ZoomFollowing on from last weeks article about remote working, here is the first of my favourite collaboration software apps and how to use them.

In this article we shall look at Zoom.

Zoom offers a great web conferencing service and more, but some of the hidden options are in advanced menus. The below tricks and tips will show you how to use the app to work, learn and communicate more effectively.

Create recurring meetings with saved settings and one URL

Zoom recurring meeting schedule

For weekly meetings or monthly check-ins and any other scheduled calls, Zoom will let you create a recurring meeting. One of the benefits to this feature is it lets you lock in all call settings you want once and it will have them automatically in place for your next scheduled call or meeting. Another great feature is once you have set up these recurring calls it will always use the same URL so you wont have to resend it to your attendees.

In addition to this, if you meet with the same group regularly but not on a specific time or day, you can choose the option called No Fixed Time, which lets you use the same settings and meeting ID over and over again. This feature is particularly popular with educational groups who use Zoom as their virtual classroom.

Record the call as a video

Zoom lets you record your web conference call as a video; a very handy feature for sharing the meeting or allowing you to review it later. When you record, you must choose whether to use the local or cloud option, local means you store the video file yourself, cloud means another storage space such as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. However storing to the Zoom cloud is a paid feature only.

When creating a video from a call it makes a big difference to the final quality if you optimise a few settings in advance. For example some calls might be in broadcast-style where only the host appears on the screen. In that case set Zoom to only record the audio and video of the host. Other calls might be in the style of a collaborative meeting where you want to record everyone. (My personal tip is to explore Zoom’s settings at least a few times before recording your first video)

Requirements: To record videos you will need Zoom on macOS, Windows or Linux (if you don’t see the option to record check your settings in the web app under My Meeting Settings) or have account administrator to enable it.

                                                                                  Co-host calls

A meeting can have more than one person at the helm, for example two or more directors or managers may want to host a meeting along side each other while working remotely. To use co-hosting tools you first must enable it in Zoom’s Meeting Settings. Look for the meeting tab and choose Co-host option, then when you start a meeting wait for your co-host to join and then add the person by clicking the three dots that appear when you hover over their video box. Alternatively you can go to the participants window, choose manage participants however over the co-hosts name and select more to find the make Co-host option.

Requirements: To use co-hosting you need a Pro, Business, Educational or API partner account with Zoom you will need to run on macOS, Windows or android or IOS (not Linux or Web). If the option doesn’t appear ask your account administrator to enable the settings in the Meeting tab for co-hosting.

A waiting Room

Another useful feature from Zoom is to let attendees get into a video call with or without the host being present. Small groups sometimes like this option because they can have a few minutes to chit chat before the meeting officially starts (a virtual watercooler if you like). Precisely how you enable a waiting room depends on the type of account you have. When you set one up you can customise what the attendees see while they await your grand entrance.

See who attended your meeting

If you’re using Zoom to hold a conference or virtual classroom, you probably want to know who attended. You can get this information from a report once the meeting is finished. The attendee list for all meetings can be found in the Zoom account management reports section. Look for usage reports and then click Meeting to find the meeting  you want and select the report type and data range and generate the report.

Requirements: To generate an attendee list, you need to be:

  1. The host of the meeting
  2. In a role with usage reports enabled or an account administrator or owner.
  3. You also need a Pro, API Partner, Business or education plan.

Collect information from attendees

In addition to getting an attendance sheet you can also gather information from meeting attendees about themselves before they join the call. For example you might want to require that attendees provide their name company affiliation or job role. To collect this information first you need to require registration, an option found in the My Meetings tab of the Zoom web app. Once you have done this you can set up a form that attendees must fill out before they can join the meeting. For the registration form, Zoom provides standard fields, such as name etc, that you can add using check boxes. To add new questions or fields, jump over to the tab called Custom Questions. 

Requirements: To require attendee information, the host must have a Pro Account, additionally  the meeting cannot be your personal meeting ID.

A few essential keyboard shortcuts

Who doesn’t love a shortcut? If you’re like myself and use Zoom more than once a week, these keyboard shortcuts are worth learning.

I is for invite. Press Cmd+I (macOS) or Alt+I (Windows) to jump to the Invite window, where you can grab the link to the meeting or send invitations to others via email.

M is for mute. Press Cmd+Ctrl+M (macOS) or Alt+M (Windows) when you are the meeting host and want to mute everyone else on the line.

S is for share. Press Cmd+Shift+S (macOS) or Alt+Shift+S (Windows) to share your screen.

Thanks for reading! Always CoRE Educational are always here to advise on tech support, remote access or even hardware procurement.

Please reach out to our dedicated account manager Abbygail on 0330 223 5229