Participating with Zoom

What can Zoom be used for?

Zoom can be used to do many things outside of a regular classroom:

  • Meet with group members for projects and assignments
  • Work on homework with classmates
  • Record a presentation
  • Schedule online tutoring
  • Host a meeting for a club or organization

What devices can I use Zoom on?

  • Laptop/computer (PC/Mac) — recommended
  • Tablet (Apple iOS, Android)
  • Smartphone (Apple iOS, Android)

Preparing for a Zoom Meeting

Days Before

  • Remember to download and install the Zoom launcher (PC/Mac) or the app (iOS/Android) in advance, as it can take several minutes to complete.
  • Review Zoom instructions here or via the external Zoom link you have received. More information can also be found at Zoom’s Getting Started page.
  • Join a Zoom Test Meeting to confirm your computer or device’s capabilities.
  • In your test meeting, practice using the Zoom features listed below under “Views to Choose From” and “The Zoom Menu.”

15 Minutes Before

  • Find a quiet space with strong WiFi that is free of distractions.
  • Open Zoom via the downloaded program, app, or through the Zoom link in email.
  • Test your headphones, microphone, and camera to make sure the session can hear and see you (and vice versa).
  • To test your microphone, click “Test Computer Mic & Speakers” in the pop-up window that appears when first opening a test meeting or beginning your scheduled meeting. Read more information from Zoom on audio testing.
  • To test your camera, just look at the Zoom window to see that you are clearly visible, non-pixellated, and can move and speak without noticeable delays. Read Zoom’s video testing tips.
  • You may need to give Zoom permission to access your camera and microphone beforehand. Typically, the request for permission will appear in a pop-up window the first time you open a Zoom Meeting, and will carry over to future meetings. If you declined permissions in the past, you will need to go into your PC or Mac’s settings to allow Zoom to access your camera and microphone.
  • Close any windows or programs open on your device that are unrelated to your meeting. This focuses your device’s power to provide the best Zoom meeting experience possible, and prevents potential embarrassing moments if you happen to share your screen.

During the Zoom Meeting

  • Click Start Video to begin broadcasting from your webcam.
  • If you choose to not share your video with the session, press the Mute Video button.
  • Click the Chat bubble to ask questions via text, share links to websites, and keep up with the session back-channel discussion. You can chat to everyone in the meeting, just the session host, or a specific person.
  • Find out who else is in the meeting by clicking Participants. This is also where you can “raise your hand” to ask a question, answer a question, or start a sidebar discussion.
  • If necessary, be prepared to share your screen with the session. They can see the tabs you have open.
  • At the end of the presentation, click Leave Meeting.

Views to Choose From

Views can be changed by hovering the mouse at the top right of the Zoom Meeting window and clicking the desired view. There are three views in Zoom:

  • Speaker View: Focuses on the current presenter.
  • Gallery View: Shows all participants (up to 25 people). Use it when you feel like watching everyone.
  • Fullscreen: Maximizes screen.

The Zoom Menu

The Zoom menu contains several features that can be used at any time throughout meetings. For laptops, PCs, and Macs the menu can be found by hovering over the bottom of the Zoom window. In the Zoom app, the menu can be accessed by tapping the bottom of the app window.

  • Mute: Silences and activates your microphone.
  • Invite: Lets you bring more people into the presentation, if the meeting host provides those permissions.
  • Share Screen: Allows you to share a variety of windows and applications. Participants can share views of their desktops and specific windows currently open on their computer, write on a digital whiteboard, and even share a screen directly from their iPhone or iPad, if enabled by the meeting host.
  • Chat: Works like any instant messaging client, but without the GIFs or stickers. You can send messages to everyone, just the meeting host, or a specific person.
  • Record: If the host allows it, you can record and download as much of the meeting as you want.
  • Leave Meeting: Click this when you’re ready to leave the meeting.
  • More (on the Zoom app): Allows you to raise your hand, and other features.

Zoom Etiquette and On-Camera Tips

Video chatting in a professional setting is a new experience for many . Here are some tips to help you look (and feel) confidant about participating in an online presentation.

  • Getting clear video is a lot like taking a good selfie — it’s all about contrast. Light your face more brightly than the background to make it easier to see you.
  • Hold your head high in the picture frame. It conveys confidence.
  • Keep your clothing PG and professional.
  • Be yourself. Move physically and make facial expressions.
  • Microphones pick up all ambient noise, so keep your mic muted until it’s your time to speak.
  • Remember that when on-camera, other activities such as eating, drinking, shuffling papers, etc are extremely distracting (and sometimes unflattering).
  • If you can’t use video, upload a nice profile image of your face to your Zoom Account.
  • Have fun!

Some portions of the above content courtesy Humboldt State University.