A very simple guide to using Zoom for video calls

March 28, 2020

Introduction

Zoom has exploded onto the scene this past week, fueled by the growing COVID-19 pandemic. While there are plenty of user guides out there, and a never ending hoard of newly ordained "experts" keen to show you the light, we thought we would try and make it even simpler, and of course, free.

If you haven't heard yet, Zoom is the hot new tool everyone is using to go remote, yet for many of us, Zoom isn't that new at all. As leaders in remote working for over a decade, our team have always collaborated using one video conferencing tool or another. But when Zoom broke onto the scene in c. 2013-15, we knew we'd found what we were looking for.

What it does

Zoom allows you to join and schedule video meetings with other users, and depending on your plan, you can have 30+ people on the call. You can join from desktop or mobile to see people or share your screen, and you have the ability to receive audio via the web, or by dialing into a more classic conference call number by phone.

How to start using it

  1. Head over to Zoom's website and download the relevant app i.e. mobile, desktop, etc.
  2. While you're on the website, create yourself a free account
  3. Now head back to the app and login
  4. You are now ready to schedule or join meetings of up to 45mins for free

5 top tips

  1. To see everyone at once when you're in a meeting, use the 'Gallery View' button to the top right of the screen
  2. If you can't see a camera icon or a microphone icon for a participant, it means they haven't connected audio or visual yet
  3. If you schedule a recurring meeting in Zoom, it will not automatically recur when you add it to your diary, so remember to set that up from within your calendar
  4. You can change your settings so that your video and microphone are automatically off when you join a meeting, a very useful feature and one we highly recommend setting up
  5. As the host, you can mute people, ask they turn on their video, and also remove them from the call if needed - but remember, with great power comes great responsibility

Questions

If anyone is struggling to get setup with Zoom during this time, we would be more than happy to extend our assistance free of charge. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please get in touch via the About page.

Happy Zooming!

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