Guidelines for using Zoom for online meetings

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Setting up Zoom

If you haven’t used Zoom before, don’t worry, it is very easy to set up and use. It will run in any web browser (Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, etc) on just about any smart device (tablet, laptop, desktop, mobile phone, etc). However, you get a better ‘meeting experience’ if you join meetings through the Zoom app.

To download and install the Zoom (Client for Meetings) app, click here and follow the instructions.

Although it isn’t strictly necessary, it is best if you set up your own Zoom account. You will probably be prompted to do this as part of the installation process, but if you aren’t, click here to create an account. You will need to provide your date of birth (for security reasons) and an email address, then click Join Up. A confirmation email will be sent to your email address. When you receive this, click on Activate Account in the message and you will be asked to provide your name and set a password (make a note of this for future use). Then Skip the Invite page, and click Go To My Account. Check that all the information on your Profile is correct and you are done.

If you always use Zoom on the same computer, it will keep you logged in, but be prepared to log in to your account, using your email and Zoom password if you use Zoom from a different device.

If you wish to contribute to meetings (as opposed to just watch and listen), you will need to use a computer/device which has a microphone (and optionally a camera). These should be detected automatically by the app so you do not need to worry about it. If you have any problems, click on the Settings (  ) icon at the top right of the window and you will see (amongst other things) options for Audio and Video. Clicking on either of these will enable you to test the audio/video capabilities of your device.

Joining a Zoom meeting

When you are invited to a Zoom meeting, you will receive an email with a link to join. Click on this at the appropriate time (or copy and paste it into your web browser if it is a non-clickable link) and you will be taken to the Zoom website. If you have previously installed the Zoom app, you will be prompted to open the app and then you will be connected to the meeting.
If you haven’t installed the app, you will be prompted to download and install it (as described above). This takes a little while, so if time of the essence, just click Cancel at this point and then click Join From Your Browser.
You may also be asked for a password, which you should find in your invitation email.

Make sure you have both Audio and Video enabled. If you see either of the following icons at the bottom left of the screen, click on them to enable audio and/or video

If you are using a mobile device (smart phone or tablet) to access the meeting, please try to prop it up on a solid surface so that your image is not jumping around continuously and distracting other participants.

During the meeting

At the beginning of the meeting, you will probably be able to see and hear all of the other participants (providing the host has enabled this). However, it is likely that whilst the meeting is in progress, the host will ‘mute’ everyone other than the chairperson, as things become very muddled if more than one person is speaking at a time. As with normal meetings, it is good etiquette to raise your hand when you wish to speak and the host will then ‘unmute’ you and allow you to speak. Once you have finished speaking, you will be muted again.

There are a number of different video layouts available, the availability of which depend on the size of your screen and whether a document is being ‘shared’ on the screen. If you select Gallery View you should be able to see everyone else at the meeting. If you don’t see everyone, you can make the window larger by clicking and dragging a corner of the window. In Speaker View you will see the active speaker in a large window and some of the other participants in small windows.

Additional advice

If you are attending a Zoom meeting with multiple participants, a lot of video and audio data has to be uploaded and downloaded. This can cause problems if you have a slow internet connection. Those who still have a ‘standard’ broadband connection might wish to consider upgrading to ‘fibre’ broadband. Fibre is available throughout most of the parish with the exception of Tythby and parts of Elton. Click here to go to the BT Openreach site to check if it is available at your address.

I hope this is all clear. It sounds more complicated than it actually is. If you have any problems, give me a call or email and I will try to help out.

Nick Perry

COVID-19 Response