as mentioned above Task 5) Teach the participants on audio and video mute function and also to rename their Zoom names for easier recognition BEFORE meeting 4. Set up the meeting room ahead of time, schedule it in advance and make sure you pick the right time zone! If you have participants from different time zones, remember to confirm. Decide if you want to include a password to join the meeting. It looks something like this (you can remove irrelevant info) and remember to send the Zoom meeting link ahead of time:

Zoom Meeting Invitation via Whatsapp

5. Do a rehearsal to involve as many people as possible especially technologically challenged participants to test it first. Task 6) Schedule a rehearsal involving the hosts and the participants. Keep it short and focused with the primary objective to have participants get familiar with the set up and features of Zoom. Task 7) Send WhatsApp reminder a day before with the Zoom Link.

During the meeting:

1. Open the room earlier at least 30 minutes ahead and remind everyone that the meeting will be starting soon and make sure to test audio and video before the meeting. Else it could be very disruptive when participants have difficulties with finding their way to mute and unmute. 2. Once meeting starts, meeting host to mute everyone and only those who want to speak to unmute themselves and then mute again after that. 3. Strongly recommended to have video camera on for better interaction.

4. Option to record entire meeting is available but make sure consent to record is obtained ahead of time.

5. Should anything not work, meeting host/ meeting Chairman to remain calm and positive while figuring out a solution. Remember it is supposed to be fun and enjoyable!

After the meeting:

1. Do NOT close the room yet if you have chat messages you need to read and follow up on.

2. Thank everyone for attending and remember to close the meeting room accordingly.

On laptop it shows only 25 persons on one page on Zoom, need to click the arrows to next page

Four videos seen on mobile phone screen, need to scroll to look at the rest

Happy Zooming!!

#Authors #iAuthorsClub #ZoomMeeting #Lockdown

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