ZOOM is a video conferencing tool that allows users to meet online, with or without video. This is being widely used by Religious groups, businesses and families while meeting in person is not possible.
You can use Zoom on your PC, Tablet, Laptop, Smartphone… or any internet connected device which has a camera and microphone. There are various account options – the Free version has enough functionality for most of us.
The following basic instructions are for getting started with Zoom on a Smartphone but will be very similar on all devices.
- Open the App and click Sign Up – enter your email address and name.
- You’ll receive an email from Zoom. Click the Activate Account button.
- Your name should already be entered – create a password and confirm it.
- On the next page, you can introduce your friends by entering their email address, or scroll down and ‘Skip this Step’
- Onscreen message: Excellent! Now it’s time to start meeting.
- Go back to your Smartphone’s homepage and Open the Zoom App you installed earlier.
- Sign In
Note: At various stages the Zoom App will ask for access to your contacts, images etc. Click Allow when prompted.
How to Join a Meeting
When an organiser invites you to a meeting they will send you a Meeting ID link. Clicking this link should automatically bring you to the meeting.
Alternatively, they may also send you a Meeting ID number (usually 11 digits) and a Password (6 digits).
Once you have joined the meeting using either of the above methods, you will see the other participants.
IMPORTANT: The Yellow Box
During a Zoom meeting, there will always be a yellow box around one of the participants. The yellow box indicates which person is speaking. This is the only person that will be heard by other participants.
If your microphone is on, the yellow box will move to you if you speak or if any sound is picked up by your microphone. Therefore, it's a good idea to mute your microphone if you don't want to be the speaker.
Often, the meeting organiser will mute all participants, but it's best to check. The mute button is on the bottom left of your screen. See images below.
How to Add Contacts
- Click contacts at the bottom
- Click + at the top right
- Add a contact
- Enter the email address of your contact – search.
- If they have a Zoom account it will be listed. Click Add to send a contact request to your friend/colleague. They will be listed as ‘Pending’ until they accept your request.
- If they do not yet have a Zoom account, you will have an option to invite them.
- Once they accept your request you will have the option to Meet, Phone or Chat with your new contact.
How to Start a Meeting
If you want to start a meeting with more than 2 participants…
- On the ‘Meet & Chat’ page – click the New Meeting button
- The ‘Use Personal Meeting ID (PMI)’ option is not necessary at this stage.
- Click Start Meeting
- Your camera will switch on (give permission for the App to access your camera)
- At the bottom of the screen – click Participants.
- Click Invite at the bottom.
- Then select Invite Zoom Contacts.
- Check the box to the left of the contacts you would like to invite. Then, click Invite (top right).
- You will be brought back to your list of Participants.
- Click close (top left) to begin the meeting.
Controls during a meeting.
Tap the screen at any stage of the meeting to see controls, including the option to End the meeting (top right).
How to Schedule a Meeting
If you wish to plan a meeting for a later date/time, and invite people to attend, click Schedule. This function allows you to invite participants who do not have a Zoom account.
Complete the meeting details, as required. Click done and invite your contacts via Email. This Scheduled meeting will automatically be added to your electronic calendar.
Zoom has many more features. If, like me, you don't have an impressive bookcase or scenic view from your conservatory, you can choose a virtual background! But I'll not go into that here. These notes are simply to get you started. If you have any questions or suggestions, please use the comments box below.
The Zoom website has more detailed information click here.