Zoom Bloopers & Etiquette

Cathy’s zoom bloopers & etiquette

My tips for great zoom meetings

As the year comes to a close I thought for our last Blog I would share some of my challenges – and at times embarrassing situations – encountered as I developed my ‘Zooming’ skills. I am sure we have all been in or seen similar situations. Hopefully some of these will bring a smile.


You are on mute! 

I have lost count how many times I have done this.

May have been said more than “unprecedented number of times”…

Dogs at home with you

It’s a bit embarrassing when you have dogs barking, snoring, making other strange noises, or even worse – having a fight in the background. But I must say they have been wonderful company as well.

Cats on Zoom (& other things)

A couple of my co-workers have cats who seem to love joining in on zoom meetings. Walking in front of the screen, sitting on keyboards, rubbing up against screens and sitting on laps has been common. Cats just love being in everyone’s faces – usually at the worst possible time.

Zooming with children

Luckily for me I have teenage children so generally the only time I heard from them was when we had internet issues with too many devices being used or they were hungry.

But a couple of times lately when they came home from school they forgot I was working and made lots of noise in the kitchen which is a shared space with my “office”.

I am still in admiration of how my colleagues with younger children managed to survive home schooling and working from home.

I also love it when I find pictures (as right) of showing a mum seemingly in control – why don’t they show more pictures (like the one below) of what it can really be like!!


Screen Sharing 

When screen sharing make sure you pick the correct screen, and if you are to play a video select “share computer sound” (I learnt both of these the hard way). Also, shut down any programs or documents not needed before sharing.


Some tips from my experience as a facilitator:

  • Mute when not speaking – background noise can be distracting to the facilitator and other participants. TIP: as a host you can use the ALT+M keys to mute everyone
  • If possible – have your camera on. As a facilitator it is hard enough with cameras on to gauge the level of participation – having cameras off makes it extremely difficult.
  • If you are going to wear something comfortable below (such as your PJ pants) please don’t stand up!
  • Wear appropriate clothing for your top half, and check on camera beforehand how much bare skin you are revealing.
  • Don’t mind people drinking water or having cuppas but most people would prefer no eating. Meals are for mealtimes. If you are a ‘slurper’, or using a noisy water bottle, make sure your microphone is off.
  • Be mindful of what could possibly happen behind you.
  • I totally understand that it is good to be comfortable but lying down might be taking it a step too far.
  • Have an appropriate background – some backgrounds are very interesting but can be distracting.
  • Try not to receive or send emails or phone calls whilst videoconferencing – easier said than done, and I am sure most of us have been guilty of it.
  • Have light in front of you – not behind you.
  • Try and look at the webcam.
  • If possible please try and participate in discussions – facilitators and other participants do value your point of view and it does make for a more enjoyable session.

Hopefully these tips will make for smoother, more comfortable Zoom sessions for you all.

Wishing you all a very merry and safe Christmas, from the Going Rural Health Team.

Cathy O’Brien

Associate Lecturer, Rural Placement Education

Going Rural Health Shepparton

Medical Scientist