Zoom is a handy app to consult with colleagues anywhere and to present online. The app is especially popular in these times of home isolation with its various features like screen sharing and Zoom virtual background. In this beginner’s guide, we explain how Zoom works and what you can do with it.
Zoom Beginner’s Guide: This is how it works
A digital solution is now being sought for many planned meetings. In addition to Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams, Zoom is a popular option. With this complete app you can collaborate very well remotely. In this beginner’s guide, we explain the main functions of Zoom.
1. Join a meeting
There are four functions in Zoom: ‘New Meeting’, ‘Join’, ‘Schedule’, and ‘Share Screen’. If someone invites you to a digital appointment, you don’t have to create an account first: you just need a 9-digit Meeting ID. You must of course have Zoom installed.
To participate, open Zoom and choose ‘Join’. You will then be asked to enter the Meeting ID. You can also choose to turn off your microphone or webcam before participating.
2. Start or schedule a meeting
You can start a new meeting in Zoom yourself by clicking on the ‘New Meeting’. You then become the ‘Host’ of a new meeting, so that you can also invite your colleagues.
With ‘Schedule’ you can plan a future meeting. You only have to share the Meeting ID. Participants can then start the meeting at the agreed time.
3. Brainstorming sessions on Zoom
When a brainstorming session is scheduled, it is very useful to share your screen with the ‘Share Screen’ function. Other participants can then contribute digitally by drawing or writing on your presentation. This way you receive feedback from a distance that immediately becomes visual.
To do this, tap ‘View Option’ and then ‘Annotate’. After that, it is possible to add text, drawings, arrows, and other things. The presenter can also save this screen for later use. It is of course also possible for the presenter to disable this option.
4. Save recording of your meeting
Was someone unable to attend a meeting, or do you want to review it because you missed something? Then you can choose to save a recording of your meeting.
You can choose whether this is done locally (on the device you use) or in the cloud. However, this is only possible for paying Zoom users.
5. Chat via Zoom
Do you just want to ask a short question and is it not necessary to see your colleagues face-to-face? Then you also have the option to send a chat message. You do this by navigating to the ‘chat’ tab. After ‘To’ you enter the name of your colleague, just like you would with an e-mail. It is also possible to send a message from your contacts. First, go to the ‘Contacts’ tab.
If your colleagues have also registered with their work e-mail, you will see your colleagues under ‘Company Contacts’. Move your mouse over a name. Here you can choose to video call your colleague or send a chat message.
6. Set a virtual wallpaper
A great feature in Zoom is that you can set the office Zoom background. This way your colleagues will not see your living room or office, but a different image of your choice. It works best if you have a solid background.
To do this, go to ‘Virtual background’ in your settings. Here see yourself, and you can choose different backgrounds that are already in the app. It is also possible to upload an image yourself.
7. Check who is participating
Via Zoom is also very handy to give a workshop or lecture, for example. But how do you check who was present in your digital lecture hall? You don’t have to do anything for that: Zoom automatically keeps track of who took the lesson.
After your lesson, go to ‘Reports’ and click on ‘Generate’. Whenyou choose ‘Registration’, you can immediately see who attended the digital lecture. This is only available if you pay for Zoom.
8. Limitations in the free version
Zoom is free, but there are limitations when you use the unpaid version. For example, you can only meet for a maximum of 40 minutes. Also, saving your meetings and checking participation is not possible if you don’t pay.
If you do not want these restrictions, you pay 13.99 euros for the cheapest package (Zoom Pro). With this, you can schedule recurring Meetings and save the video afterward.
You also have Business and Enterprise. These subscriptions are aimed at medium-sized and large companies and are therefore more expensive. There is a separate subscription for broadcasting lectures: Video Webinar.
9. Alternatives to Zoom
If you still want to go for a different video calling app, there are of course other options to have your planned meetings go through digitally. For example, in our beginner’s guide to Google Hangouts, you can read about the ins and outs of this handy video calling program. We also give you practical tips about Microsoft Teams for the novice user.