Zoom Tutorial for Beginners: How to Use Zoom?
Many people have experienced the frustrations of poor connection that make it impossible to initiate or sustain a call. It can be hard to find online video conferencing software with crisp video, ease of use and reliable sound quality. But Zoom has solved the problems of online video conferencing as it offers a crisp HD video connection, reliable sound quality and it has a ton of other features too.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing app anyone can use to meet clients, employees, students and other people online – either by audio-only or video or both. In fact, it allows you to record your sessions and view it later, carry out screen sharing, annotation, etc.
With over half of Fortune 500 companies using Zoom, this app is a leader in its industry. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to use it effectively. If you really want to enjoy all Zoom features, here is a Zoom guide for beginners.
How to Use Zoom on your desktop?
If you are just getting started with the Zoom app, here are the steps you should follow:
Sign up with Zoom
Head to the Zoom website (www.zoom.us) and sign up by clicking on “Sign up it’s free.” Zoom has four distinct price plans, but if you are just looking to test it out or host up to 100 participants, you can choose the “Free Plan.” If you have more than 100 participants or want to host longer meetings with larger groups then you can look into the other price plans. For the sake of this guide, we’ll be using the Free Plan.
Sign up for a free account by clicking “Sign up it’s free” on the top right-hand corner of the website. You can sign up with your email, Google account or Facebook account. I find signing up with Google account easier and quicker, but you can sign up with any means available to you.
After that, click on “Create account.” Log into your account and you will land on the page where you can locate the “Meetings Tab.” This is where you can schedule a new meeting, join a meeting and host a meeting. You can also link your account with Microsoft Outlook or Chrome Extension for an easy meeting schedule. On the left hand side you will also find the profile tab where you have the opportunity to change your profile picture and edit your personal details. Under the settings tab you can enable and disable many zoom features, for example, virtual background and breakout rooms.
After you have chosen a plan, download the Zoom App onto your computer to start hosting meetings or join meetings. You can still join a meeting or interview without having a Zoom account, but you will be prompted to download the Zoom App once you click on the link given to you to join the meeting.
There are two ways to download Zoom. One way is to scrolls down to the footer area and click on “Meeting Client”. Another way is to click on “Host a Meeting,” and select one of the three possible options and download Zoom onto your computer.
Understanding Meeting Control Panel
After downloading Zoom, a window will pop up where you have many meeting controls to make zoom an effective video conferencing experience for you.
Here is what you need to know about how to get the most out of your meetings or online conference. Let’s discuss each feature.
#1. Microphone Icon
This icon is located at the far left hand side on the meeting controls and it can be used to mute or unmute yourself. If you don’t want participants to hear your voice, click on the microphone icon. If you click again, you will be unmuted and other people in the meeting or conference will be able to hear your voice. You can also press the spacebar on your keyboard to achieve the same goal.
#2. Video Icon
The video icon is where you can enable or disable video. When you disable this feature your profile picture will be visible instead of your video. To change your google profile picture log into your zoom account and click on profile on the left hand side. Then click on change underneath your profile picture to upload a new picture.
#3. Invite Icon
If you want to invite people to a meeting, click on the “Invite Icon.” A window will pop up with many options.
- Copy URL of the meeting and send to participants directly alongside Meeting Password.
- You can also Copy Invitation and send to participants. The password and meeting ID is usually part of the invitation so you don’t have to add those manually again to your invitation.
- You can also send an invitation through email carriers such as Gmail, Yahoo mail etc.
#4. Manage Participant Icon
When you click Manage Participant Icon, a window will pop up by your right-hand side or in the centre of the screen. Some of the features you get will allow you to mute participants if you don’t want them to talk during the meeting, especially if you don’t want them to communicate among each other so that they can focus on you. You can mute all of them or unmute all.
You can also lock the meeting to prevent other participants from joining even if they have the meeting ID and password.
#5. Raise Hand
If you are a participant of a meeting you have the opportunity to raise your hand. Click on the Participant Icon and click on the Raise Hand Icon. Your hand will appear next to your name, showing the host that you want to say something without interrupting the session. Click the Raise Hand Icon again if you want to put your hand down. You can use this feature if you have a question or want to contribute to a discussion.
#6. Screen Share Icon
When you click on screen share, you can choose any of the applications you already have opened on your computer and click share screen. You can share the screen of your iPhone or iPad too. You can also share any sound played by your computer by checking the box Share Computer Sound.
There is also the possibility to share a video clip in full-screen mode by ticking the box Optimize for Full Screen Video Clip.
You can also choose Whiteboard and click on Share Screen. Whiteboard is a fantastic feature for teaching. So you can quickly scribble something on the Whiteboard or draw something to explain things. This Whiteboard has many features like Text, Drawing, Eraser, etc.
If you want to stop sharing, you just have to click on Stop Share and you will be back to your main meeting window. You can also click the arrow pointing upward to see more Sharing options.
#7. Chat Icon
Chat allows the participants to communicate through message. Just type your message into the chat field and click Enter. Participants can chat with each other or with only the host. This depends on the host’s setting. You can also share files on your computer or cloud accounts.
#8. Record Icon
With the Record Icon, you can record everything happening in the meeting. You can pause your recording and when you are done recording, click on stop or end meeting and it will automatically save the recording as an mp4 file on your computer and in your zoom account.
#9. Reactions Icon (Emojis)
With reactions, you can make your meeting fun and engaging. For instance, a thumbs up or clap can allow a participant to engage in the meeting without interrupting the host. Reactions are especially great to use with younger participants.
#10. End Meeting
After the meeting is concluded, the host can click on End Meeting and choose End Meeting for All or Leave Meeting (to allow participants to discuss further).
Finally, you can schedule a meeting by clicking on Schedule Meeting on your Zoom account or the app. Complete all the meeting details and copy the generated meeting URL and send it to the participants.
If you are looking for a great video conferencing software app that offers all the features you need, you can count on Zoom. Is Zoom free? Yes. That is why half of Fortune 500 companies are already using it. And you can also give it a try for free.