You’ll be inspired after reading this blog!  Read on to learn:

  • How to rock it in ZOOM meetings
  • Inspired COVID-19 projects undertaken by past Talk About Talk podcast guests


A few of you asked me to share some ZOOM tips. Here are 5 Zoom pointers that stand out for me:

1️⃣ Use the MUTE Button !!!

I have to start here.  Apparently “MUTE is the new REPLY-ALL”.  Have you witnessed people saying/doing inappropriate things during Zoom calls?  (If not, try searching #poorjennifer…)

  • Keep your audio muted unless you’re talking.  Yes, we can hear you sipping your coffee, whispering to your family, never mind your dog barking. It’s annoying. 
  • While you’re at it, put a sticker or tape over the camera on your laptop/phone, and only take it off when you need the camera.
  • If you’re hosting the Zoom call and giving a presentation, mute all participants when you’re talking!  
  • If you have to go to the bathroom or answer the door, leave your computer or your phone on the table and walk away. Do not take us with you for a house tour (or worse…)

2️⃣ Test Audio & Video in Advance

I always test my audio in advance when I’m conducting a remote Talk About Talk podcast interview.  (I usually call my sister or my brother!)  Recently though, I had an important SKYPE meeting and I didn’t pre-test it.  (DISASTER.)  I ended up having to switch from my laptop to my phone while I downloaded the updated “Skype for managers” app.  Here are some audio & video tips so you don’t have to learn the hard way:

  • Zoom is free (for calls up to 40 minutes) so you can install and test Zoom before you use it.
  • “Joining with Computer audio and video” is the easiest option. 
  • If you’re using your own earphones for audio, you should test them in advance. 
  • If your camera isn’t showing up, ensure all other programs that use the webcam are closed.

image Unsplash @visual

3️⃣ Keep Your Camera at Eye Level

Eye-level. Got it? No one wants to look down at you, or worse, look up your nose!

  • For most laptops and desktops, the camera is at the top of the screen. 
  • You can adjust the camera height by stacking books or boxes, or by adjusting your chair.
  • Make sure your whole face shows up on your screen – not just the top of your head and not just your chin!
image Unsplash @worldbetweenlines

4️⃣ Know How to Interject

Interrupting is never a good idea, but it’s even worse on video-calls, since when two people talk, no one can hear anything!  Here are three effective ways to interject on Zoom:

  1. RAISE your digital hand!  Click  “Participants” at the bottom centre of your screen. Then click “Raise Hand.” (Bam!)
  2. Use the CHAT function.  Click “Chat” at the bottom of your screen.  Then you can type a message to one person or to the whole group.
  3. Use HAND GESTURES.  Try physically raising your hand if you want to say something.  Give a thumbs up/down if you agree/disagree. 

Speaking of HAND GESTURES:  The Canadian Women’s Foundation encourages people in abusive domestic situations to use this hand signal in video calls if they need help. If you see these hand gestures – act on it!


Depending on the context, you can have fun and be inspired in Zoom meetings:

  • Hand-write messages for the group with markers on paper and hold them up to the camera.  The right message at the right time is always appreciated!
  • Make a toast by moving your coffee mug (or your wine glass) up to the camera and say “cheers!”.
  • Change your background.   Before the meeting, click your profile in the top right corner, then Settings. On the menu to the left, click Virtual Background. You can choose one of the Zoom default backgrounds, or you can upload your own photo.
  • Hire a farm animal to crash the meeting. Yes, it’s a thing.


TRUTH I hesitated to include this topic.  I know many people struggle with physical isolation and feel guilty about not cleaning, re-organizing and renovating their entire house, never mind feeling inspired and taking on fabulous new projects. (See here and here.  We are not alone!)

That said, a few of the past Talk About Talk podcast guests have initiated amazing, inspired projects during COVID-19.  (Safe to say they are not also re-organizing and renovating their houses!) 

Here are a few examples that you might personally find helpful:


Inspired during COVID-19: Elite Camps basketball



  • Harvard professor and author, Talk About Talk podcast on STORY TELLING
  • Jerry is part of a team that is conducting research to identify the deep metaphors that Boomers and Gen Z associate with Covid-19 (think “connection,” “journey,” “force,”…). These important insights are being used to help marketers and health care professionals. Here is the summary document.
Inspired during COVID-19: Research on deep metaphors by Olson Zaltman


  • Eat Clean founder & master wellness coach, Talk About Talk podcasts on RESILIENCE and on SELF TALK
  • I texted Tosca last week to let her know how inspired I was with her willingness to serve her audience during this trying time.  She’s developed several programs, including “Resources to Stay Healthy at Home” and lots of free content.  
Inspired during COVID-19: Tosca Reno's Resources to build health at home



  • Fabric Spark store owner, Talk About Talk podcasts on CREATIVITY and on COLOUR
  • Staffed UP (!!!) to help people sew face masks.  Fabric Spark is taking orders online (one staff member in the store at a time!), using expedited shipping, adding “free mystery fat quarters,” and communicating face-mask-sewing resources on their Facebook page
Inspired during COVID-19: Fabric Spark helps customers make face-masks



Inspired during COVID-19: free resources from Andrea Warnick

Inspired during COVID-19: NYGH health care workers

Two words for you all:


I hope so. 

Next week there’s more to inspire us during COVID.  I interviewed a “learning strategist and parenting coach” to help us with our parenting game – AT HOME!

Let me share with you now one of the main messages from this episode that inspired me:

Keep it light.
This is a new experience for everyone.
And we’re all doing our best.

Have a great week and Stay Safe! 

Most Recent ?Podcast Episodes: