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10 Useful Zoom Tips and Tricks

All of us have been overwhelmed by virtual webinars and meetings during last couple of weeks because of Covid-19. As ZOOM is a primary option for this purpose in UF, everybody prefers to use it instead of other apps. Based on my experience, I found it more user-friendly than other apps (for example Team). Obviously now we are using Zoom for work purpose not for pleasure or informal chat with friend. It means that we are supposed to be professional as much as we can when we use zoom video. Probably you have seen some funny video on YouTube about what happens during zoom meetings. Of course, you do not want to have that bad and shameful experience in front of your colleagues. Here are some tips and tricks to have a better zoom meeting.

1.Change Your Background

It is not necessary, but it is recommended if your background is messy. You have some options in Zoom, but I highly recommend using plain UF background for zoom. Please do not use video as your virtual background since it is very distracting (e.g. Hawaiian beach). basically, you go to Settings > Virtual Background and select or upload the image you want from there. UF also have Zoom tutorial to learn how to use virtual backgrounds.

Image credit: Zoom

2. Mute Your Audio and Turn Off Your Camera By Default

Why you should do that? Because to keep your coworkers from seeing your bedhead or hearing your cat screeching by turning those off by default. To do it, go to Settings > Audio > Mute microphone when joining a meeting, and then Settings > Video > Turn off my video when joining a meeting.   

3. Record the Meeting to Your Computer

Both free and paid Zoom subscribers can record their meeting to their laptop or computer using the desktop app. To enable local recording, go to Settings > Recording, and toggle it on. When you’re hosting a Zoom meeting, click the Record icon on the bottom toolbar.

4. Appearance Matters

Do not attend in a meeting wearing t-shirt or pajamas. Trust me I have seen many cases recently. Start with the basics. Comb your hair, shave your face or apply your makeup and think strategically about your clothing. Wearing a busy plaid or patterned outfit will make the viewers’ eyes go numb. A plain, solid color will help bring out the best you.

Image credit: USA Today

5. Lighting

Most people fail in this section for virtual zoom conferences. You have seen many people in Zoom meetings with dark face, shady face, or even black (no light on face). Use one steady lamp, directly by your face, for even, steady lighting. No sidelight or back light, please.

Image credit: Zoom

6. Set Camera to Your Eye Level

Don’t set the webcam looking up at you, neither under the face. Eye to eye contact is the best connection.” Look at that camera directly, straight ahead.

7. Display Name

It seems to be less important but when you have meeting with people that you know, then this setting will ensure you never accidentally forget the name of the person you’re talking to.

Go to Settings > Video and check “Always display participant’s name on their videos.”

8. Disable Waiting Room

It wastes your time. Waiting room, which requires you to admit each attendee individually. Our calls are mostly internal anyway (and it can take a while to admit 10+ people individually), so we turned this setting off under Settings > In Meeting (Advanced) > Waiting room.

9. Share Computer Sound During Screen Sharing

Zoom screen sharing allows you to share the desktop, window, application, or audio/video. You can also send computer audio to the remote attendees when sharing a video or audio clip – no special plugins or cords needed.

10. Look a Little Better with Zoom’s Beauty Filter

Use Zoom’s beauty filter to soften the focus of your camera. It won’t be as drastic as the filters on social media, but that’s probably a good thing. Your coworkers already know what you look like.

Open the Zoom app on your desktop. Go to Settings, then Video. Check the box for Touch up my appearance.

Finally, please do not eat food when your video is on (I have seen it many times). Drink is OK.