Zoom Tips & Tricks

Zoom is a conferencing tool used for video and voice calling. This service allows users to call one another from a wide range of devices over the internet from anywhere in the world.
With recent high demand on video calling, zoom has become a key platform when it comes to calling a group of friends, family or co-workers.
The host of any call must have a zoom account. Zoom has a subscription based model, however it is free to sign up for the casual user. With a free account, you are entitled to host an unlimited amount of calls with a 40 minute time limit and up to 100 participants.
Zoom can be used on a majority of smart devices, tablets and computers. There is no requirement to have a webcam or microphone if you just wish to listen into a call, however if you were wishing to speak or display video you will require a microphone and/or webcam.
Throughout the duration of a call, you are required to have a constant, reliable internet connection. This connection should be at least 5mbps (megabytes per second). This speed should be achieved by most internet networks and can be tested here – www.speedtest.net.

Be cautious if using a cellular data network, as this will use your data or prepaid allowance depending on the mobile plan you are using. Video calling can use quite a bit of internet if calling for extended periods of time.

You will need to download the Zoom client (application) in order to access calls. You will be prompted to download the client when joining your first call. The program itself is free for all, and unless hosting a call will not require a sign in. When prompted, be sure to select allow or download.

If you want to download this program in advance, you can visit www.zoom.us/download on a computer or search for the Zoom app in your devices app store on a smart phone or tablet.

As the host, there are several ways you can start your call. You can either schedule a call to be held and send invites in advance, or start a new call and share the meeting ID or link at the time you wish to call. Calls can be started from the Zoom website (zoom.us) or in the Zoom application and once started gives the ability of all invited to join. Each call has a unique link which can be easily copied and pasted to share via another platform or you can send the unique meeting ID and password for your particular call. When a guest enters this code, they will be added to the current call.
If you have been invited to a Zoom call, you would have received either a link or meeting ID and password that will grant you access into the call.

By clicking on the link, you will be prompted to download Zoom if you haven’t already or taken straight into the call if Zoom is installed on your device. When joining, you can opt to have your audio and video turned off, giving you time to prepare yourself.

If you have only been given the Meeting ID, you can open up the Zoom application on your desired device and enter this ID to gain access. You will then be asked for a password, so be sure to ask the host for this information as well if it has not been provided.

At any time, the host can mute/unmute and turn the video on/off for anyone in the call. You can also turn these on and off yourself in the bottom left corner of most calls.
  • If muted, you will see a microphone with a red strikethrough icon.
  • If you camera is turned off, you will see a camera with a red strike through.
The easiest way to test your audio and video is working is to jump into a test call. Create a new call and ask a friend, family member or colleague to join the call to see if they can see and/or hear you. If on a PC, you may need to change your voice and camera inputs to get a better quality call.

If you can’t hear someone, make sure you check the sound is turned up on your device and is using the correct speaker system. This is also a great way to test inviting people or joining a call for yourself.

Screen share
Zoom allows for screen sharing on desktop, tablet and mobile devices running Zoom. The host and attendees can screen share by clicking the Share Screen icon. Be sure to select the share computer sound option if you are wanting to share your screen with audio as well.

Virtual background
The virtual background feature allows you to display a custom image or video as your background during a call. This feature works best with a green screen and uniform lighting, to allow Zoom to detect the difference between you and your background.

Gallery view
Gallery view allows you to view a thumbnail of all participants in a call. This is generally displayed as a grid pattern and helps when you are wanting to view everyone at once rather than just who is talking. A yellow box will illuminate around the video of who is talking or where sound is coming from.

Recording calls
Calls can be recorded only by the host to be used at a later date. Zoom recommends the host asks for your permission, however there is no option to opt out of the recording. If a call is being recorded, you will be notified by an indicator on the top left hand corner of the call. A host can also give permissions to a participant to begin calling too.
Keep your account protected
Never share your Zoom login credentials (email/password) to anyone! This will stop people from controlling the calls you are planning on hosting and keep your personal information safe.

Never share your meeting ID or password
If leaked, anyone can join using this ID at any time if they have the correct password. Keep unwanted guests out of your calls by protecting your meeting ID’s and passwords.

Don’t use public social media to share Invites
Only use private messaging tools or one-to-one conversation to share call information to keep it secure.

Don’t send invites out too early
‘Zoom-bombing’ has become a trend where someone within your call shares the ID, making accessible to someone you haven’t authorised. Although this could happen on any call, if you don’t share the link early then it can reduce the risk of it being leaked.

Remember everyone could see or hear you anytime….
Even if you are whispering, your microphone could pick up your audio. Even if you are on mute, people can still see you when your camera is on! Don’t forget you are visible to many when on call.