Do you get anxious when Zoom meetings start up? Does the thought of joining a meeting make your heart race and your palms sweat? If so, you’re not alone. Many people feel this way when they have to join or lead a Zoom meeting. In this article, we will discuss 8 tips that will help you overcome your anxiety and make your Zoom meetings a success.
What is Zoom Anxiety?
It’s become increasingly common to hear people talk about Zoom Anxiety – the feeling of anxiety or nerves that comes from participating in video calls, especially for work. There are a few possible explanations for why this might be.
For one, video calls can be more draining than in-person meetings, as they require us to maintain constant eye contact and pay close attention to our body language and facial expressions. Additionally, the lack of physical cues on a call can make it harder to interpret what others are thinking or feeling, which can add to the feeling of unease.
Finally, the knowledge that we are being recorded on video can also add to our sense of self-consciousness.
However, there are a few things that you can do to combat Zoom Anxiety:
1. Improve Your Workspace for Yourself
Try to create a dedicated workspace for yourself where you feel comfortable and relaxed. If possible, set up your camera at eye level so that you don’t have to look up or down at the screen, and make sure there is plenty of light so that you don’t appear washed out.
2. Use the Zoom Live Transcription Feature
Zoom transcription can be a lifesaver if you’re struggling to keep up with the conversation or want to refer back to something later.
To activate live transcription, go to “settings” and then “accessibility” and toggle on the “live transcript” option.
Once you’ve done that, a running transcript of the conversation will appear at the bottom of your screen, and you can even save it as a text document afterward if you want. (1)
3. Take Breaks
You should also take breaks as needed during long calls, and avoid doing other work tasks at the same time so that you can give your full attention to the conversation. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths like those you take while meditating or step away from the camera for a moment to collect yourself.
4. Join the Meeting Early
If possible, try to join the meeting a few minutes early so that you can get settled and ensure that your audio and video are working properly. This will also give you a chance to say hello to everyone and get comfortable before the meeting starts.
Additionally, if you know that you’ll be leading the meeting, make sure to go over your materials beforehand so that you feel confident and prepared.
5. Mute Yourself When You’re Not Speaking
One of the most anxiety-inducing things about Zoom calls is the feeling that you might be accidentally talking over someone or that your background noise might be disruptive.
To avoid this, mute yourself when you’re not speaking, and only unmute yourself when you want to contribute to the conversation. This way, you can avoid any awkwardness or disruptions.
Additionally, if you’re worried about your background noise, you can also enable the “mute background noise” option in your Zoom settings.
6. Limit Distractions
It can be tempting to multitask during Zoom calls, but this will only make it harder for you to focus and pay attention.
To avoid distractions, turn off any notifications on your computer or phone, and close any tabs or windows that you’re not using. You can also put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode so that you’re not tempted to look at it. (2)
7. Use the Chat Function
If you’re struggling to follow the conversation or feel too anxious to speak up, you can use the chat function to type out your thoughts.
This can be a great way to contribute to the discussion without feeling like you’re under pressure to speak. Additionally, it can be helpful to read through the chat later if you want to refer back to something that was said. This function is popular among patients participating in online Zoom therapies.
8. Take Advantage of the Virtual Background Feature
If you’re worried about your surroundings being too messy or distracting, you can take advantage of Zoom’s virtual background feature. This allows you to have a different background behind you, which can be anything from a nice scenic view to a solid color.
Remember that you don’t have to be perfect – everyone is struggling with these new challenges in their own way. Just do your best and be patient with yourself. These tips should help you to feel more comfortable and confident in your next Zoom meeting.
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