How To Use Zoom the Right Way
Video conferencing tools like Zoom were popular before the pandemic (remember Skype, anyone?). Now, a video call is a go-to channel for countless businesses and meeting participants across industries.
Though Zoom is an excellent way to communicate with team members, clients, and other people involved in your organization, it’s essential to understand how to use it effectively. It can present some challenges if you’re new to it.
Overall, its simplicity is one of its greatest qualities. But it also offers plenty of advanced features that your team will need to learn to boost productivity. Poised has created a comprehensive guide on how to use Zoom!
Video Conferencing: The Present and Future
Video conferencing has been a thing in the corporate world, particularly among large enterprises, remote workers, and digital nomads. However, video conferencing was not on the radar for many workers until the Coronavirus pandemic emerged.
In 2020, videoconferencing made its way into countless industries and households. Many jobs became remote or, at the very least, flexible.
More and more workers are relying on their Zoom accounts each day, and it's clear this channel will remain a significant player in communications for the foreseeable future. Video conferencing and team chat have exploded on the market, and many businesses are investing heavily in transitioning to a video-first strategy.
The cost savings of video conferencing, along with the inherent benefit of accessing global talent, make it easy to see why companies are growing increasingly interested in the communication form.
What Is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing tool. It allows you to host and attend virtual team or one-on-one meetings on the cloud. It offers powerful video, audio, and collaboration features to connect a distributed workforce easily. You will need a webcam and microphone to use it.
Here are some of Zoom's primary features:
- High-definition video conferencing and chat
- VoIP-enabled audio conferencing
- Custom virtual backgrounds
- Video webinar hosting
- Collaborative whiteboards and screen sharing
- Instant messaging
- Free account
- Sync with Google calendar and Apple calendar
- Zoom calls are available on web browser or mobile device
- The meeting host can manage participants
One benefit of using Zoom is that you don't need to create an account. Plus, the platform works with Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux devices. In other words, almost anyone can attend a Zoom meeting, even from their iPhone or iPad.
Zoom Desktop App vs. Mobile Zoom
The Zoom desktop and mobile app share many similarities, but there are also some key differences. For example, the Zoom desktop app exclusively offers:
- All participant and host functions
- Creating breakout rooms
- Establishing and managing polls
- Live streaming webinars and meetings
- Pausing shared screens
- Sharing animated GIFs
- Editing sent messages
The Zoom desktop and iOS apps both allow users to implement virtual backgrounds and use a touch-up feature, among many other similarities. One thing to consider is that you will have much more control as a host by using the desktop app because you will simply have more features to work with. On the other hand, the mobile app allows you to easily call into Zoom meetings from your smartphone, which is helpful when you are unable to connect to Wi-Fi but have a full cell signal.
All and all, the Zoom desktop app is the more feature-rich option. It's ideal if you need admin-like controls over meetings. But the mobile app will suffice if all you need to do is call in and participate.
How Do You Register for Zoom?
If you are registering for the desktop, go to Zoom’s website and click the "sign up" button at the top-right corner. You can either use your work email address to create an account, a single sign-on (SSO), or your Facebook or Google account. We highly recommend registering with your email address if you will be using Zoom for any work functions.
Next, check your email for a confirmation link from Zoom, click on the link, and sign in through the sign-up assistant. You can then download the app from the Zoom website.
If you are downloading the Zoom mobile app, purchase it from the App Store or Play Store. The on-screen sign-up instructions will be similar to those of the desktop version.
How Do You Schedule Meetings on Zoom?
Setting up a meeting on the Zoom desktop app is just as painless as making an account. Start by logging in to your account, and select one of the three options from the "Host a Meeting" link in the top-right corner of the page:
- With Video On
- With Video Off
- Screen Share Only
You will instantly be redirected to the Zoom app and the meeting will start. This is when you will copy the URL for inviting attendees and make any adjustments necessary to the meeting settings.
For the mobile app, you simply open the app, sign in, and tap the “New Meeting” icon. You can choose from several meeting settings, like using a Personal Meeting ID or disabling video for participants. After editing the settings, tap “Start a Meeting.”
Tips for Using Zoom
So, you know the basics of how to get started on Zoom. Here are some proven tips to help you get the most from the video conferencing tool.
Speaker View vs. Gallery View
There are four video layout options on Zoom, and the two most popular ones are Speaker View and Gallery View. When in Speaker View, the large window will alternate between the speaker and three or more participants. If you are meeting with just one person, your video will appear smaller at the top of your screen while theirs shows up larger at the bottom. You can pin a participant to keep them as the largest video throughout the meeting in your view or spotlight them to stay the largest for all participants' view.
Gallery view is ideal if you have many participants because it allows you to see thumbnail displays in a grid pattern. The desktop app will display as many as 25 or 49 attendees on a single screen (depending on your CPU).
If you have more participants than can be displayed, the app will create additional pages of thumbnails. You can view up to 1,000 participants by cycling through the pages.
When and How To “Raise Hand”
One of the most common questions about using Zoom is how to raise your hand in a meeting. Once you know how to do it, it's easy! From the desktop app, click on the "Reactions" icon in the bottom-center toolbar.
You should see a new window pop out and a button labeled "Raise Hand" at the bottom-right of the screen. Click the button, and you should see an emoji hand show up beside your name. Clicking the same button will lower your hand.
From the mobile app, you will need to click the "More" icon in the bottom-right toolbar. Then, simply tap the "Raise Hand" icon.
Common Zoom Shortcuts
There are a host of useful shortcuts available in Zoom. Knowing these will make your life a bit easier:
- Ctrl-Alt-Shift to switch to meeting controls
- Alt-Shift-T to take a screenshot
- Alt-F2 to change to Gallery View
- Alt-F1 to change to Active Speaker View
- Alt-V to start/stop video
- Alt-Aute to mute/unmute video
- Alt-R to start local recording
- Alt-C to start cloud recording
- Alt-M to mute/unmute everyone but the host
- Alt-S to open/close the share screen window
- Alt-T to pause/resume share screen
Speak With Impact: AI Integration
Another advantage to using Zoom is that it integrates with various AI tools, helping you to communicate more effectively in your meetings. For example, you can seamlessly integrate Poised to get real-time performance monitoring and tips for coming across as a professional communicator. You can even analyze your virtual meetings after they take place and see the aspects you need to improve upon. You might be surprised how quickly you can transform your communication skills!
Utilize the Waiting Room
Zoom provides a Waiting Room feature that lets the host of a meeting determine when a participant can join. You can either hold all the attendees in the room and bring them all in at the same time or admit them one by one.
This feature also allows you to automatically send everyone who joins your meeting to the Waiting Room or those with specified domains to bypass the room immediately.
Mute, Unmute, and Mute Again
It's super easy to mute and unmute yourself in Zoom meetings. In fact, there's a feature that allows you to join meetings automatically muted until you enable your microphone. This feature is particularly useful for people who enter a meeting late, are surrounded by loud noises, or are in meetings with many participants.
Perhaps one of the most impressive Zoom features is how easy it is to screen share. You can instantly share your screen across any device or choose not to. It gives participants full control and goes a long way in cultivating a collaborative environment.
Welcome to the Zoom Room
Finally, if you purchase the Pro plan or higher, you can access Zoom Rooms, which is the company's conference room tool. The software can connect your computer to a monitor or television, and it allows you to convert almost any room into a legitimate conference room. This is a worthwhile investment if your organization will be relying on Zoom meetings for the foreseeable future.
If you are ready to take team communication to the next level, consider setting your employees up on Zoom. Then, remember to integrate it with top-notch communication tools like Poised. Your team and organization as a whole will be collaborating more effectively in no time!