It’s March 29, 2020. Some states – and even some countries – are on full lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The only services still operating are those that are essential for societal function.
Sound like a dystopian sci-fi horror film? Well, welcome to 2020.
Now, more than ever, businesses need to know how to talk to their clients remotely. The software we use to talk to our clients, business partners, and employees online is called zoom. It’s a video and audio conferencing service.
Since we have many clients who don’t know how to use Zoom – or have never even heard of it – we’ve decided to put together a Zoom web conferencing tutorial.
Staying Connected With Zoom
Google or go to zoom.us or https://zoom.us/download and download zoom. You’ll have to sign up for a free account. You can use your work email address, your Facebook login, or your Google login (for services like Gmail) to create the account.
Signing into Zoom
Enter your credentials after you’ve downloaded the software. If you signed up for Zoom with your Facebook or Google login, sign in to zoom with those.
After you’ve signed in, you’ll see 4 options:
- New Meeting
This allows you to start a new meeting.
This button allows you to join a meeting.
You’ll need either an invite or a join code.
- Schedule a Meeting
This is great for weekly team meetings.
- Share Screen
Share your screen to a meeting.
How to Start a Zoom Meeting
Click the new meeting button.
Click join with computer audio. If you have a laptop or computer with a camera and microphone built-in, this should happen automatically. If you’ve done everything up to this point, you should see a screen like this:
Now we’ll explain the buttons.
- Mute – this toggles the mute on your microphone. If you click it, you’ll see a red strikethrough appear on the icon. This means that people will not be able to hear you broadcast audio.
- Start video/stop video – this enables or disables the video on your laptop camera or desktop camera.
- Invite – this is how you invite people to your zoom conference.
- Manage participants – mute/unmute individuals and manage who is in the conference.
- Share – this allows you to share your actual computer screen. This is a great tool for meetings and business calls where documentation or presentations are involved.
- Chat – Chat within the zoom conference in case someone does not have a microphone. This works as an instant text messenger and is great for sharing URLs. You can also send small files like pictures and word documents for people to download.
- Record – Record the meeting. This is great for verbal contracts or for referencing past meetings or lectures.
How to Invite People to Your Zoom Call
If you click the invite button you’ll see this screen:
Above you’ll see previous contacts you’ve spoken to, and the various ways to send invites to people.
A “copy invitation” will send this:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 638 804 565
A “Copy URL” will send this:
If you paste that URL into your web browser, it’ll redirect you to the Zoom application you downloaded. Invitees will need both the meeting ID and the password to join.
If you click the email tab, it’ll bring this up:
Here, you can use your default email, your Gmail, or your Yahoo Mail account to send out invites. It’ll send the invite text shown above to the email addresses that you choose.
How to Join a Meeting
Here’s how to join a Zoom meeting.
If someone sends you an invite, copy and paste the URL into your web browser. It should be as simple as that. It’ll prompt you to start computer audio and/or video if you have a camera. If it is a recurring meeting at a weekly given time, make sure to save the meeting ID and password somewhere safe! The “share” button on the screen below means that you’ll share your screen if you click it.
Scheduling A Meeting
From the home screen of the Zoom application, click on the “meetings” tab at the start of the screen. It’ll bring up this screen:
Click the “+” button next to the “upcoming” and “recorded” tab. It’ll bring up this screen:
Here, you’ll be able to decide which calendar to use to sync and send out invites (Google Calendar being the most widely used. It’ll send Gmail invites and reminders to everyone who has a gmail account). You’ll also be able to set video and audio options for the scheduled meeting call. For the Meeting ID, if you select “Personal Meeting ID”, participants will be able to use the same unique Meeting ID every week. If not, zoom will still send an automatic email each week reminding the participants.
After you create the scheduled meeting, zoom will create the meeting and bring you back to the “meetings” tab:
Here, you’ll now see the scheduled meeting you created and any other video/audio conferences that have been set up for the rest of the month (by you or by others).
After creating the meeting on the zoom application, Zoom will automatically bring up Google Calendar:
Click the “add guests” to add people by email. The option with the bell icon allows you to send email notifications if you select “email” or app notifications if you select “notification”.
Closing Thoughts on Messaging and Zoom ConferencesDuring COVID-19
Zoom is just one way to communicate with your clients during the outbreak. Many people find great success using other applications such as Slack and Skype (we use all of the above).
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an economic upheaval.
How are you going to respond to it?
It’s time to adapt.
Consider video conferencing meetings, delivering doorside, working a side hustle, or working another angle to make it through this disease-induced economic depression. We’re here to help you and our clients every step of the way.