Zoom is a video conferencing tool for online collaboration. Its popularity has skyrocketed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, offering an ideal solution for remote workers to stay connected with their colleagues and clients.
From team meetings to presentations to interviews; if you haven’t come into contact with it yet, chances are you will. To help you prepare for this, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you get to grips with the basics.
1. Getting started
To use Zoom you first of all have to download the Zoom app. For the desktop version, simply go to zoom.us/download or download the Zoom mobile app from Google Play or the App Store.
Installing the app allows you to join meetings set up by other people. However, to start your own meetings, you have to create a Zoom account, which you can do via the website or through the app.
Once that’s done, you can personalise your account by adding a profile picture, syncing your calendar etc.
2. Joining meetings
There are two ways to join a Zoom meeting: via a weblink or with the meeting ID number (this is the same as the string of numbers in the weblink). If you’ve been sent a weblink via email, clicking it will automatically launch the meeting in the Zoom app. To access a meeting with the meeting ID, simply open the app, click ‘join’ and paste it in.
3. Hosting meetings
You can start a new meeting on the spot by opening the Zoom app and clicking ‘New Meeting’. From here you can add participants by clicking ‘Invite’, which will allow you to choose from your Zoom contacts or invite people via email. You can also select ‘Copy URL’ which is useful if you prefer to send the meeting URL via an instant messaging tool like Slack or WhatsApp, for example.
The app also allows you to ‘Schedule’ a meeting. You’ll be prompted to add a meeting name, date and time and to select a calendar to add the meeting to and to use to send out invites to participants (options include Outlook and Google Calendar). Advanced options include setting a meeting password, muting participants on joining and enabling participants to join before the host.
4. Changing audio and video settings
Before joining a meeting, check that your equipment is working correctly. You can do this in the desktop app by clicking the settings icon (the gear wheel) in the top right corner. Within the ‘Video’ and ‘Audio’ tabs you can check whether the right equipment is connected, test your mic and speaker and change your video settings according to your preferences.
5. Key capabilities
Zoom has an extensive range of features that can make your meetings more engaging and run more smoothly. For example, it has an integrated chat feature; you can record meetings, share your screen or use a whiteboard to present information; poll your attendees; personalise your background and even control another participant’s computer! And the best part is, its support website is full of helpful guides and video tutorials so you can easily train yourself to use these capabilities.
So, what’s stopping you from giving it a try? The best way to learn to use Zoom is to just have a go. And what better way to learn than inviting your friends or family for a Zoom chat for your next catch-up?