The 12x12x12 Zoom Rule

What is the 12x12x12 Zoom rule? In 2010, I introduced the original 12x12x12 rule when attending in-person networking events in my book, “Networking Like a Pro”. Ten years later, with all of us using our computers for online networking, I adapted the 12x12x12 rule in 2020 for Zoom.

What do you look like 12 feet around you?

Since everyone is broadcasting from home these days, it is important to pay attention to the setting of your personal meeting location. Make sure what people will see behind you is as professional as possible. Remove the visible clutter around you and close the door to keep your kids, or cats, from interrupting the call. If you are using a virtual background, choose something related to your industry. However, keep the background photo professional, like bookshelves or an office setting. Do not use a tropical beach background, unless you work on a beach or as a travel agent. Remember, your background says a lot about you. Hang a solid-colored green sheet behind you as an easy green screen when using a virtual Zoom background.

What do you look like 12 inches away from your web camera?

Have you dressed appropriately for the meeting? I mean, are you FULLY DRESSED for the meeting with both a professional top and bottom? Too many stories have been shared on the TV news about people getting up from their chairs and being caught in pajama pants, athletic shorts, or unfortunately even less. I’ve been known to wear sweat pants on camera but never wear something (or not wear enough) that would end up with you on the TV news. Make sure your hair is combed and you are not eating on camera. Plus, be prepared with a pen and notepad to take notes.

What are the first 12 words out of your mouth on Zoom?

This is the most important point. Have you thought about what you are going to say to someone else at a networking event? The worst time to think about what you want to say is when you are saying it. Think about concise ways you can get your points across: what you want to say about your business, your target market, the benefits of your product or service, etc. Finally, use a microphone so that everyone can clearly hear you

Before you log in to your next online networking event or Zoom meeting, remember these tips, and verify that you are following the 12x12x12 Zoom rule. 

9 thoughts on “The 12x12x12 Zoom Rule

  1. All good points that too many people ignored. I have created a PowerPoint presentation to emphasize Pro look on Zoom: where is the camera (since it’s your audience eyes), lights, sitting and general body posture, not driving while on zoom etc…illustrating that all good manners and etiquette for in-person meeting applies to zoom meeting. We can easily come up with 12 key points.

  2. Dr. Misner and Dear Reader,
    I cannot say enough positive things about the book, “Who’s In Your Room?”. It is the best tool that I have found that helped me identify who is in my orbit, who I needed/wanted to be in my orbit and for me to consider the consequences of both. In short, buy this book. You will be very glad that you did. It is a great Holiday gift! As always, thank you Dr. Misner.
    Mark Seery
    BNI Hawaii

  3. yes, if we mean business, BE that 100%, the positive vibes will augment from within. shun the casual approach. Remember that the other persons are investing TIME. Respect em all with the 12x12x12 rule. Rules are to be seen as brakes in the car, they help you drive faster.

  4. My background is the breakfast buffet from our last in person BNI meeting on March 11, 2020. Since the meetings are hosted in our cooking school studio kitchen it’s a great way to advertise the space.

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