After years of essays, group projects, and business strategy plans, you can consider yourself an expert in using Google Docs, Microsoft Excel, and other popular programs. Video chats with zoom, however, still feel like new territory for many employees who work more time from home. From keyboard shortcuts to virtual breakout rooms, here are 11 handy hacks to make your zoom meetings easier (and maybe even more fun).
1. Turn off video and audio automatically when you join a zoom meeting.
Sometimes it is difficult to predict whether your colleagues will choose to appear on video for a particular meeting. To save yourself the clumsiness of being the only person showing your face, you can go to the “Video”
You can also do this with audio so that you are automatically muted at the beginning of each meeting. On the “Audio” tab, simply enable “Mute microphone when you join a meeting” in the settings.
2. Press and hold the spacebar to temporarily unmute.
Another useful check box on the Audio tab is “Hold down the SPACEBAR to temporarily unmute it.” This way, you will be heard as long as you hold down the spacebar, and Zoom will automatically mute you when you let go. It’s pretty much like a walkie-talkie.
3. Use or customize existing keyboard shortcuts.
In your zoom settings, you’ll find an extensive list of handy keyboard shortcuts, including how to mute and unmute your audio (Shift + Command + A on a Mac), start and stop screen sharing (Shift + Command + R), and invite participants (Command + I). If you have a hard time remembering one of them, you can come up with your own instead.
4. Activate keyboard shortcuts if you are on another tab.
Switching between tabs is a matter of course for zoom calls. You may not want to leave your Google Doc to unmute and comment briefly. Fortunately, you can still use Zoom’s shortcuts if the Zoom app is hidden behind other windows. On the “Keyboard shortcuts” tab, simply activate the “Activate global link” checkbox in your settings.
5. Automatically copy the invitation URL when a meeting begins.
At any time, you can use the keyboard shortcut (Command + I on a Mac; Alt + I for Windows) to open the meeting invitation window, where you can get guests from your zoom contacts, by email, or by copying and sending the meeting URL can invite to them through another platform. However, there is an even faster way to achieve the same goal.
On the “General” tab in the settings there is the option “Automatically copy invitation link as soon as the meeting starts”. Select this check box and the URL will be magically copied to your clipboard when you join a zoom meeting. (So if someone sends you the inevitable message “What is the meeting link again?”, You can insert it immediately.)
6. Record your zoom meeting.
There are many reasons why you may want to record your zoom meeting. You may be conducting a media interview, filming a virtual comedy show, or watching an academic lecture that you will have to study later. If you are the meeting leader, you can easily capture this by clicking the Record button on the bottom menu bar of your zoom screen. If you are not the conference leader, you can log in to your zoom account in the web browser, go to the “Recording” tab in your personal settings and activate the “Automatic recording” button. (If you only need to record a meeting, you can turn it off at any time later.) You can choose where to save your recordings and adjust other settings on the Recording tab in the current Zoom app.
7. Hide everyone who is not on video.
If some users have disabled videos or dialed them by phone, it can be a little strange to stare at or speak to some video users in a sea of empty squares. To adjust your view to actual faces only, select the “Hide non-video participants” checkbox on the “Video” tab in your zoom settings.
8. Set reminders for upcoming calls.
If your regular calendar is a network of birthdays, personal appointments, and other various meetings, notifications about zoom calls can match the others. So that you don’t forget, Zoom sends you separate reminders. In Settings> General, you can choose to be reminded five, 10, or 15 minutes before upcoming meetings.
9. Do you have two computer screens? Let your meeting show on both.
Anyone with two monitors can use both for a zoom meeting. Simply activate the “Use dual monitors” option under “Settings”> “General”. When someone shares their screen in a zoom meeting, you can view the shared screen on one monitor and the other meeting participants on the other.
10. Divide the participants into small groups.
Zoom’s Breakout Rooms feature allows teachers and managers to break participants into smaller groups without leaving the meeting, setting up their own meetings, and then returning to the original meeting. First, log in to Zoom via your web browser and make sure that the “Breakout room” button is activated under Settings> Meeting> In meeting (advanced). There is also the option “Allow host to assign breakout rooms to participants when planning” if you want participants to know their groups before the meeting. When you are organizing a meeting, a breakout room icon appears in the bottom menu bar. You can select groups manually or have Zoom do it for you.
11. Change your zoom background.
And of course, you can give Happy Hours and quarterly business reviews a little momentum by changing your background to something from Schitt’s Creek or Harry Potter. Log in to Zoom using your web browser and make sure that the virtual backgrounds are activated under Settings> Meeting> In meeting (Advanced). You can then use the “Virtual background” tab in the settings of your zoom app to update your background to any image saved on your computer.