Zoom, a Video Conferencing Software, Has Seen a Massive Increase in Users in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Here’s How to Upgrade Your Experience for Even Better, More Productive Meetings…
For many of us, the coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult, trying time, but it’s also been a time of learning new ways to collaborate, work, and feel connected to those around us. Zoom, a video conferencing software, is evidence of how many people around the world are adopting virtual ways of getting together; taking shelter-in-place and social distancing requirements seriously. The software has seen a massive increase in users over the past couple of weeks – allowing users to take part in meetings and social gatherings, despite the current situation.
What is Zoom and How Does It Work?
Zoom is a video and audio conferencing tool that gives users the ability to take advantage of the following:
Unlimited one-on-one meetings with other individuals
Group video conferences with up to 500 participants
Screen sharing with individuals or large groups
Record meetings for future reference and/or holding
Zoom offers four price tiers with varying call bandwidths, but given the current situation, they’ve removed the 40-minute time limit on the free plan for all K-12 schools. It’s fairly straightforward and easy-to-use for individuals and business professionals alike.
How to Upgrade Your Experience for Even Better, More Productive Meetings…
For those who are using the software to maintain connections with partners, customers, and colleagues, it’s important to be aware of all the features, tips, and tricks out there to make your meetings even better and more productive. Here’s a few of our favorites:
Make Use of Backgrounds
Given the current circumstances, many individuals have been forced to work from home without much warning. If you don’t have a professional background or an office space within your home, make use of backgrounds. You can customize your background via the settings area that offers “virtual backgrounds” – from the beach to outer space and everything in between.
Keep Your Audio and Video Off
If you have children, pets or any other distractions in your home, it’s best to keep your audio and video off by default rather than scramble to turn them off each and every you’re jumping on a meeting. Go to settings, audio, and mute and settings, video, and turn off beforehand so you’re able to turn them on during the meeting at your own discretion.
Switch to Gallery View
By default, you’re able to see the person speaking during the meeting. If you’d rather feel connected to everyone on the video conference, switch to gallery view. Go to “gallery view” in the top right corner to do this. If there are 49 or fewer attendees, all of their screens will be displayed on the page.
Make Use of Keyboard Shortcuts
There’s a ton of keyboard shortcuts to make your meetings even more efficient. You can join a meeting, start or stop recording, and share your screen, amongst many other options, within a few clicks. Take a look at the full list of shortcuts to get started.
Share Your Screen
The ability to screen share is one of the most useful features found within the software. You can click the “share screen” icon found within the toolbar at the bottom of the meeting. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to choose which window to share – giving your participants the ability to follow along with you.
Make a Recording of Your Meeting
Many business professionals have less predictable schedules now that we’re all working from home. This makes recordings crucial to ensure everyone has the information they need to stay up-to-speed. Go to settings, then recording, and toggle it on to make sure you have a copy of the meeting saved to your desktop.
Beautify Your Appearance
There’s a “touch up my appearance” feature that many people don’t know about and it’s quite handy if you’re running late but still want to look your best. The filter essentially smooths you over to make you appear more well-rested. Click the arrow next to “start video” and go to “video settings” to find the option.
Hide Participants without Video
If you’re finding your screen cluttered with participants, you can hide those who aren’t using video. Go to settings, then video, then meetings and check the “hide non-video participants” box to do this. You’ll be much less distracted and able to focus on those who are fully participating in the meeting.
Questions? Get in Touch with Centerpoint IT at (404) 781-0200 to Learn More.