I have been using Zoom at Clear Measure for over 4 years now. It’s a fantastic tool that is very easy to use. Here is a collection of tips to make Zoom work better for you.
1 Shortcut Keys
If you want to avoid that awkward pause at the end of a meeting after everyone says goodbye then you should learn the keyboard shortcut keys available in Zoom. Zoom has a plethora of keyboard shortcut keys available. Here are a few of my commonly used keys:
- Leave the meeting – Alt + Q
- Toggle audio – Alt + A
- Toggle Video – Alt + V
Tip: If you ever forget any of the shortcut keys you can hover over most action buttons and get a tooltip for the keyboard shortcut key.
2 Enable Global Shortcuts
Enable the End Meeting as a Global Shortcut
By default the “End Meeting” keyboard shortcut, Alt + Q, only works when zoom has focus. I recommend enabling it so the “End Meeting” keyboard shortcut is global.
3 Enable Mute/Unmute my audio as a Global Shortcut
Toggling audio is one of the most common actions you must do as a Zoom user. When working at home I can have random loud noises from leaf blowers outside my window, garbage truck picking up the trash, or my toddler screaming “daddy” when she is home from daycare. In general, I recommend muting yourself when you aren’t speaking.
4 Automatic Screen Sharing
By default, you have to stop screen sharing so someone else can share their screen. In some meetings we will rapidly need to change who is screen sharing. In highly collaborative meetings I recommend turning on automatic screen sharing.
Click on Share -> Advanced Sharing Options…
Select “All Participants” in the bottom radio button.
5 Waiting Room
If you are in the position of using the same link for multiple appointments then you will want to setup the “Waiting room” feature. For example, if you are a health care provider seeing patients via telemedicine then you will want to enable this feature. As patients join the Zoom meeting they will be put into a virtual waiting room that is controlled by the health care practitioner.
6 Drawing Annotations
One of my favorite tools in Zoom is the ability to annotate another user’s screen. Often, when pairing on an issue one user will share their screen while the other person walks them through what to click and type. You can avoid the whole “click in the upper left… no just a little bit higher… almost there… you just missed it” type conversations with the annotations feature built into Zoom.
Click the Annotate button.
Click the Draw button.
7 Turn Off Automatic Full Screen
If your screen automatically goes to full screen when another person share’s their screen then you should consider turning of this feature. I strongly dislike this feature and turn it off.
8 Install the Zoom Scheduler Chrome Extension
Scheduling Zoom meetings with your Google Calendar can be greatly simplified using the Zoom extension for Chrome. You will get an additional button when creating a new event to add to your calendar.
Here is what the standard dialog looks like:
Here is the new dialog that has a time-saving “Make it a Zoom Meeting” button:
You will find the extension in the Chrome web store.
9 Zoom has a Mobile App
The Zoom mobile app is available for when you need to take a zoom call from your mobile device. I have found the call quality to be exceptionally good. The mobile app was a life saver when I needed it to make a critical meeting after a doctor’s appointment ran over.
10 Remember You can Mute People
People will connect to a Zoom meeting and for some reason or another forget to mute themselves. No one wants to hear the car noise from a person driving and connected to a zoom meeting. The host can always mute people to ensure no unintentional feedback noise is heard on the Zoom meeting. You can mute individuals or everyone at once.
Click Manage Participants.
Hover over an individual and click Mute to silence an individual. Alternatively, click the “Mute All” button so mute everyone.
If you have Slack, there is a Zoom app integration that allows you to type “/zoom” to immediately create a zoom room for the channels participants to jump on. This will save you time when you need to create those adhoc meetings throughout the day.