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Phil Cooke Podcast

Sep 2, 2020

COVID has moved us into the online digital world for conferences, lectures, meetings and teaching. Whether you’re using Zoom or Bluejeans, the digital platform requires a different level of professionalism over in-person classes, lectures or preaching. Phil Cooke offers tips for teaching kids and adults for best engagement and success.


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Do you have a message or story the world needs to hear? As a Hollywood producer and media consultant, I offer advice for leaders and creatives each week on filmmaking, digital media, publishing, strategy, communication, leadership, culture and faith – to help you get from where you are to where you want to be in your career.

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*More About This Episode* How to Zoom: Teaching Online Classes

You can be a Rockstar online! Here are Phil’s techniques to help you overcome nervousness and gain professionalism and confidence for your next online event. First of all…

-Recognize the distraction factor. Remind your students or viewers to get a notebook and take notes to help keep them engaged and focused.

-Eye contact matters. Look at the camera as you speak.

-Get in tight to frame your shot.


  1. Set the profile name in your Zoom account. Make sure your name is showing.
  2. Choose a quiet location. Plan on a place free of extra noise from kids, dogs or other distractions.
  3. Take a look at your background. Does it reflect who you are as a professional?
  4. Close all the computer programs for the best internet connection.
  5. Lighting is a big deal! Make sure your face is lit and add an extra light if necessary. In Zoom, you can also choose “touch up my appearance” under video settings for a better look.
  6. Think about your microphone. Consider an outboard mic for a higher quality presentation. (See link below for what Phil uses.)
  7. Frame for professionalism. Get close enough so viewers can see your facial expression for better engagement.
  8. Relax and have fun!



Don’t get stuck looking down at your notes.

Don’t get caught up in looking at the screen.

Login to your even early to make sure everything is working. Check your settings!

Download the Zoom app and practice ahead of time. Try different looks and find the environment where you feel comfortable and that best reflects on who you are as a professional.

Think “adaptation.” You don’t have to duplicate what you do in the classroom, lecture hall or church sanctuary. Adapt to the online setting.


Here’s My Zoom Equipment:

Digital Microphone with Stand:
Here’s a Light/Webcam/iPhone Stand:

Use your iPhone or if you need an exterior camera, try this web camera:

With this webcam stand: 
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