In recent years, few things have become as ubiquitous as Zoom. The video-conferencing program went from almost unknown to a part of daily life for millions in a flash. By now, most people have had Zoom meetings, either for work or personal reasons. However, the program has more to offer than you may realize. Let's dig deeper into some of the best aspects of Zoom.
Getting Started Using Zoom
Much of Zoom's popularity is due to its easy use. You can use the web version or download the program for your computer, phone, or tablet. It's easy for people who aren't tech-savvy to use.
To get started, go to the site and create a free account. Then you can schedule a meeting and send invites to the people you want to join. If you added one, they would get the meeting ID number and a password. Afterward, they enter the information into their Zoom desktop app or webpage, grant access to their microphone and camera, and start chatting!
Zoom Features & How To Use Them
The basic functions of Zoom allow you to talk to and see people on one screen for meetings or brainstorming sessions. These features tend to be enough for many people, but you can take your meetings to the next level by tapping into some less-obvious features. Here are a few to check out:
Custom Zoom backgrounds
Many people never bother to change their Zoom background, just letting the group see whatever their camera picks up behind them. This is a missed opportunity. By changing your background, you can reduce distractions if your surroundings aren't camera ready. Businesses can also create backgrounds with logos for everyone to use, so the staff feels united.
To change the background, click on settings, go to the "background and filters," and choose "virtual background." Now either upload an image or pick from an available one.
Zoom immersive view
Using an immersive view takes backgrounds a step farther. Instead of every participant being in a separate square, everyone's image is assembled on one background to make a scene. Up to 25 people can appear in the same setting for a feeling of cohesiveness. This is one of the new Zoom features that keep the program feeling fresh.
Get started with an immersive view by ensuring you have the latest version of the Zoom app. Then find the option in the settings under the "meeting" tab and turn on the immersive view.
A great feature to use in your Zoom talks is the option to record a session. Many people may take notes during the meeting to reference later, but if you are going over a lot of in-depth information with screen-sharing and multiple speakers, it could be helpful to have a recording. The host can share the video if someone has a question later.
Hosts have the power to record meetings. Just click the "record" button at the bottom of the Zoom window. Everyone in the meeting will be notified the meeting is being recorded. Afterward, a video will appear in a predetermined folder on your computer.
There may be moments when the host can't stay through the entire meeting, and someone else will need to take over. This is the time to create a co-host. That person will have the power to mute another participant, record the meeting, and end the meeting.
You can use the account settings to make someone a co-host. Sign in to your account on the Zoom web portal and look for the "in-meeting" settings to designate your co-host.
Raise your hand button
Of all the Zoom features, this is one of the best if you will have a lot of people who will need to speak, like in a brainstorming session. At the bottom of every participant's Zoom window is the "raise your hand" button. Clicking this will let everyone know that you would like to say something, and the host or leader can call on you when there is an opening. This is a great way to keep meetings orderly.
To use this feature, click the button at the bottom of the screen. The meeting host must keep track of who is waiting to speak.
Benefits of These Features
Using these tools can change how you think about using Zoom. You can enhance feelings of togetherness among your remote staff with the shared backgrounds and immersive views. Recording your meetings is also great if you have a colleague who can't attend the meeting but would still benefit from the information. And combining the "raise your hand" tool with the chat makes sure everyone is heard.
So how can you make your Zoom meetings better? Explore some of these options today with Zoom Virtual Office and see how they help your team.