26 Zoom tips to improve your video conferences while telecommuting

26-zoom-tips-to-improve-your-video-conferences-while-telecommuting

These Zoom tutorials can help employees working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic have more productive video conferences.

With millions of people telecommuting from home due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, meetings that were previously held in person have now been moved online–and lots of workers are now using Zoom, in particular. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced user of Zoom, these how-to tutorials will help you optimize your virtual meetings.

How to use Zoom’s advanced sharing options to share more than just your screen

If you use Zoom, you probably already know that you can share your screen, either a specific window or app, or the entire screen. But Zoom also offers advanced options for sharing more than just your screen. By tapping into these advanced options, you can share a portion of a screen. You can share just the audio and not the video from your computer. And if your system is outfitted with more than one camera, you can share content using that second camera. 


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Zoom 5.0: How to better secure meetings with the latest features

Since the coronavirus has forced us all to quarantine and stay at home, Zoom has gained a prominent spot among people who want to see and talk to family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers. The virtual meeting and calling app has been lauded for its simplicity and ease of use. But Zoom has also faced criticism over its loose security measures. Security weaknesses have led to various problems, including the infamous Zoombombing in which total strangers crash a live meeting and use profanity, show pornography, or just enjoy ruining the experience for legitimate participants.


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How to host a Zoom meeting

Working from home doesn’t mean you can’t meet with coworkers. Zoom is one of the ways you can stay in touch while apart. If you’re unsure of how to launch a Zoom meeting, follow these steps, and you’ll be chatting face-to-face in no time.


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How to turn on virtual backgrounds in Zoom

Not everyone has a home office, so folks attending a video meeting might be in a bedroom, kitchen, or other space that all attendees can see when the video is enabled. Letting coworkers into your private space can be uncomfortable, which is why Zoom offers virtual backgrounds that let users easily hide what’s behind them.


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Photos: The 20 best Zoom backgrounds for sci-fi fans, especially Trekkies

Virtual backgrounds are the latest craze in video conferencing. This customizable feature allows you to upload an image and immediately project this as your default backdrop during video chats. That said, why settle for a lackluster virtual background when you can teleport your home office to the main bridge of the USS Enterprise? Exactly. In this gallery, we’ve compiled some of the best Zoom backgrounds from this side of the multiverse and beyond. From insatiable black holes to galaxy-class starships mid-warp drive, we have you covered. Take your Zoom background to the next level with a little interstellar spice added to the mix.


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Photos: The 27 best Zoom backgrounds for explorers and nature lovers

Zoom virtual backgrounds are all the rage right now and for good reason. With the press of a button, you can be virtually transported to a tropical island or a remote wilderness retreat. Little will the rest of your team know that you are in actuality tuning in from your kitchen table. From the mesmerizing dunes of White Sands National Park to the craggy beaches along the California coast, here are 27 of the best Zoom backgrounds for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.


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The best virtual backgrounds to use on Zoom for your next business meeting

These days it seems that nearly everyone is working remotely, and the cool new telecommuting office trend is to have a virtual background for your Zoom meetings. Some co-workers are even competing to see who can come up with the most creative background. Face it, working from home for weeks on end is a bit more fun when you can do it on The Simpson’s couch or while hanging out on retired Admiral Jean-Luc Picard’s bridge aboard the USS Enterprise or even dialing in from the Batcave. 


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Tips on choosing a realistic Zoom virtual background for your business meetings

We’ve all done dozens–or hundreds–of Zoom video calls by now. And learned how easy it is to swap out our real background with a virtual one. But it’s not that simple to choose one that looks like it’s a real office or living room. Because sometimes you really don’t want to make a business call from the Batcave. Although sometimes, admittedly, sitting at Leslie Knope’s desk in Pawnee, Ind., is just the ticket. Even if you end up craving waffles all day, just like the character on Parks and Recreation.


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How to host a virtual happy hour on Zoom or other teleconferencing services

“Join us for a drink?” It’s a question that makes you feel either welcome or wary. And whatever your reaction, it’s a common query for office mates. Today, the coronavirus pandemic has sent most office workers to work from home. Many offices are now holding virtual happy hours via conferencing platforms, in which similar casual and social discussions can evolve while physically isolating. 


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How to record a Zoom meeting

Important meetings need good records, and anyone who has taken notes knows that some details can be missed. Without a doubt, the best way to preserve a record of a meeting is to have a video recording of the entire thing.


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How to transfer files during a Zoom meeting

In an in-person meeting, you can share a document by simply passing out photocopies. Online meetings, like those performed through Zoom, can make it a bit tricker to share documents and files. Luckily, there’s an easy way to share documents with Zoom meeting participants, whether they’re in your organization or outside of it–it’s even easier than sharing your screen.


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How to hide and unhide video in Zoom

Users new to Zoom’s desktop app may find it a bit odd when their face appears while speaking–it’s a bit jarring to say the least when you pop up in your own face! If you want to hide your own video, adjust it so you don’t take over the screen, or bring it back once it’s hidden, this tutorial can help.


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How to get started with Zoom’s apps for iOS and Android

Newly remote workers may find themselves using Zoom for the first time and most will probably opt for the Zoom desktop client for Windows or macOS. But, what if your remote work situation still requires moving around, be it inside or out of the house? A desktop video conferencing app won’t cut it. That’s where Zoom Cloud Meetings for iOS and Android come in. If you’re not sure how to get started with Zoom for your mobile device, it’s time to get up to speed.


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How to share documents from the cloud during a Zoom meeting

Sometimes, you need to share a document during a Zoom call. But it’s not stored on your computer or mobile device; it’s stored in the cloud. How can you get to it and share it directly without having to first download it to your device? Among Zoom’s Share options is one that lets you access your cloud-based storage. You can share files from Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and Box.


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How to allow Zoom meeting attendees to join without installing the app

Frustration can occur on both sides when someone doesn’t understand how to use new technology, but in Zoom’s case there’s an easy way around having to teach someone how to use a completely new app: The Zoom web client. Zoom’s web client has many of the same features as the desktop app, but for users only needing to join meetings as participants, it’s particularly useful: All a meeting attendee has to do is click on the meeting invite link from the host and the web client will do the rest of the work.


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How to use virtual backgrounds in Zoom from your phone

One of the coolest features of Zoom’s video conferencing app for desktops is its virtual backgrounds. With just a few clicks, you can replace the room behind you with whatever photo you choose. This feature is available in Zoom Cloud Meetings too, but with a caveat: It’s only available on iOS. Sorry, Android users–you’re stuck displaying the room behind you since Android doesn’t currently support virtual backgrounds in Zoom (it isn’t known when, or if, the feature is coming).


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How to share content in Zoom from your mobile device

Like sharing documents onscreen with the Zoom desktop app, you can share content from your mobile device relatively easily, though the experience is different on a mobile device than on a desktop. The process to share a document, a presentation, a video, or an image on your screen with Zoom Cloud Meetings also differs slightly between Android and iOS, but not in any functional ways: Some menu items are in different locations and granting permissions to Zoom in Android and iOS look a bit different, but the steps in this tutorial apply to both types of devices.


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How to record a meeting in Zoom from your mobile device

Video conferencing app Zoom can do a lot of different things to make meeting with people in different locations easy. One feature that comes free with the desktop app is the ability to record Zoom meetings and store them on your computer with the tap of a button. Recording a meeting on Zoom’s desktop app is simple once you’re granted permission by the host, but recording a meeting from the iOS or Android versions of Zoom is a bit more complicated.


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How to add a Zoom call to a Google Calendar event

Zoom’s G Suite add-on makes connecting the two platforms and scheduling Zoom meetings a snap. One of the less intuitive aspects of Zoom is its meeting scheduler, which can be a bit tricky to get used to. Luckily for G Suite users, Zoom has a Google Calendar integration that makes adding a Zoom call to a Google Calendar event a snap.


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How to prevent Zoom bombing: 5 simple tips

Video conferencing app Zoom has had a meteoric rise in users due to the coronavirus outbreak, and with that rise in users has come security woes and an annoying new trend known as “Zoom bombing.” Zoom bombing is, in essence, crashing a digital meeting and doing things like screaming obscenities, broadcasting pornography, and otherwise interrupting people’s attempts to talk to coworkers, family, and friends. It isn’t necessarily harmful, but it’s definitely obnoxious.


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Report: Video apps are a critical part of the “new normal” workplace

report:-video-apps-are-a-critical-part-of-the-“new-normal”-workplace

As the workplace has been upended by COVID-19, it is imperative for US businesses to make smart investments in video applications, according to a new report.

Image: fizkes, Getty Images/iStockphoto

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an upending of the American workplace, forcing employees––those who haven’t yet been furloughed or laid off––to work virtually. The pandemic meant that 33% of employees would work from home for the first time ever. And as COVID-19 continues to spread, businesses are seeing that the workplace may never truly return to the way it was––and that the “new normal” will heavily rely on the tech platforms that have made collaboration possible throughout this period of uncertainty.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

A new report, “How Video Is Changing the World,” details how, exactly, businesses can harness new online video applications to maintain an advantage in this climate. The report, which surveyed 5,000 adult consumers in France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Scandinavia, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States who reportedly watch one hour or more of online video each day, looks at the behaviors and attitudes around video applications.

The report says businesses that were new to offering remote work struggled to meet the challenge posed by the coronavirus. But thanks to online video, some of these concerns were mollified, as 72% of Americans used this kind of technology in at least half of their daily activities. The report shows that while working from home can be a challenge to productivity, 29% of respondents report that video helps them work efficiently. It also shows that as employees struggle with mental health curing this period, and isolation is a big concern: In particular, 27% of respondents report that video is helping them feel connected to coworkers. Finally, even creativity is seen to be boosted by online video platforms––22% of those surveyed said these platforms can improve collaboration efforts.

SEE: Life after lockdown: Your office job will never be the same–here’s what to expect (cover story PDF) (TechRepublic) 

 

The report also looks at American attitudes toward video, which don’t quite match global attitudes. More than a third of Americans, 37%, reportedly never use video tech, versus 31% of the global average, and the frequency is also lower-–only 12% of Americans use video conferencing at least three times a day, as opposed to 21% of those responding globally.

 

However, the opportunities video platform tech offers are recognized––85% of Americans predict that video-based classes will increase in popularity after the pandemic. The majority of Americans (58%) think video-training courses will be useful to them personally in career development. And some (17%) see live-streaming job fairs and virtual networking events (16%) as other ways to improve their career opportunities.

SEE: COVID-19: A guide and checklist for restarting your business (TechRepublic Premium)

Whether or not organizations have gotten on board with video platforms, the fact remains that they will be an essential tool moving forward, in order to stay relevant and productive––whether there’s a large-scale move back to the office or not.

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Also see

Video teleconferencing do’s and don’ts (free PDF)

video-teleconferencing-do’s-and-don’ts-(free-pdf)

Most of the world might be working from home, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to go wild when you’re on a teleconference. There are certain behaviors that are acceptable to do while on a Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, or some other video conferencing platform, and some things that you just need to avoid.

TechRepublic talked to several etiquette experts and business pros to get their advice on what to do, and what not to do on camera. Their advice, tips and tricks to make the most out of a video teleconference are compiled in this free PDF download.

In the download:

  • 11 ways to be a consummate professional during Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings
  • How your actions on Zoom could get you fired
  • 13 things to avoid doing on Zoom
  • 13 etiquette tips for video conference calls
  • And more!

Video teleconferencing policy

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    TechRepublic Premium
  • Published
    June 3, 2020
  • Topic
    TechRepublic Premium
  • Format
    PDF

While video teleconferencing has been used as a common business tool for many years, the associated principles regarding etiquette may not be as familiar as it should be to all your employees. The sample video teleconferencing policy from TechRepublic Premium can help your business establish a common set of rules all your employees can follow.

From the policy:

Summary

When used properly, video teleconferencing is a powerful tool for holding informational and collaborative meetings. The company encourages employees to take advantage of video teleconferencing technology when it is available and makes business sense.

Employees taking part in a company-related video teleconference will observe company policy and rules regarding security, personal behavior, and meeting etiquette. It is the company’s position that remotely held meetings will be more successful if this policy is followed and enforced.

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Zoom video conferencing: Cheat sheet (free PDF)

zoom-video-conferencing:-cheat-sheet-(free-pdf)

Zoom is video conferencing software for Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile devices that run iOS or Android. It supports one-on-one calls, as well as group meetings that can hold up to 100 users for free or 500 users with an additional purchase.

Zoom has been lauded for its simple interface, ease of use, and accessibility to non-tech savvy people, which has aided in its steady climb as a video conferencing app of choice for small businesses, enterprises, and individuals. Along with its desktop and mobile apps, Zoom offers solutions for enterprise conference rooms, browser extensions, and a web client that allows meeting participants to attend meetings without having to install the Zoom app.

Learn more about the Zoom in this free PDF download from TechRepublic.

In the download:

  • What is Zoom?
  • Is Zoom safe to use?
  • How does Zoom compare to Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Google Hangouts?
  • What are Zoom’s best features for business users?
  • Is Zoom free?
  • How do I use Zoom?
  • And more!