Whether you love or hate Zoom, by now it has become part of our “new normal” and millions of us are using it daily to learn, work and play.
But, like always, did you know there are things on Zoom you probably are underusing? And those issues or glitches that make you scream or reach for twitter are probably a lot easier to solve with a little know-how.
With so much use, we learn new things about this game changing app daily and thought it might be a good idea to share what we have learnt so you can look like a pro in your next conference call when really, do any of us know what we’re doing half the time?
1) You are in control!
By going to Edit on your invitation you can make quite a lot of key decisions that are often overlooked when group meetings are happening and may not be the first thing you think of if you’re doing a seminar/conference.
Decide if your participants cameras are on automatically:
This is really handy if you are doing a seminar or workshop and don’t need to see everyone or if you have a meeting where seeing everyone is key! Just toggle this on or off and it will force these settings through.
Mute participants upon entry:
This is crucial if you are doing a keynote speech, or are holding a seminar where people have signed up to listen to you/a colleague talk. This can be changed once the meeting begins or if/when you need to but if you don’t want to hear everyone chattering away or Paul’s 3 dogs then you can make sure it’s silent from the start.
Enable a waiting room:
Are you launching a new brand online? Maybe a new product that hasn’t been seen yet or are you hosting an invite only event? Then this is perfect for you! Participants are put into a waiting room and you can check who is there, not accept those you don’t want there and allow everyone to enter at the exact moment you want them to. This can be perfect for creating suspense or if you have any last-minute technical hiccups you want to iron out before they arrive.
2) You can be anywhere you want to be in the world!
Why be in an East London bedroom when you can be in New York for breakfast & the Maldives at lunch?
How to: Click on the up arrow next to Stop/Start video & pick “choose virtual background” Zoom have added some for ease but you can also choose your own holiday snaps or something from the world wide web whenever you want!
3) You can be bad & boujee whilst in a work conference!
We’re not suggesting you start tik-toking mid meeting or turning yourself into a dog whilst talking to your MD but…this instant filter provides a very subtle smoothing of those fine lines and under eye bags. It looks natural we promise just like you had a great night of sleep.
How to: Go to Settings, and under the Video tab, check the box next to Touch up my appearance… Done!
4) You don’t deserve to be shouted at!
So you’re hosting a meeting and have asked a question and immediately 50 people are shouting at you all at once and you feel like you’re back in school and they are trying to get the teachers attention. Don’t panic but we are going to go back to school…Fingers on lips & hands in the air if you want to speak!
How to: If you are the host/co-host, mute everyone & then ask them to raise their hand. They can do this by going to the bottom of the Zoom screen and pressing raise hand & when they are done can lower it! Admins & Co-hosts can then mute/unmute as needed throughout the meeting.
5) You can have an opinion even if you are on mute!
This goes for anyone on mute to be honest, but it feels more important when it’s about you. If you are on mute you can still give a reaction of a thumbs up or clap so when things are going well, you can show your happiness too!
How to: On the bottom row choose reaction, pick your emoji of choice & it will disappear by itself again.
6) Everyone doesn’t need to see everything…
You probably already know that you can easily share your whole screen but whether you are doing a quiz and want to switch to Spotify and not let anyone see your music round or if you need to switch presentation you can actually pause your screen share and do anything you need in the background and no-one will know.
How to: Press Pause Share when you need to & get on with finding that page you seriously thought was in your keynote!
7) You are important! (But so is everyone else)
In nearly every call with someone new to Zoom there is always someone asking why they can’t see everyone. This does have a limit depending on your device but there is a really, really simple way to see more than just yourself.
How to: By turning on gallery view at the top right-hand side of the screen you will be able to see up to 49 people!
8) Collaboration is still possible!
If you work in any industry that normally has people working together like drawing on white boards, snatching post it notes or frankly anything at all that involved more than one person in a room. Zoom still lets you do this & pretty well to be honest.
If you are in a group meeting and someone is sharing their screen you can draw, type, circle, put arrows on and save out screens that you work on. Great for the creative industry & pretty amazing for a game of online Pictionary!
How to: When someone has their screen shared go to ‘view options’ on the floating menu and then click the downward arrow and press annotate you now have a plethora of options.
9) You can take over if you need to!
If you need to move something around and are fed up of saying change that line to this or the yellow section shouldn’t be there, no not there… no… To the right you can actually take remote access of someone’s computer. I mean there is probably other reasons to do this, but my personal favourite is to move keynote slides around!
How to: When someone has their screen shared go to ‘view options’ on the floating menu and then click the downward arrow to request remote access. But bare in mind they need to accept so maybe be as polite as possible
10) Slack is Zoom’s best friend!
We use the Zoom/Slack integration which means you can start a zoom straight from slack and also use the daily reminder because you really can’t blame the central line for missing the morning briefing!
How to: Type /zoom into Slack and you’ll see your options
So there we have it, your simple guide to a happier online meeting experience. Time to get Zooming!!