Zoom has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, in the past months, due to the global pandemic, use of the video conferencing platform has exploded. The number of daily active users catapulted from 10 million to over 200 million in three months.
As such, knowing the tips and tricks behind the software can turn you from an amateur to a pro. That is sure to impress your colleagues (or your boss). Plus, it will allow you to enjoy the full functionality of one of the best video conferencing packages on the market.
So, buckle up as we go through 8 tips to ace your Zoom meetings.
1. Mute with your space bar
At number one, learn to mute with your space bar, instead of fiddling around with your mouse, hunting for the mute icon. Just tap your spacebar to jump between muted and unmuted. It will save a lot of hassle. But also, it will stop those awkward silences when you're called to speak and scramble to unmute yourself. Remember: tap the spacebar.
2. Change your backdrop
One of the downsides of video calls is having a cluttered and messy home backdrop. Or perhaps, you’re a private person and don’t want the meeting’s attendees examining your bookshelves or judging your home décor. You need a virtual background. Head over to Hello Backgrounds, for a guide of how to choose backgrounds for Zoom virtual meetings. They have hundreds of different HD images and videos to choose from: natural scenes, expensive offices, stylish board rooms – the choice is up to you.
3. Use gallery view
If you’re in a meeting with dozens of participants, the standard view only allows you to see the person talking. It can be quite distracting if a conversation is taking place, jumping from one speaker to the next. Therefore, switch to gallery view, by clicking the tab in the top right corner. In this view, you will be able to see all the participants in the meeting.
As such, it is much easier to follow the train of a conversation, gauging people’s reactions as the meeting progresses. Gallery view will host up to 49 attendees on a single page – in a 7 x 7 grid; however, for meetings with more attendees, you will need to click through multiple pages.
4. Share your screen
During a meeting, when you need to discuss your work or give a presentation, the easiest method is to share your screen. Simply, click the Share screen icon in the meeting toolbar at the bottom. By doing so, other participants will be able to see your screen, allowing you to move between different spreadsheets, slides, or documents. You can even show a video to a whole group in this manner if, for instance, you had a YouTube clip to start a meeting.
Also, multiple people can share screens in a meeting. So, feel free to switch, as the meeting goes on.
5. Use the chatroom
If you join a meeting, but you can’t hear the other participants, or someone is mid-speech, and you have a question. Use the chatroom to send a text message to the group. Additionally, if you are in the middle of a call, but need to leave. It is polite to leave a message stating that you need to exit the meeting. It can also be used to share documents.
6. Record the meeting
In real-life, recording a meeting is complicated. You need cameras, microphones, and people to operate them. With a Zoom meeting, simply click on the record button, and the entire meeting will be recorded for future reference. This is useful if someone was unable to attend. They will be able to watch the recording to catch up. Also, suppose the meeting is a training session. In that case, the recording can be used for future training, rather than re-running the entire session.
7. Virtual whiteboards
If you need to explain any idea visually, use a virtual whiteboard. Functioning similarly to a regular whiteboard, users can sketch out their thoughts or keep notes. It can help improve meeting engagement, particularly if used in a brainstorming session. It’s also fun for a game of Pictionary.
8. Enter beauty mode
When we’re working from home, few of us look amazing 24/7. However, with Zoom the 'Touch Up My Appearance' feature can handle all that. It will smooth your wrinkles and soften your skin tone. So, you'll be fresh-faced and well-rested.
Go to Video Settings and under My Video, select the box for Touch Up My Appearance, to turn on the beauty mode.
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