LAPTOP OR SMARTPHONE?
Overall, it’s a far better experience, in large groups, to use a laptop if at all possible, rather than a smartphone – the larger screen allows you to see all participants.
PREPARING FOR A MEETING
Remember that others will be able to see you – so best not to be wearing your PJs and hair-rollers!
If you possibly can, it’s best to arrange your phone or laptop camera around head height, and sit in front of a suitable background. No-one really wants to see your smalls hanging up to dry!
JOINING A MEETING
Joining is quite easy – you will receive a link by email (or maybe Whatsapp or some other way) just click on the link.
It will look something like this:
It helps to have already downloaded the ZOOM application but if not you’ll be run through the process first time you join a meeting (allow an extra couple of minutes to do this).
IN A MEETING
When in the meeting, first thing to do is to make sure that your video and audio is on – there are 2 buttons for this at the bottom left of the screen on both laptop and smartphone.
Usually calls start up in a window on your screen – best to hit ‘enter full screen’ mode to make the most of the screen space.
There are a couple of options for viewing other people – these are SPEAKER or GALLERY. I’d recommend GALLERY which shows all the participants on the screen at the same time.
If you want to speak, and the host (chair) doesn’t see you, you can RAISE HAND – click on MANAGE PARTICIPANTS, where there will be an option to RAISE HAND. Remember to lower it again when you’ve been heard.
When in the meeting someone might want to share with others what’s on their screen – e.g. to see a report. They can do that via the SHARE SCREEN option at the bottom of the screen.
LEAVING THE MEETING
To leave the meeting you just press the red ‘leave meeting’ link (or ‘end meeting’ if you’re the host).
There’s a lot more to it, but these tips are a good start.
Chas Macintosh, Communications Convener – re-published January 2021