• Scott Stiefvater

10 Do's and Don'ts in the Battle Against Zoom Gloom

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Zoom Gloom is the feeling of malaise you get when looking forward to another day of online meetings. At least part of that feeling stems from your anticipation of the technological and robotic aspects of the experience. While you can't get rid of these altogether, you can do a lot to minimize and even offset them by finding ways to be more human and organic in your online meetings.

Being Technological (do less of this)

  1. Having your cam off while you are still there

  2. Using the virtual background feature (because it always looks unnatural)

  3. Screen sharing slides or other stuff when it isn't totally necessary (which is most of the time)

  4. Being distracted by notifications, your inbox, private messages, etc

  5. Using the chat feature to "chat" while someone else is actually talking

  6. Using the raise-your-hand or emoji/reaction feature when you can actually raise your hand and react on your camera

  7. Being expressionless and unemotional as you both speak and listen

  8. Delivering a presentation as a linear transmission of information

  9. Reciting a memorized script while you speak

  10. Looking at the camera as you speak to fake eye-contact

Being Human (do more of this)

  1. Keeping your cam on

  2. Removing distractions, turning off notifications, not watching your inbox, etc

  3. Raising your actual hand when you want to contribute

  4. Nodding, smiling, wincing, frowning while listening

  5. Being expressive and 'emotional' as you speak

  6. Using your hands, gesturing as you speak

  7. Looking at a face on your screen while you speak

  8. Performing, i.e. sitting up and being energetic, while not putting on a performance

  9. In lieu of Q&A, making the whole presentation a conversation

  10. Enjoying the miracle of connecting with others who are miles and miles away

I know it is frustrating that you can't mandate this stuff, but you can model it and encourage it in others. Do your best to be the change you want to see.


© 2021 by Scott Stiefvater,

(anti) Presentation Coach


Tel: 925-586-3517

San Francisco Bay Area


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