We’ve been using Zoom at Carswell Gould for a couple of years now. It’s great for those meetings with long-distance clients or for when time is limited. Since lockdown, it’s been invaluable for all of our client and internal meetings while everyone is working from home.
Zoom is a web-based video conferencing tool with a local, desktop client and a mobile app that allows users to meet online, with or without video. Zoom users can choose to record sessions, collaborate on projects and share or annotate on one another’s screens, all with one easy-to-use platform.
Our top tips for using Zoom for meetings
Think of a Zoom Meeting as a face-to-face meeting and conduct yourself as you would if you were present in the same room.
Here are some useful tips to help ensure the meeting goes smoothly for all involved:
- Join early – up to five minutes before the meeting start time
- If you haven’t used Zoom before click the link to download Zoom prior to the day of the meeting and familiarise yourself with any features you may need to use on the day – mute/unmute microphone, stop and start the video, screen share etc.
- Have your video on, unless you are experiencing connection issues
- Find a quiet space without interruptions or background noise
- Have a plain background – avoid backlight from bright windows
- Have good lighting on your face so you can be seen clearly
- Adjust your camera to be at eye level, if possible. Especially take note of the angle of your laptop screen if you are using the built-in camera.
- Mute your microphone when you are not talking
- Try to avoid talking over or at the same time as other participants
- Be aware you are on camera and try to avoid doing other tasks, checking emails, looking at your phone which could show you are not interested in the meeting
How Does It Work?
Join a Meeting
- Go to Zoom.us
- Click the “Join a Meeting” tab. You can find the tab on the top right corner of the homepage
- When prompted, add your designated Meeting ID and password (this should be provided by the host)
- You’re in!
Host a Meeting
- Go to Zoom.us
- Toggle over the “Host a Meeting” tab on the top right-hand corner
- Choose whether you would like to keep video chat on or off
- Sign in using your login information or create a new account
- Launch the Zoom application and open
- Send out the meeting details, including the Meeting ID and password
- You’ve created a meeting!
Share Your Screen
Zoom allows users to share their screen to all on the conference call. This is fantastic, when talking through work with a client, to make sure you’re both looking at the same thing and on the same page.
To do so, simply click “Share Screen” at the bottom of the window.
To stop sharing the screen, simply click “Stop Sharing.”
Here’s why we think Zoom is great
Reimagining Online Video Conferencing
Using HD video and voice, Zoom brings innovation into meetings and webinars. Zoom also features dynamic voice detection and a choice of either full-screen, gallery view, or both using dual streaming for those of you with twice the amount of screens. If you’re more laid back, you’re allowed to join as a view-only attendee, or by telephone dial-in when you’re on the go.
It’s Mobile Friendly
Zoom has a feature-rich, mobile app for both iOS and Android, allowing you to virtually connect from anywhere with an Internet connection.
A Group that Zooms Together, Stays Together
Zoom makes group collaboration easy. Aside from being compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, the programme has group and private chat capabilities with screen sharing from phones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers. Zoom allows you to annotate and co-annotate shared documents as well as gain control of the keyboard, mouse, and even the whiteboard.
Meetings as and when you need them
You have the option of either starting an instant meeting or creating a scheduled meeting. When you schedule a meeting, a Personal Meeting ID will be assigned for you to share or distribute. As host, you have special privileges to record a meeting or mute participants. Zoom allows you to create MP4 and M4A recordings throughout and offer Google Chrome and Outlook plug-ins. Rest assured that whatever you share, whether through a desktop or through the mobile application, is at its highest quality. You can even enable optimisation and sound transfer for video sharing. Aside from all this, participants have the option of virtually raising their hand for permission to ask a question or speak to a group. And using the Zoom meeting format breakout group, hosts can designate times for small group collaboration without ending or restarting a meeting.
Safety is a Priority
Aside from being given your own private login username and password, Zoom also implements both Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption and AES 256-bits encryption. Zoom features role-based access control and admin feature controls.
That right, you don’t pay anything. But of course, you have the option to pay and upgrade to gain access to even more features that Zoom offers Unlimited Number of Meetings.
While using the free version, you can have as many sessions as you would like!
When using Zoom’s free plan, there is a meeting duration cap of 40 minutes. This is upgradable to the paid Pro version. With Zoom’s free plan, there is a maximum of 50 participants allowed per session which is increased using the Pro version.
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