Using Zoom for meetings and team collaboration? Here are some tips and resources to make sure you use it like a pro!

Are you using Zoom for meetings and team collaboration? Within a few weeks due to COIVD-19 and mandates for all non-essential employees to work from home, it seems that Zoom has become everyone’s best friend! Sure, there are many different apps you can use to have video meetings and collaborate with team members and clients but Zoom has certainly taken the world by storm. It’s affordable, has a free option (with some limitations), and can host up to 100 people in a meeting!

Our team has been using it extensively for the past 3 weeks and we have been very happy with the features and the performance has been flawless. We have anywhere from 10 – 13 people connected pretty much all day to an ongoing team meeting and we have seen no issues of video lag or audio issues.  The breakout rooms feature (which allows a small group of people to have a side meeting amongst themselves while the primary meeting continues) has been a great advantage as well!

Have you and your team been thrust into learning to use Zoom on the fly? Here are some articles and resources to help you get up to speed quickly, learn some of the key great features, and have some fun with some custom virtual backgrounds.

Zoom Basics – Using Zoom for Classes and Meetings

This great video by Steve Dotto on his Dottotech YouTube channel is a great introduction on how to get started with Zoom for business or for teaching classes (as so many teachers are using it now as well). This is one of the best, most straight forward, easy to understand videos I’ve seen on getting started with Zoom.

 

10 Tips And Tricks For Zoom

This article shares some great tips like how to automatically schedule meetings (and use recurring meetings), how to collect information from attendees, record the call as video, co-host meetings, and have a collaborative annotation session.
https://zapier.com/blog/zoom-tips/

 

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Video Meetings

From setting a clear agenda to testing your tech setup, here’s how to make video calls more tolerable for you and your colleagues. This article isn’t specific to Zoom but shares some great basic video meeting etiquette tips.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/technology/personaltech/online-video-meetings-etiquette-virus.htm

 

Managing Zoom Breakout Rooms

As I mentioned we love the fact we can have a group meeting and then use the Breakout Rooms feature to break our group into one or more smaller groups to have separate meetings or discussions. This link is directly to a video and step-by-step directions from the Zoom support pages getting you up to speed on how to use this great feature!
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206476313-Managing-Breakout-Rooms

 

Using Zoom Virtual Backgrounds

It’s been a bit stressful for all of us having to shift to this new way of working so why not lighten things up a bit?  Some teams have taken to wearing silly hats while having Zoom meetings but another fun thing to spice it up a bit is to use a virtual background so people aren’t always looking at the same wall behind you.  To get you started, check out 15 gorgeous backdrops for your next Zoom call (https://www.curbed.com/2020/3/26/21193949/zoom-background-options-images-home-interior) and 21 Funny Zoom Backgrounds to Try (https://stylecaster.com/funny-zoom-backgrounds/) and Some more fun backgrounds (https://www.themarysue.com/best-zoom-backgrounds/)

 

Zoombombing: What it is and how to prevent it in Zoom

If you are using Zoom without the right precautions, you are vulnerable to a practice known as “Zoom-bombing.” This sees uninvited attendees viewing your business meeting, or worse, sharing pornographic images and content. This article from Forbes explains how this happens and gives you tips on how to avoid this by changing some of Zoom’s settings for your meetings.
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/zoombombing-what-it-is-and-how-to-prevent-it-in-zoom-video-chat/

Zoom has come under a lot of heat lately because of what people have called insecure practices.  As I’ve read these articles what I’ve learned is that Zoom has all the features needed to be secure but some of them are not on by default. That means people new to using Zoom are not turning on passwords, they are using their personal meeting ID rather than the randomly generated ID and they are sharing their Zoom meeting links in public places like Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms. This has caused many people to stop using Zoom thinking it’s not secure.

If you were to use any other video meeting platform and did not follow the recommended security practices you would have the same issues you have with Zoom. We don’t stop using a microwave oven because some people put metal or spoons into it causing sparks.  Instead, we learn to use it properly.  The same is true of any technology.  Zoom has made changes just this week so that things like passwords and using a waiting room (where the call host has to approve each person before they are allowed to enter the meeting) are now default settings.

While Zoom is a very powerful and easy to use business tool, like any technology, It’s important to learn how to use it properly and make sure everyone on your team is up to speed.  Take the proper precautions with your settings, follow the right video meeting etiquette, and be patient as everyone learns how to shift to this new way of working and meeting.