Use Zoom Like A Pro! TIPS, TRICKS & HACKS 2020
Keep reading for today’s best zoom tips, tricks and hacks for a better meeting experience!
A lot of people are rightfully concerned with the new popular webcam and conference app ‘Zoom’ and its security settings. It would appear that Zoom themselves are paying attention.
There have been several enhancements to Zoom security since mid-April 2020. They have stated, ‘A key milestone in our 90-day plan is to proactively identify, address, and enhance the security and privacy capabilities of the zoom platform.’ This leads us onto tip one;
Tip one: Security tab on meeting control
There has been a new feature added to the meeting control. First, you need to open the zoom app on your laptop and start a new meeting. At the bottom, a security tab has been added (this looks like a small shield) and when you click on that security tab you will see a small menu, you will need to tick the ‘lock meeting’ tab. First of all, this is really great for locking out zoom hijackers. Once everyone who is supposed to be attending the meeting is there, you can lock the meeting and nobody else will be able to join that meeting even if they have the meeting ID and password. So, it is like virtually locking the door.
You can also turn off or on the enable waiting room feature (this is also in the security tab) which allows people to wait until the host is ready to receive participants for the meeting. Also, in this tab you will see other options which allow you to manage your participant’s ability to screen share, chat or rename themselves. Some very useful security features that you can manage right from your meeting controls.
Tip Two: Zoom short cut keys
- Mute everybody in the meeting.
For example, if you are hosting meetings with big groups, or lots of clients, background noise can often get in the way of clear communication. So, if you want to mute everybody in the meeting very quickly you can hit Cmd+Ctrl+M (mac) or Alt+M (PC) to mute everyone on the call at once and if you press those keys again you can unmute everybody.
- Mute yourself.
If you want to mute yourself very quickly hit Cmd+Shift+A (mac) or Alt+A (PC) or hold down the space bar.
- Turn off or on video very quickly
By hitting Cmd+Shift+V (mac) or Alt + V (PC)
Tip Three: Reposition your laptop or iPad
One of the simplest yet most important tips when you are taking part in a meeting has to do with repositioning your laptop or iPad to slightly above eye level.
The reason why this is important is that when you are looking down at the camera, other participants in the meeting may be looking up your nose. So, what you can do is grab an old shipping box, books or anything about 4 or 5 inches in height. Place your laptop on it and when you are in a virtual meeting, in essence you are making “eye contact” with participants on the other side.
Tip Four: Join before the host and more settings
Allowing participants to join the meeting before the host arrives means the meeting is less dependent on you being there on time.
You can enable this feature by going to your zoom account on zoom.us. Click on settings on the left-hand side menu and enable ‘Join before host’. This enables the meeting to be opened up to early arrivers and they can start interacting with each other.
Also, under the same settings tab you can modify many other features of zoom. For example, you if you scroll further towards to the bottom, you can enable virtual backgrounds if you don’t already have this option showing on your meeting controls toolbar.
If you scroll back up a little bit and go to ‘always show my meeting controls toolbar’ so that it won’t keep disappearing during the meeting.
The virtual background feature can now be accessed from the meeting controls toolbar when you are conducting a zoom meeting.
Also, if you scroll up again and switch to the recording tab, you will see an option to completely disable the recording feature if I want to by clicking ‘local recording.’
If you want to know where all of your recordings go when this is enabled, just above the settings on the left-hand side you can click on ‘recordings’ and then ‘local recordings’ to access all your recordings.
Tip Five: Zoom virtual backgrounds
Zoom virtual backgrounds is a great feature that allows you to display an image or video as your background during a Zoom Meeting.
So now you know how to enable zoom virtual backgrounds, if you want to access this feature you can access it in two ways. First way is to open Zoom on your computer and then click on the gear icon on the top right-hand corner and on the left-hand side you should see the virtual background feature.
The other way is when you are in a Zoom meeting if you click on the arrow pointing upwards next to the video icon you can also access it from there. If it isn’t showing in both of these places then click on settings on the left-hand side and scroll down to virtual backgrounds and enable that box. Once you start a new meeting or reopen your zoom app it should be visible.
You can select one of these images or videos as your desired virtual background or add your own image by clicking + and choosing if you want to upload an image or a video. You can get really high-quality images that are free from websites like pixabay.com, pexels.com or unsplash.com. You can look for office space images or you can also upload a solid colour with your logo somewhere and use that as your virtual, or of course a video. The possibilities are really vast.
Now another thing you need to be aware of is that not everybody with a computer or phone can use this amazing feature. There are some requirements in order to use virtual backgrounds. If you are on a PC or Mac you need at least an i5 processor or better. If you are on an iPhone you need an iPhone 8 or better. Unfortunately, this background feature is not compatible with android phones at the moment.
Tip Six: Hide floating meeting control
This next tip is a simple one but can save you a lot of time and frustrations. For example, you are hosting a meeting and sharing your screen. You can hide the floating meeting control at the top so that you don’t accidentally stop sharing because you want to access another window on your device. To do that, click on the three dots at the far-right corner on the floating meeting controls and select ‘hide floating meeting controls.’ If you want to see it again simply click on ‘esc’ key on your pc or mac.
Tip Seven: New share and pause share
There is also the possibility to new share and pause share. So, if you want to share another screen on your computer, for example, a word document. You can click on ‘new share.’ The participants are not going to see you switching to a new screen, they will only see the new screen, in this case the word document once clicked on share screen. If you want to go back to my previous window again, click on ‘new share’, select the window and you are back. This really allows for a smooth sharing transition between different apps on your computer when you are conducting a meeting.
If you click on ‘pause share’ the participants will remain on the same screen if you need to go and find something then when you click on pause again you can resume the screen share part of the meeting.
By using these two features when doing a screen share your meetings will look much more polished and professional. You can also use Alt+V to quickly disable your video.
Another tip to be aware of is you can use annotations when sharing your screen. If you click on ‘annotate’ there are a variety of different ways you can highlight different things on your screen. You can play around with this feature to work out which tools works best for you.
Tip Eight: Breakout rooms
Breakout rooms is an incredibly useful feature when teaching large groups. This allows you to split up your groups into smaller teams. As a host you can hop from team to team and bring everyone back together when you want to. To enable breakout rooms, you need to head to the settings tab again. Scroll down to the section that says ‘in meeting (advanced)’ select the option ‘breakout room’ and ensure the box for ‘assign participants to breakout rooms’ is ticked.
To explain how this works, when you click ‘start a new meeting’, you will now see the ‘breakout rooms’ option at the bottom of the screen. Once clicked you can have zoom automatically assign people into breakout rooms or you can do this manually. Once the room is created you can rearrange participants by clicking ‘assign’, you can also add other rooms. Rooms can be renamed or deleted and up to 50 can be created. Once you are happy with your rooms ensure you click ‘open all rooms’ and your participants will be sent to the breakout room they are assigned to. After you close these rooms all participants will be put back into the same meeting.
Hopefully this has been helpful. Make sure you play around with the settings to discover any new features that may not have been mentioned!