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Tips for Using Zoom

March 30, 2020

As we transition to remote working and distance-based instruction, Zoom is becoming a larger part of our lives. Here are a few tips to make Zoom work for you. 

Mute yourself.

If you’re in a Zoom meeting with a lot of people, mute your mic while you’re listening so that your background noise isn’t accidentally picked up (hello, toddlers and dogs). Once muted, you can hold down the spacebar to unmute yourself when you’re ready to talk. The space bar trick only works when Zoom is your main window, and you can set up a custom shortcut so you can mute/unmute if you’re in another window. 


Check your background.

 Make sure that what others can see behind you in your remote location is as professional as possible, no need to show your coworkers your piles of dirty laundry and dishes (just scoot them out of the shot). And if you don’t want to show your actual background at all, there are now four ISU-branded Zoom backgrounds available. 


Use the beauty filter.

This is one setting that we can all get behind. The “touch up your appearance” filter evens out your skin tone and touches up your lighting with its soft focus. There is no reason to leave this box unchecked. 


Share your screen. 

If you’re talking about something visual with your team, show them what you’re looking at by sharing your screen. Click the “share screen” button in the meeting tool bar and then select which of your screens you want to to share. More info. 


Use the whiteboard feature.

In addition to sharing your screen, Zoom has a built-in whiteboard that can be used for recording notes or interactive brainstorming, activities, etc. as if you were in a physical meeting. The host can let others write on the board, as well, using the annotate feature so everyone can share at the same time. Note: Don’t forget to save the whiteboard after the meeting.


Utilize the breakout rooms.

Did you know that Zoom has a breakout room feature? When you’re doing small group exercise, you can split the team up and then call them back in the same Zoom meeting using the breakout room option.  


Use Zoom for fun reasons, too. 

Host a recurring Zoom lunch or coffee break with your coworkers, and you can all have a minute to catch up and feel connected. 

Not sure how to host a Zoom meeting? Visit the Staff FAQ section of isu.edu/coronovirus for information on how to request a Zoom account and start inviting team members.


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