How do you start a business conversation on Zoom?
From having some light music playing in the background to asking about relatable experiences, here are the 11 answers to the question, “How do I start a business Zoom conversation?”
- Have Some Light Music Playing in the Background
- Move to Solutions Quickly
- Familiarize Yourself With the Platform
- Get to the Point ASAP
- Introduce Yourself and Everyone Else in the Meeting
- Be Aware of Your Audio and Video Settings
- A Short Ice-breaker
- Start Casual to Ensure a True Connection
- Warm Up With a Current Personal Experience
- Ask What their Goals Are for the Meeting
- Ask About Relatable Experiences
Have Some Light Music Playing in the Background
Ease people into the flow of conversation by having some light music playing in the background at the beginning of the meeting as people trickle in. This can help create a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, which will go a long way in making sure all participants are comfortable with one another. It also gives people time to settle in before the conversation begins.
Michael Fischer , Founder, Elite HRT
Move to Solutions Quickly
Opening with a brief lowdown on solutions you would be discussing during the meeting is a great way to begin.
While spending the first part of a business conversation outlining the problems you’re out to address is alright, quickly moving to solutions is more critical. When your audience sees you discussing solutions, they are hooked to every word you’re saying, and your meeting will produce optimal results.
On the other hand, if you spend too much time discussing the challenges at hand, others in the meeting may simply lose interest or patience by the time you get to your list of solutions.
Riley Beam , Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
Familiarize Yourself With the Platform
An effective way to start a business Zoom conversation is to first familiarize yourself with the platform. Make sure you understand how the technology works and what features are available, such as chat and video sharing.
Additionally, create an agenda prior to the meeting that you can send out in advance so everyone knows what topics will be covered. This allows all participants to come prepared and makes it easier for the discussion to stay on topic. When joining the meeting, make sure your audio and video settings are properly configured so that everyone can clearly hear and see each other. Once everyone is connected, greet each person individually by name and then provide a brief overview of why they are there.
After that, lay out the agenda for the conversation and explain how much time will be allotted for each topic. It’s always helpful to confirm with each participant that their concerns or questions have been addressed before moving on or wrapping up the conversation.
Aviad Faruz , CEO, FARUZO
Get to the Point ASAP
It’s a busy world out there, and your audience is probably thinking of their next task or meeting even as they sit through yours. In such a scenario, it helps to open with your main agenda than give in to the temptation of making small talk.
In getting to the point you’re trying to make and approaching the topic without delay, you leave more time for discussing crucial details that do justice to the cause of the meeting. Beating around the bush not only cuts down on your meeting time but may also leave your audience restless and distracted.
Kris Harris , Owner, Nootka Saunas
Introduce Yourself and Everyone Else in the Meeting
Make sure to take the initiative and introduce not only yourself but also everyone else in the meeting, especially if there are a few new faces. This will help create an open and welcoming environment. It also helps set the tone for the rest of the discussion, so make sure to be as positive and enthusiastic as possible!
Furthermore, when introducing yourself, try not to give too much background information; instead, focus on what you can contribute to the conversation. This way your peers won’t feel overwhelmed by too much information and can easily follow your train of thought.
Asker Ahmed , Director & Founder, iProcess
Be Aware of Your Audio and Video Settings
To ensure that everyone present can hear and see you when you talk, make sure your microphone is not muted and that your camera is turned on.
You can let someone know they are being muted if you see them speaking during a meeting while their microphone is muted by asking them to turn it off under the Manage Participants page.
In your Zoom Meeting Settings, you may also control how you start and join meetings – with video on, joining a meeting muted, etc.
Steve Pogson , Founder, E-commerce Strategy Lead, FirstPier
A Short Ice-breaker
I think the best way to start, once everyone has already joined the session, is to greet everyone and encourage light conversation.So many people feel that business Zoom calls and meetings need to be something quite serious, but this shouldn’t be the case.
I find that, by talking to people about off-topic subjects, it brings fresh ideas to the forefront of their mind. For travel blogging, it is crucial that everyone is able to share their personality, so by encouraging non-business related conversations, it helps their personality to be able to shine through.I think it can also put people at ease. There are many times when people can worry about meetings, even if they become used to them, so having a short ice-breaker can remove any tension.
Aiden Higgins , Senior Editor and Writer, The Broke Backpacker
Start Casual to Ensure a True Connection
Don’t skip the small talk. While in-person, getting down to the nitty-gritty can be seen as dedication to the task at hand, Zoom meetings require a little more sociability in the beginning.
The reason is simple: you’re not really face-to-face. Make up for the physical distance by taking a moment to introduce yourself (if you haven’t already), and ask a few questions about their industry, workday, or current projects to break the ice.
By opening with something casual, you’ll both feel more relaxed. It also gives you a moment to mentally refresh any key points you want to address. And typically, the longer the call goes on, the better the connection. So, there is no reason to rush it.
Rob Reeves , CEO and President, Redfish Technology
Warm Up With a Current Personal Experience
This morning I held a Zoom meeting with a small group of people and we talked about dogs. One of the people on the call told me her Sheepadoodle had to be rushed to the vet because he was struggling to digest his food.
Another person on the call had a similar scare with her Great Dane a year or so ago and told her what the dog’s diagnosis was and what they did to care for the dog. He was well in a few days. It was an open discussion that got everyone involved – because everyone either owns a dog or loves dogs.
Now we’re invested in finding out how the dog is going to make out once it’s released from the vet. It was a conversation that involved everyone and made everyone closer. It was a great way to start the meeting because it opened the door for a more free-flowing conversation.
Emily Saunders , Chief Revenue Officer, eLuxury
Ask What their Goals Are for the Meeting
While pleasantries and questions about the weather in their neck of the woods can build rapport, don’t spend too much time in this phase of the conversation. Once you’ve said your “hellos” and “nice to chats” move right on to the task at hand. There’s a reason you’re having a conversation with this person. Hopefully, it’s mutually beneficial. To ensure it is, start by asking the other person what they’d like to gain before the end of the meeting. Then, share yours.
Knowing what their specific goals are (and yours) allows you to dive right into the impactful part of the discussion and make sure both of you walk away feeling good about what’s to come.
Kelli Anderson , Career Coach, Resume Seed
Ask About Relatable Experiences
No matter the topic of a Zoom call it is important to recognize that there are common human experiences that most encounter throughout a typical day beforehand, and by touching on those at the beginning you can create a great start to your meeting. Waking up late, juggling family responsibilities, and having a thousand tasks that need to be completed in a short amount of time, are well-known by practically everyone.Starting out your Zoom morning call by asking who just rolled out of bed, who has not had their morning cup of coffee, who is thinking more about lunch than anything else, are humorous and relatable ways to show you recognize commonalities and can connect with people on a human level.
By starting off your Zoom meeting with a comment that shows you share a common experience, you will relax your audience and at the same time build trust.
Mackenzie Whalen , Marketing Director, Luxin Hemp Group
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