How to Use Zoom - The Basics and Participating in Zoom Meetings

How to Use Zoom: Understanding the Basics and Participating in Meetings

Zoom is a web-based conferencing platform that is used for business and personal purposes internationally. Zoom can be used for a variety of reasons and has several great features, such as conference calling, video conferencing, and screen sharing. In this video blog, you’ll learn about creating an account, joining a meeting, participating in a meeting, and zoom etiquette.

Do I need a Zoom account?

Zoom is a free service, but you do need an account to access meetings. If you find that you will be hosting (not attending) several meetings in the future, you may want to upgrade to a paid account. Even though Zoom is free, there is a limited number of minutes per month to host meetings unless you have a paid business account.

How do I make an account?

If you will be attending Zoom meetings you can sign up for free by going online to their site. Type “” in your browser to find the homepage.

  •  Click “Sign up for Free” to create your account.
  •  Follow the prompts to create your own account.
  • You will receive a confirmation email to the email address you entered. Click “Activate Account” to verify your email address.
  •  The activation link will connect you back to Zoom to finish creating your account.
    •  Enter your full name, with correct spelling and punctuation. This is how your name will appear on your account.
    •  Create a password that you will remember that meets all of Zoom guidelines (ex. Correct number of characters, etc.).

Take a few moments to update your profile information. This helps your teammates identify you in meetings!

How do I join a Zoom meeting?

If someone has requested that you join their meeting, they will send you the Meeting Room information in the form of a link. This link will prompt you to download the Zoom application on your computer. You can manually download this application by going to “us/download” as well. This application will help you manage your Zoom meetings, settings, and contacts all in one platform without having to go to every time you want to log in. Once you’ve opened the Zoom screen, you will see the Meeting Screen which looks like this!

How do I connect my audio?

Zoom allows multiple methods to connect your audio. Before logging in, you can test your audio to ensure it works by going to your Account Settings. Click on the cog-wheel icon to access this on your Application Home Page.

You can test your audio by selecting the “Audio” option under the Settings menu and clicking “Test Speaker” and “Test Mic” to ensure you can hear and be heard. You can also access this menu by clicking “test speaker and microphone” once you’ve already logged into the meeting. This will be under the “Join with Computer Audio” option.

The computer you’re using to access Zoom may not have a mic or speakers, or you may just prefer not to use that equipment – that’s perfectly fine. Zoom offers the ability to join your audio via phone. You only have to pick one phone number to dial. Zoom will prompt you to enter your Meeting ID, which will be a series of numbers indicated in the same screen. Type in your participant ID so the audio will connect with your account.

How do I connect my video?

Connecting your video is similarly simple to the audio process. Depending on your host’s settings you may be prompted to join with video and test your video prior to entering the room. If this prompt isn’t available, press the “Start Video” button in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen to turn on your webcam.

Zoom Etiquette

In any professional setting, we need to make sure that we’re being courteous and aware of etiquette standards and expectations. This can be anything from making sure we’re dressed professionally on a video conference to muting our lines when we’re not speaking.

Mute Etiquette

It’s generally expected that if you are not presenting during a meeting or answering a question, your mic will be muted. This prevents potential feedback and background noise from interfering or disrupting the meeting.

You can mute yourself by clicking the “Mute” button. If the mic icon has a red line through it, that means you are muted. If you wish to temporarily unmute yourself, you can do so by clicking your Spacebar. This allows you to agree or mention something and return to mute quickly.

Keep in mind that Zoom sessions can be recorded. This is indicated by a red circle in the top left-hand corner. Anything said on a Zoom meeting should be kept professional and respectful of all attendees.

Non-Verbal Communication

Even though most Zoom participants will be muted, there are still ways to interact with the team and engage in the meeting or presentation.

The Zoom Chat feature is available by clicking on the “Chat” button in the Meeting Controls bar. This section can be used to ask questions, comment, and make suggestions. You can choose to chat with everyone in the meeting, or select a specific person if you want your chat to be private. A helpful hint is to remember that Zoom Chats can be viewed by the host and saved, so as always, keep all communication work-appropriate.

In addition to the chat, you can communicate with the meeting host/presenter by clicking on the reaction buttons. This is located right above the chat and is visible when you select the “Manage Participants” button in the Meeting Controls bar.

Professional Setting

Professional dress is important just as it would be at work – it maintains a comfortable work environment for everyone involved. Make sure that you’re groomed, clothed, and ready to collaborate with your team before turning on your video. Be aware of your settings! The “Stop Video” button is a great resource when you want to avoid sharing… too much.

Successful Team Communication with Zoom

Zoom is an excellent platform to communicate with teams far and wide. Remember to be professional and aware of your surroundings. Communicate often! It’s important to make sure you’re using every medium (visual, tactile, and audible) to interact with your team members. Zoom gives you a connectedness that is vital for every successful team.



Amanda Wash
Director of QA and Learning & Development

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