Sales: How To Use Zoom Like A Pro

 

The Zoom video meeting and chat app has become the wildly popular host to millions of people working and studying from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite a number of privacy and security issues that arose alongside the platform’s rapid growth, it now features end-to-end encryption and other ways to protect your account and your chats from a "Zoombombing" and other privacy flaws. The platform also recently added a marketplace for virtual events, and is testing app integrations such as Slack and Dropbox. 

Whether you’ve been using Zoom for years or have only just signed up in 2020, there are a number of helpful and fun tips, tricks and hidden features you can find to upgrade your video chatting experience and make your video meetings a little less weird.

Here are 15 ways to become a Zoom master.

  1. Change your background. 
    Virtually transport yourself to the beach, outer space or anywhere else you can imagine by customizing your background while on Zoom calls—everyone’s doing it these days. You can read our step-by-step guide to changing your Zoom background on the desktop and mobile app, but basically you go to Settings > Virtual Background and select or upload the image you want from there. However, you do have to make sure that your system meets all of the requirements to do so. Read the step-by-step guide here: cnet.com/how-to/how-to-change-your-zoom-background-just-like-everyone-else.

  2. Mute your audio and turn off your camera by default.
    Diving for the mute audio and camera buttons as soon as you enter a meeting can get old. 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. Mute and unmute with the space bar.
    When you are called on to speak, stop scrambling to click the microphone button. You can press and hold the spacebar to quickly mute and unmute your mic, right from your keyboard.  

  4. Turn on the beauty filter.
    At this point, if you know all of the work-from-home advice about getting dressed and ready like it’s a regular workday, but still don’t think you’re looking your best, Zoom’s Touch Up My Appearance feature may be for you. The filter aims to smooth over your appearance, making you look dewy and well-rested. If you’ve ever used beauty mode on your phone’s selfie camera, you know what you’re getting. To turn it on, click the up arrow next to Start Video. Click Video Settings, and under My Video, check the box for Touch Up My Appearance. 

  5. Set up a waiting room for added privacy.
    You’ve probably heard about “Zoombombing”—when uninvited guests crash your Zoom meeting and disrupt it. One way to help prevent this from happening is by enabling the Waiting Room feature, so you can see who’s attempting to join the meeting before allowing them access. To do so, go to Account Management > Account Settings. Click on Meeting, then click Waiting Room to enable the setting. 

  6. Create breakout rooms for smaller group discussion.
    Split your big Zoom meeting into up to 50 separate smaller sessions with breakout rooms. The meeting host can choose to split meeting participants into separate sessions automatically or manually, or can let participants select and enter any breakout session they like. The host can switch between sessions at any point.
    To start a breakout room as the host, go to Account Management > Account Settings. Under the Meeting tab, go to Breakout Room, and make sure the setting is toggled on. You’ll also see the option to allow meeting hosts to preassign participants to breakout rooms. (If the Breakout Room option is grayed out, that means it’s been locked, and you need to contact your Zoom administrator.)

  7. Share your screen.
    Share your screen for a Zoom meeting (or to watch a movie or play a game) with other participants by clicking the Share screen icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the meeting screen. You’ll have the option to share your entire desktop, or just one of the windows you have open. Click the red Stop Share button at the top of the screen to go back to being a normal participant in the meeting. 

  8. React with emojis on screen. 
    If you’re muted in a meeting, you can still let the hosts know your thoughts with emoji reactions. Send a thumbs up or a clapping emoji to communicate without interrupting the meeting (by default, those reactions have a yellow skin tone, but you can customize that on the Zoom desktop app).
    To react during a meeting, click the Reactions tab at the bottom of the meeting screen (it’s in the same panel as mute audio and video, to the right) and choose the one you want. The emoji will disappear after five seconds.
    If the meeting organizer enables the nonverbal feedback feature, participants can place an icon such as a raised hand next to their name to communicate. Every participant will be able to see each other’s feedback. 

  9. Learn handy keyboard shortcuts.
    For those who don’t like clicking around their screen, Zoom has a ton of helpful keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate the app on your desktop without using your mouse. Find commands to join a meeting, start or stop recording, enter full screen and share your screen (more on that below). Check out Zoom’s full list of hot keys and keyboard shortcuts at support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/205683899-Hot-Keys-and-Keyboard-Shortcuts-for-Zoom.

  10. Turn on gallery view.
    Gallery view lets you see everyone in the meeting at once, instead of just the person speaking. To turn that on, click the tab that says “Gallery view” in the top right corner. If the meeting has 49 or fewer attendees, you’ll see all of their screens displayed on one page. If there are more, you’ll have the option to move between multiple pages. Change it back by clicking "Speaker view" in that same top right corner. 

  11. Hide nonvideo participants.
    On a larger call, your screen can get cluttered with participants, which can be distracting, especially if some don’t have their cameras on. Hide the participants who aren’t using video by going to Settings > Video > Meetings, and check Hide nonvideo participants. Now you’ll only be distracted by your co-workers’ pets and children who appear on video.

  12. 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 (you can’t record on mobile at the moment, unless you have a paid account— keep reading for more on that). Those recorded files can then be uploaded to a file storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox or a video-streaming service such as YouTube or Vimeo.
    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. 

  13. Record a meeting to the cloud.
    If you have one of Zoom’s paid plans (which start at $15 a month), you can take a recording that will save directly to the cloud (or to your computer, if you prefer). Tap the record button on the bottom toolbar, and you’ll have the option to make it either local or in the cloud. You can do this on either desktop or mobile. 

  14. Host a group meeting longer than 40 minutes.
    On Zoom’s free basic tier, group meetings can only last up to 40 minutes (though one-on-one meetings are unlimited in time). To get unlimited group time, upgrade to a paid account. 

  15. Host more than 100 people. 
    If you have a group of more than 100 people to host for work or school, you have to upgrade to a paid professional account. If you upgrade to the highest tier (Enterprise Plus), you can host up to 1,000 participants.  

This article was reprinted with permission from CNET. See the original article with more tips and related videos at cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-zoom-like-a-pro-15-video-chat-tips-and-tricks-to-try-now.

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a senior editor at CNET and leads a team covering software, apps and services. She was previously a senior editor at CNET’s sister site TechRepublic.

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From Zoom To Vroom

Now that Zoom and other types of video conferencing have become the accepted stand-ins for in-office presentations, face-to-face meetings and hallway conversations, the learning curve on using these technologies is flattening pretty quickly. PPB asked a few who use Zoom regularly to share their favorite tips.

Kim Reinecker, MAS 
Regional Sales Manager/Texas and Oklahoma, Starline

Zoom meetings really took some getting used to but they have become pretty routine. Unfortunately, we are now experiencing a lot of customers who are suffering from “Zoom fatigue,” so these “calls” are not as easy to schedule as in the past. I do believe Zoom meetings will still come in handy when the world opens up a bit more and we can make more personal office visits. Zoom meetings will give all of us an opportunity to still have a one-on-one meeting if there is a need to catch up on what one might have missed in an in-person meeting.

On Zoom calls, the most important points to remember are these:

  • Be relaxed and be yourself. Be funny. Do not be afraid of the camera.
  • Chat about what is working for your company and what buying trends you are seeing. Be sure to touch on what markets are still purchasing and how are they using your products.
  • Make sure you have an edge. Starline has a wonderful web tool where we can create flipbooks featuring hi-res images of our top sellers and new products with your client’s logo on each one. We walk our customers through creating them on their own while on the Zoom meeting.  
  • As a supplier, do not drone on about your products. We are an idea industry. Our customers and their clients are starving for ideas. Feed them what they want.
  • End on a high note and leave them wanting more. What do they have to look forward to in the New Year from you and your company? 

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Michelle Hartz 
Owner, Gebo Promo

I have a Logitech webcam and an inexpensive ring light. I also have a wall behind me, so I don’t have to worry about what might be going on in the background.

Also, one of the services I offer to my customers is custom Zoom backgrounds. They can be static or animated, and Zoom can cut out the background for you even if you don’t have a green screen (although basic green screen fabric is inexpensive). It’s under Settings > Virtual Background. 

I’ve also thought about getting a step-and-repeat backdrop with my logo on it to put behind me.

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Jeryn Freeman 
President, LogoPro, Inc. 

One tip is that you can enhance your visual. Click the arrow next to Video and select Preferences or Settings. You have to be in Zoom to do it, but it makes quite a difference. Also, don’t have windows or bright lights behind you. The camera picks up that bright light but leaves you dark. I bought a Zoom video light but it’s sort of blinding. Another distributor told me she bought a Logitech camera that gives better  results than her computer camera. 

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—Tina Berres Filipski

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