How to have safe and productive Zoom meetings for hosts and attendees
Majority of us have been hosting or attending Zoom meetings to enable our businesses to operate remotely. The Zoom video conferencing platform has seen a massive increase in users as a result of the pandemic. Zoom has a mobile and desktop version of the software and is currently the most widely used conferencing platform. Businesses working remotely and students studying from their homes depend highly on the app to get their work done and to hold meetings and classes. If you need some tips on using Zoom both productively and safely, we have selected those that we believe are essential in getting the most out of your Zoom meetings.
Tips for hosts
Enable or disable the waiting room feature
For your company’s safety and protection, it is good to make use of the waiting room option. The Waiting Room is set to enabled by default. This allows guests to be placed in a waiting room before the host admits each of them one-by-one into the Meeting Room. But if you are expecting many guests and would like to skip having to accept each of them as they enter, Zoom gives you the option to disable this feature. To access the Waiting Room setting, log in to your Zoom account using your web browser. Go to Settings > Meeting > Waiting Room. Instead of scrolling down the long list, you can also use CTRL + F and type “waiting room”.
Auto copy invite URL to clipboard once meeting starts
Zoom has an auto-copy meeting URL option so that you don’t need to keep copying the link each time you start a meeting. Enabling this feature will set Zoom to automatically copy your meeting URL to your device’s clipboard. This means that you can simply start a meeting and paste the URL which is already in your clipboard to send in a chat group or on an email. If you hold Zoom meetings often, enabling this feature will come in handy and save you the hassle of having to copy the URL each time.
If you’re using the Zoom desktop app, go to Settings > General > Automatically copy invitation URL once the meeting starts. For Zoom mobile app users, go to Settings > Meeting > Auto-Copy Meeting Link.
Pre-assign breakout groups
If you want to hold a meeting with a big group that you want to eventually break out into smaller groups for discussions or other reasons, Zoom’s breakout room feature will really come in handy. You can find this option when you log in to your Zoom account using your web browser. Go to Settings > Meeting > Breakout room. Note that this is only available to paid users.
Tips for attendees
Learn keyboard shortcuts
Learning a few Zoom keyboard shortcuts is useful especially since our meetings will likely be held online for an extended period. A simple one would be holding down the spacebar to briefly enable your mic and releasing to disable it. In the Zoom desktop app, go to Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts and you will see a list of keyboard shortcuts you can use.
Here are a few shortcuts that you might find useful.
- To mute or unmute your audio: Alt + A
- Turn on/off screen sharing: Alt + S or Command + Shift + S
- Turn on/off local video recording: Alt + R
- Turn on/off video: Alt + V or Command + Shift + V
Enable keyboard shortcuts outside of Zoom
If you use usually have other windows open during Zoom meetings, this option could be useful to you. Enabling global shortcuts allows you to use Zoom keyboard shortcuts even when Zoom isn’t your active window. To enable a global shortcut, go to Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts then select which keyboard shortcut you want to enable.
Display or hide participants’ names
Zoom’s default is to display the names of all the participants on your screen. But they do have an option where you can hide the names of the participants if you prefer to have only their videos on display. You can disable displaying names if you are familiar with everyone on your team or if you want to take a screenshot but want to keep your guests’ names private for their protection. To toggle this setting, go to Settings > Video > Always display participant’s name on their videos.