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Skidmore College
Communications & Marketing

Zoom etiquette and best practices

Whether you are brand-new to Zoom or you could use a refresher, the following tips and tricks will help ensure a positive Zoom experience for all participants.

To learn more about using Zoom at Skidmore, visit Learning Experience Design and Digital Scholarship Support (LEDS).

Zoom Security Best Practices for Classes, Meetings and Webinars.



Set up your equipment

  • Log in to Zoom online or download the desktop or mobile app.
  • If you are in a shared space or expect background noise, plug in a headset.
  • Test your Zoom connection.
  • If you will be presenting, review how to share your screen. 
  • Close unnecessary tabs in your browser and turn off notifications, such as email or messaging.

Look your best

If you plan to be on camera:

  • Lighting should come from your front or side, in order to best light your face.
  • Keep your background clear of distractions.
  • Or, if your device allows, consider downloading a Skidmore virtual background.
  • Make sure your camera is on a steady surface to prevent shaking.
  • Double check that your head and shoulders appear fully in the video frame.


  • If you are not speaking, mute your microphone.
  • Avoid noisy activities while your microphone is on, such as typing or shuffling papers.
  • Turn off your camera if you need to address something outside of the meeting (such as when someone in your home or workspace needs your attention). Turn the camera back on when you return to the meeting.
  • Look at your webcam, not at the screen.
  • Use gestures and mannerisms that you would typically use in person.
  • If you are referring to something on a shared screen, use descriptive language such as "when reviewing slide 16" versus "here" or "there" to increase access for everyone in the meeting.
  • Avoid multitasking.



  • If you will be sharing content during the meeting, make sure you have any files or links ready to go before the meeting begins.
  • Secure your Zoom meetings to prevent unwanted guests.
  • Consider allowing only signed-in or "authenticated" users to join your meeting.
  • Consider locking the meeting once all attendees have arrived.
  • Think twice about where you share links to your meeting and consider using a password.
  • Share housekeeping details with attendees.
  • Remind them to mute their microphones when others are presenting or speaking.
  • Let them know how they can get your attention during the meeting: Will you be using the chat window, looking at cameras or allowing attendees to unmute themselves?
  • Start the recording (or set up automatic recordings).