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10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Zoom Experience

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Zoom Experience

Amid the self-isolation and quarantining of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom has matured into the most popular platform around for video conferencing. It faces stiff competition from existing players like FaceTime, GoTo Meeting, Skype, and new entrants like Facebook's Messenger Rooms; for the time being, however, Zoom rules the roost.

So far, if you've only used whatever features of Zoom you've needed to get by, you should be aware that the platform offers tricks and features that make your time on it easier and more productive. While you can join someone else’s Zoom meeting without setting up an account, to access these settings and functions requires you to set up a free account. You can also log in and make changes or customizations using your Google or Facebook accounts. What follows are ten Zoom tips to help you to get the most out of the tool.

Enter Quietly

If you'd like to get on a Zoom call in progress without being disruptive, Zoom allows you to make your entrance silently. It's a feature that can be useful when you need to enter a meeting that you're late to. You can quietly make your way in without anyone noticing.

To enter a Zoom call silently, click on the Settings gear icon in the Zoom app, click on the Audio tab, and check the box for 'Mute my microphone when joining a meeting'. You can unmute the microphone using the button at the bottom of the screen when you need to speak during the meeting.

It's also possible to get into a Zoom call without your video turned on. On the Video tab under Settings, check the box for 'Turn off my video when joining meeting' under the Meetings header. This can be a helpful setting to use when you experience poor internet speeds and prefer to avoid bogging your call down transmitting data-heavy video. The Video button at the bottom of your screen will help you turn the video back on whenever you need to.

Get a Different Background

If you need to get on your Zoom call while in a room that isn't very presentable, Zoom allows you to set virtual backgrounds. This works best when you're seated in front of a background that isn't particularly distracting. Go to Virtual Background under Settings, and choose from among the background wallpaper options available. You can even upload an image or video of your own to use as a background. Simply click the + on the virtual background selection screen and select Add Photo/Video.

Use Shortcuts

It can help, during a multi-person call, for everyone to mute their microphones when they aren't actually speaking. It is a practice that can make for lower levels of distracting ambient noise. On a computer, you don't need to fiddle with the mouse to mute and unmute yourself to get a quick word in. Instead, all you need to do is to tap the spacebar.

Zoom lists on its knowledge base several other useful shortcuts that you can use (Hot Keys and Shortcuts for Zoom). You can even make custom keyboard shortcuts for common actions/settings.

Make Zoom Show the Name of Every Participant

If you often have a hard time remembering people's names in meetings, checking the 'Always display participant names' on their video box under Meetings, under Settings and Video. You'll never struggle to remember the name of a meeting participant again.

Set up a Reminder

If you tend to forget the times of your meetings, you can set up convenient reminders. On the Zoom app for your phone, go to Meeting Settings, and select 'Meeting reminders'. The app will notify you when it's time. On a computer, you'll find the same feature under the General tab under Settings.

Use Digital Beautification

While you want to look your best in a video call, the quality of the average webcam and lighting situation available to most people don't make for a flattering picture. Zoom has a feature for this. You'll find it under Settings in Video. Put a check beside 'Touch up my appearance'. Right away, Zoom displays your video with a soft-focus filter turned on for a more flattering appearance.

Record your Calls

The ability to record your video calls can be convenient in many situations. You can share a recording with someone else, rewind to listen to essential parts again, and so on. Zoom for computers has a Record feature that helps you keep recordings of your meetings for your file. Go to Recording under Settings to activate the feature. The next call that you're on, you only need to click on the Record button on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen to turn it on. You can even get Zoom to record the audio from each participant to a separate file.

Use Emojis to Express Yourself

On the bottom of the meeting screen, to the right, is the Reactions tab. You'll find emojis under it to add some personality to your meetings. Get creative and express yourself!

Invite People to an In-progress Meeting

If you're in the middle of a Zoom meeting and realize that you didn't remember to include a couple of people, it's possible to invite them without much fuss. Simply go to the Meetings tab, copy your invitation link, and send it to the people you need to invite. You can also directly invite people who are on your contact list by clicking on Contacts.

People tend to prefer Zoom over other video conferencing apps because it is easy to get it to work with minimal user intervention. With these handy tips, however, you can make Zoom a whole lot more functional, flexible, and practical.

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Read 3093 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 12:32
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