Tips for Using Zoom
This playlist on Zoom's YouTube channel is packed with short videos explaining how to use the software.
To get started:
Go to Zoom.us, download and install the software, create a free account and log in.
You may want to try to use this link to run a "test meeting" and make sure your camera and microphone are set correctly and working properly.
To join a Zoom meeting, you'll have to click a specific link for it and enter a password and possibly a meeting ID. Those will be included in the original announcement for the Meetup.
After you click the link, you may see a prompt asking for your permission to allow the Zoom software to load. Click 'allow.'
Next, you will see a prompt asking if you want to join the meeting via computer audio. You'll click 'yes' if you're using a laptop, tablet or phone with Zoom installed.
A black screen with your username in white letters should appear.
Wiggle your mouse around over this screen (or move your finger around on your track pad). This will make visible a command bar at the bottom of the screen with options, running left to right, that include:
Mute/Unmute | Start/Stop video | Invite | Share | Chat |
Click 'Start Video' to turn on your camera and make yourself visible to the group.
‘Mute/Unmute’ controls your microphone.
It’s a good idea to try to stay muted as much as possible to avoid feedback. Wearing a headset with a microphone (standard iPhone earbuds work well) can be very helpful to improve the audio quality for the group but isn't required.
If you're not using earbuds or a headset, you may want to keep your speaker volume as low as is clearly audible for you, just to try to reduce feedback risk when you are unmuted.
In the upper right corner of the screen, you should see the words "gallery view." This shows all participants at once rather than just whoever is hosting the meeting or happens to be speaking. Highly recommended.
RAISE YOUR HAND FEATURE
To avoid people trying to speak at the same time (a perennial problem with teleconferencing software), it can be helpful to use Zoom's "Raise Your Hand" feature.
See this video from the Vermont Zen Center on how to use this.