Today we spend a lot of time on Zoom. We are there for networking and continuing ed, and to spend time with family and friends. Since March, it is one of the most common ways to connect.

I have seen Zoom moderators give instructions on how to find the buttons for different things, but there are keyboard shortcuts. Those could be easier to find.

The Alt key on a PC and is equivalent to the the Command key on a Mac.

Alt-Y Raise/lower hand Levantar/bajar la mano
Alt-A mute/unmute Prender/apagar el micrófono
Alt-V Video on/off Prender/apagar la cámara
Alt-F1 Speaker view Ver solo al que habla
Alt-F2 Gallery view Ver a todos
Alt-U Show/hide participants Ver/no ver la lista de participantes
Alt-H Show/hide chat Ver/no ver el chat
Alt-F Enter/Exit full screen Activar/desactivar pantalla completa


This is a miscellaneous set of tips for best communication in online meetings. AIIC summarized it best in this post, but here is my version. For best results with interpreters, please follow the guidance in the AIIC link, some of which is detailed below.


  • Teleconference calls require the best possible internet connection.
  • Does your headset have an incorporated boom microphone to capture directional sound? Omnidirectional mikes from headsets capture the dog barking next door.
  • Check your sound settings. Can you hear?
  • Do you have a second computer set up, ready to go, in case the one you are on crashes and you need to go on with the meeting? Tennis players take a few extra rackets to the game.
  • Is your computer hard wired to the ethernet so you do not depend on your Wi-Fi crashing? There are USB to ethernet adapters.


  • Do you need a footrest so you can sit up straight? It is hard to do so when your knees are not at a right angle when you put your feet on the floor.
  • Did you get a good stretch before your meeting, so you can sit for a while? Do you have a glass of water handy?
  • Do you have a notepad close so you can write important ideas down? The keyboard is noisy.
  • Are you well rested? Online meetings are more intense than in person meetings. Scheduling 30 minutes between one meeting and the next might be wise.
  • Don’t skip lunch or sleep! Soccer players eat and sleep before a game.


  • Do you have the documents you want to see on your second and third screens, or printed out?
  • If you are interpreting or you have an interview, did you read the materials ahead of time? People like online meetings to be efficient. At the very least, have your documents on a second screen.
  • If you are running the meeting… did you read the materials and prepare the agenda so you know all the topics well enough to lead the discussion?
  • When working with an interpreter, please share all resources and prepared speeches.


  • Dress just as you would if you were going to have this meeting in person, head to toe. It is important to respect the meeting, and you might stand up to get a book, a glass of water, or something.
  • Test the video to see what your camera will show. Is there clutter in the background?
  • Some platforms have artificial backgrounds. Keep in mind that when you use those backgrounds, your head looks strange when you move. You may be better with an uncluttered space of your own.

Cognitive load

Every additional task adds to your cognitive load. So… if you are running the meeting plus letting people into the meeting plus assigning people to breakout rooms plus checking the chat plus… you get the idea, all these things add to your cognitive load and distract you from running the meeting. Just run the meeting and get help with everything else.

In other words, you can do one thing well at a time. When you do more things at a time, your main assignment suffers. Soccer players just play the game. They are not ushers.

Keep in mind that interpreters also do best when they do only one thing at a time (interpret), so working with a dedicated tech support person is essential.


  • Make sure your phone is on silent before you start your meeting. If you are the meeting moderator, remember to ask everyone else to turn their phones to silent. Airplane mode is even better! You can catch your calls on voicemail later…
  • Put a sign on your door so your family knows not to knock on it or come in during your meeting.
  • Turn your computer notifications off during your meeting.
  • It all comes down to this: Be in one place at a time. You are in a meeting. Soccer players don’t answer the phone while they play a game.