If you’re new to working from home, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re also new to using Zoom, which is okay, we got you! In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom has added millions of users over the past few months as teams shift to remote work. With things not returning to the old normal any time soon, we wanted to show you some tips on working with the NEW normal, and how to become a Zoom Pro.
Look gorgeous all the time
Not that you aren’t already beautiful, but with harsh lighting and an ultra HD camera, even us supermodels need some help. If you want to hide the appearance of no makeup, or your under-eye circles from last night’s Zoom happy Hour, there’s a quick way to fix those problems. Check the Touch up my appearance box in Zoom’s video settings It basically acts like a soft-focus lens, adding a little blur to skin tones and smoothing out wrinkles, blemishes, and other imperfections.
Now if you’d prefer not to be seen at all, you can simply set a profile picture using your favorite photo. No matter which way you decide to go, we think it’s a good idea to enable the option to always see a video preview before you join. That way, you can catch any unsightly clothing stains or food in your teeth.
Be Somewhere Else
Well not literally because we have bills to pay. HOWEVER, one of Zoom’s coolest, most underutilized features is its Virtual Backgrounds. It is basically green-screen technology for your boring amazing office meetings. It’s super simple to set up too. Just click Settings – Click Virtual Background – Click on an image to select the desired virtual background or add your own image by clicking +Add Image. To disable Virtual Background, choose the option None. Now you can trick your coworkers into thinking you make more than them while you’re on your private island retreat….in your living room.
Silence Desktop Notifications
This one is HUGE, and honestly, we wish we knew about this tip sooner because it can help prevent a lot of embarrassment and awkward moments. In Windows 10, there is a built in feature called Focus Assist (Settings>System>Focus Assist, and toggle “When I’m duplicating my display to on. You can also toggle it manually but setting it up this way makes sure you won’t forget. On Mac, there’s an awesome program called Muzzle that does the same thing, definitely worth checking out to save yourself from revealing too much of your personal life.
Screen Share and More
I think we all know about Zoom’s screensharing features, but did you know that there is a built in WHITE BOARD? Like Holy Zoomies, you can totes collab with people…or just play Drawful.
Okay Let’s get to the serious stuff.
Hosts Should Mute Attendees
Yeah, we know you have a lot to say or want people to hear you chewing your lunch but usually these meetings are super important. In large meetings, there is always that ONE person with a screaming toddler or sitting in traffic that doesn’t mute their mic. What a lot of hosts don’t realize is that they have the power to mute other people. To do this, you toggle Mute Participants Upon Entry in the schedule section of Zoom’s account settings. If someone unmutes themselves, you click the mic icon next to them and voila! All we’ll hear is your beautiful voice.
Scheduling is Key.
Zoom has a built-in scheduling function that ties into Google Calendar. Their set up even addresses some common issues that other video conferencing software’s don’t. You can set the option to start the meeting with video on or off, the audio sources you allow, and what number to use for your meeting ID. Pretty nifty if we do say so ourselves.
This is why we can’t have nice things people. There is a new “trend” happening called Zoombombing, which is kind of like photobombing except more annoying. Someone can find or guess your meeting URL, Jump into your chat uninvited, and can even put themselves on camera. We can already tell that it usually doesn’t end well. Luckily, there are some simple tips to avoid this happening in your next powwow:
- Don’t share your meeting ID publicly
- Prevent other attended from screensharing without the host’s consent
- Lock meetings
- Use the waiting room feature to ensure that only people you know get into the chat.
We hope these tips helped you feel more confident with your online conference calls. Now spread your wings and fly! Or you know, just do what you were hired to do.