7 tips to improve your Zoom Meeting experience

DJ Shirley

Over the last 6 weeks, Zoom has become our new hub for all team and client interactions. Our team's usage increased more than 100% in March, and we're on the same trajectory for April. In short, we're Zoom'in all the time.

Outlined below are 7 of our favorite tips you can apply to help improve your experience when participating and scheduling Zoom meetings.

[Updated October 2020]

Tip #1 - Temporary Unmute

When you are in a meeting with multiple people, we encourage our team to mute themselves when not talking to help cut down on potential background noise. However, keeping yourself on mute can sometimes be inconvenient if you're giving short answers periodically. A helpful setting in this situation allows you to be muted, and when you need to provide a brief answer, you just need to hold down your spacebar to talk. When you release the spacebar, you're muted again. Simple.

Please Note - for this feature to work properly, you need to have Zoom selected as the active application on your computer. You cannot be answering emails and then quickly hit spacebar to talk.

This setting is found in the "Audio" section of your settings. Check the box - Press and hold SPACE key to temporarily unmute yourself.

 

Space Key to talk

 

Tip #2 - Meeting Duration Timer

The meeting duration feature is exactly as is sounds, the duration of time since the start of the meeting is displayed in the top right corner of your screen. This may be the most basic tip recommended, but it has proven to be helpful in 2 key ways.

  1. The timer is a simple reminder to help you keep the meeting on track and on time. In particular, if you see you are already at the 20-minute mark but you haven't hit the key point you wanted. It can spark the needed shift to make sure you are able to address all your critical points or questions.
  2. If you have automatic recordings enabled, the timer can help you stay present during the meeting without stopping to take notes. Instead, you can quickly jot down the time with a keyword (example - MQLs defined @ 15:30) so you can easily reference the recording at a later time.
This setting is found in the "General" settings section. Check the box - Show my Meeting duration to activate the timer feature.

Meeting Duration

Tip #3 - Side-by-side Mode

The "Side-by-side mode" feature is great for when you have 4+ people on a meeting that also has an active screen share. The side-by side mode lets you adjust/side the size of the window that features the screen share so you can see all of the participants at the same time. Since the columns slide, you can adjust to your preferences.

Please note: This does not apply if you are the presenter sharing your screen.

This setting is found in the "View Options" drop down when in an active meeting. You will fine the Side-by-side option at the bottom of the menu.

Zoom - Side by Side Mode

Tip/Hack #4 - Virtual Background Workaround

The virtual backgrounds can be helpful or just a nice change of pace, but a common issue is Zoom will say the software is not capable or it's out of date. However, if you check the box - "I have a green screen" the typical result is that you will be able to use the feature. However, you do want to have a solid/flat background behind. If there is any open space with varying distances behind you, there may be issues with the background. You'll have to test out and see what works best for you.

Zoom Green Screen Button

Tip #5 Internet Connection

If you are able to connect to the internet via a wired connection, do it! Wireless is good but a direct connection is generally going to be better in regard to maintaining a consistent connection. If you are on an Apple laptop, be sure to turn you wifi off to make sure you are using the wired connection.

You can confirm your connect by accessing the "Statistics" settings section. If you have a wired connection, make sure you see that reflected in your "Network Type".

Zoom - Network Connection Screenshot

Tip #6 Zoom's Integration with Slack

A feature that can save you a ton of time is Zoom's integration for Slack. Once the integration is linked, you can just type "/zoom" in your message bar, and Zoom will activate a meeting from your account automatically. The Zoom meeting link will automatically display in the feed for you and your counterparts to join. This feature can be used in both direct messages or group channels.

Zoom and Slack

For more details and installation instructions, visit Zoom's Integration resource here.

Tip #7 - Zoom's Integration with Google Calendar

The google calendar feature integration enables you to schedule, create and add a Zoom meeting directly to the calendar event instead of having to log in to the dashboard. This tip can be a big time saver if you are scheduling multiple meetings every day.

For more details and installation instructions, visit Zoom's Google Calendar Integration resource.

Additional Tips:

  • Sound - Use a microphone whenever possible. Even if it is wired headphones for your phone. Most laptops have decent microphones, but a mic closer to you has proven to be a better experience for the other attendees time and time again.
  • Visual - Have the lighting come from the front, not the back. If the light source in the room is behind you, then you are going to be hard to see.

Do you have any other helpful tips or tricks? Our team has been dedicated to putting together several helpful resources during these strange times to try and make life a little smoother where ever we can.  If you’re looking for more resources, we have been consolidated  all of our COVID-19 support resources in one place:

More COVID-19 Resources»

 

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