Zoom calls have been a normal part of many employees’ and students’ lives for the past two years. However, many of us aren’t actually using Zoom to its fullest potential.
Today, we’re sharing our 20 best Zoom tips and tricks for a better virtual meeting experience that will impress your boss and improve your overall experience.
20 Best Zoom Tips & Tricks for Better Meeting Experience
1. Schedule recurring meetings with the same link
Did you know you can schedule recurring Zoom meetings with the same link? This hack can save you time and your coworkers frustration should they lose the new link for regular meetings.
Schedule recurring meetings with the same link by signing into your Zoom desktop extension. Click on the schedule icon, which looks like a calendar with the date on it, then set your meeting settings, including the topic, name of the meeting, time, time zone, and date. You’ll also see an option for creating a recurring meeting ID. Select this option and save your meeting link to complete your regular meeting link.
Share this link with your coworkers, and note that it is a recurring meeting link, so they won’t need a new one each week. It may take a few weeks for them to remember this, but the time and frustration saved in the long run will be well worth it.
2. Mute Yourself Automatically
Most Zoom accounts have mute turned on automatically. However, if you find that your account automatically turns on with the mute off, you can easily change this in the settings to prevent noisy distractions from bothering your coworkers. You can also mute yourself during the Zoom meeting when needed.
1. Go under ‘Settings.’
2. Click ‘Audio.’
3. Select ‘Mute microphone when joining a meeting.’
3. Automatically turn the camera off
Likewise, having your camera turn on every time you join a meeting can be frustrating. Not only does it not give you time to settle down in front of the camera and pull your notes up, especially if you were running late, but it can be jolting to have your audio and video start automatically the second you join a meeting.
If your video is always on, take the following steps to disable your camera from automatically turning on upon joining your Zoom call:
1. Go under ‘Settings’ once the Zoom call has started.
2. Then click ‘Video.’
3. Select Turn off my video when joining a meeting.’
4. Avoid distraction by silencing desktop notifications
Few things are more distracting than hearing someone’s desktop notifications go off while they are speaking. Being muted can help with this, but while speaking, you’ll want your notifications disabled to appear more professional and prevent distraction.
Depending on your computer, you’ll want to find your notification settings. We recommend searching for this in your computer’s search bar. Most computers will have a disable or do not disturb setting for your notifications. After the meeting, simply go back to the settings to turn the notifications on.
5. Use Notta to help with meeting minutes
Have you ever felt overwhelmed trying to take notes during a meeting? Notta can automatically record and transcribe your Zoom meetings, so you’re not left scrambling to keep up during the call.
1. Start by going to Notta.ai and create an account.
2. Next, you’ll want to start your Zoom call.
3. Click ‘Participants’ and ‘Invite.’
4. Then copy the invite link and go to your Notta dashboard. Click ‘join live meeting’ and paste the meeting invite link into the field.
5. Click ‘transcribe now,’ and the Notta Bot will automatically join your meeting and record and transcribe everything said.
Don’t forget to let others know they are being recorded. This is a common courtesy when recording a meeting.
Tip: For more information on using Notta to live transcribe a Zoom meeting, check out our step-by-step breakdown here.
6. Check the participant list
Seeing who is on the Zoom call can help you prepare for surprises. Once you are in the meeting, look at your setting bar at the bottom of your screen.
Click participants and the complete list of current participants will appear on the right-hand side of your screen. If you are the host, you can also choose to remove people from the call using this list.
7. Touch up your appearance
Zoom recently introduced the beauty filter, which can digitally touch up your appearance. While dressing nicely for your Zoom call is still essential, the beauty filter can make you look more well-rested and alert.
To use the beauty filter, click the up arrow next to Start Video, then click ‘Video Settings.’ Check the box for ‘Touch Up My Appearance,’ and watch the results transform before your eyes.
8. Use shortcuts
Shortcuts can be used in almost any part of the Internet, including Zoom. If you’re looking to speed up your Zoom experience, here are a few of the most popular shortcuts:
● Alt+A combo: To mute and unmute your audio.
● Alt: To hide or show your meeting controls.
● Alt+N combo: Switch your camera when using multiple cameras.
● Alt+F combo: To enter or leave the full-screen view.
● Alt+C combo: Start or end cloud recording.
● Alt+S combo: To start or stop screen sharing.
● Alt+Shift+T combo: Take a screenshot.
9. Change your name and add pronouns
Changing your name on your Zoom account can make you look more polished and professional. Avoid having a misspelled, all lowercase name or using nicknames that others would not recognize you by.
To change your name on Zoom permanently, go to the Zoom web portal and log into your account. Click ‘Profile’ and ‘Edit’ next to your current name. Type in your new name and click ‘Save changes.’
Similarly, if you want to add your pronouns which is an inclusive step for others and ensures that your coworkers never have to guess about your pronouns, go to ‘Profile’ and ‘Edit’ next to your current name in your portal. Then, type in your pronouns under the display name where a pronoun is provided. Click ‘Save changes.’
10. Use a mouse spotlight when sharing your screen
If you’ve ever watched someone share their screen on Zoom and struggled to follow along, you’re not alone. Next time you share your screen at a Zoom meeting, consider using the mouse spotlight function to enhance the experience and make it easier for others to see what you’re clicking on.
Once you start sharing your screen or a whiteboard, a bar will appear on the bottom of your screen. Click ‘Annotate’ and then select mouse spotlight to enhance your mouse. You’ll also see options for adding text or stamps, drawing on the screen, and highlighting options to improve the screen sharing experience for others.
11. Automatically Collect Information from Meeting Attendees
Have you ever wanted to collect information from everyone attending the meeting but dreaded the thought of sending mass emails out to do so? Zoom has a built-in meeting registration form you can create and use to gather information from meeting attendees.
To create a meeting registration form, locate the My Meeting tab of your Zoom web app and click on registration. From there, Zoom will prompt you to create questions and fields for attendees to answer. Zoom will automatically suggest specific fields, such as the meeting participant’s name and email address. In addition, you can add custom questions to the meeting registration form to collect data from your attendees.
12. Create Zoom breakout rooms for small groups
If you host large Zoom meetings, consider creating breakout rooms to allow small group discussion. The Zoom meeting host can manually sort participants into separate Zoom call sessions or allow attendees to select and enter any breakout room they want. At any point, the host can enter any breakout room to monitor everything going on.
You’ll need to host the Zoom meeting to create a breakout room. Then, go to account management and find the account settings. Under the Meeting Tab, click ‘Breakout Room’ and make sure the option is on. An option to allow meeting hosts to assign participants to particular breakout rooms will also be available. If the option to turn on breakout rooms is gray, you’ll need to reach out to your Zoom administrator to unlock the function.
13. Use emojis
Emojis can add life to a meeting and convey your reaction to what is being said, even if you’re on mute. We recommend using the thumbs-up or clapping emoji to communicate praise or approval during the meeting. These emojis are positive and affirming without being too distracting.
Locate the bottom of your meeting screen to use emojis and click the Reactions tab. This tab will show the 40 plus emojis Zoom offers there. Click on one, and it will appear on the screen for everyone to see for approximately five seconds.
14. Use gallery view
In gallery view, you can see everyone in the Zoom call at once, rather than just the individual speaking. To use gallery view, click the tab labeled ‘Gallery View’ in the top right corner of your Zoom meeting screen. This will immediately display all participants in the meeting. If you have more than 50 meeting attendees, Zoom will allow you to toggle between multiple pages to see everyone.
15. Create a waiting room for additional privacy
Are you worried about unwanted guests crashing your Zoom meeting? Create a waiting room as a barrier to this.
Go to Account Settings and click on ‘Meeting’ then ‘Waiting Room’ to create a waiting room for your upcoming call. Once activated, this will allow attendees to join the meeting waiting room. However, they won’t be able to access the meeting until the host lets them in. If unwanted guests show up, don’t allow them in.
16. Change your Zoom background
Nobody wants to stare at a messy background. If you can’t set up a tidy and professional environment, consider choosing a Zoom background through the app.
On desktop or mobile, go to settings, then click ‘Virtual Background.’ Zoom has many free background options for your virtual backdrop, or you can choose to upload your own option. You can add a fun touch to the meeting by appearing to be in outer space or at the beach, or choose a simple backdrop like a tidy bookshelf.
Double-check that your computer meets all the requirements for a Zoom virtual background before attempting this. Otherwise, the results may be less than stellar.
17. Add a professional profile picture
If you need to turn off your video temporarily, we recommend having a professional profile picture saved to your Zoom account.
To add a profile picture to your Zoom account for all meetings, go to the Zoom web portal and click on the profile tab. Across from your name, you’ll see the option to ‘Edit,’ click it, then choose upload where the empty photo icon is located. Choose a picture from your computer and save it to Zoom.
Going forward, you’ll have a professional profile picture for any Zoom meeting you join with this account.
18. Share your screen
Sharing your screen with others during the meeting can make demonstrations and presentations significantly more manageable and more engaging.
To share your screen with other meeting attendees, click the ‘Share Screen’ icon on the Zoom meeting toolbar located at the bottom of your screen. Zoom will prompt you by asking if you want to share your entire desktop or just one of your open computer windows. Select which option is best for your situation and set it up, then click ‘Stop Share’ at any time to turn off screen sharing.
19. Hide nonvideo participants
If you’re in a large meeting, it can quickly become distracting to see many black screens with just names listed. If you only want to see participants with cameras on, go to your settings. Then click ‘Video’ and ‘Meetings.’ Under the meetings tab, you’ll find the option to hide nonvideo participants.
Choosing to hide nonvideo participants can reduce distractions and help you focus on the speaker who likely has their camera on.
20. Choose a co-host for your Zoom call
If you are planning a large meeting or want a wingman to help manage the discussion, consider choosing a co-host for the Zoom call. Simply open the participant window during the meeting, click ‘Manage Participants,’ then select the individual’s name and click ‘More.’ Find the co-host option and select it. Assigning someone co-host privileges will give them more administration options, like muting or removing disruptive attendees.
Please keep in mind that you do need a Pro, Education, Business, or API Partner account with Zoom to have the option to assign co-host privileges to another individual.
Maximizing the tools available in Zoom can make your life and workday more effortless and effective. Choose a couple of these Zoom tips and tricks today to try and see how they impact your work meetings. Consider surveying your coworkers about steps you can take to improve your Zoom meetings, such as using a mouse spotlight or creating a recurring meeting link to eliminate confusion.
In addition, prevent yourself from becoming frazzled during the Zoom meeting by recording the session using Notta. Notta is an audio-to-text tool that will record and transcribe your Zoom meetings. After, you can easily edit the transcript, add notes and images, and export the file to coworkers who missed the meeting.