Now it’s your turn to host a Zoom meeting. You’ve hosted in-person meetings and participated in plenty of Zoom meetings but the unpredictable nature of technology can make hosting a Zoom meeting intimidating. First off, I find it helpful to recall your experiences on Zoom thus far. What meetings went really well and why? Did you experience any uncomfortable or awkward situations that you want to learn from?
Take a Test Drive
As a participant you are accustomed to the same few buttons and settings. It is likely that, as a Zoom host, new buttons and settings may become vital. Set up a Zoom meeting with a friend or relative to run through the process, start to finish. Try out the different screen views, test the mute settings, and check out the chat and record options. I take a closer at those features and more below.
Privacy and Security Settings
Zoom addresses privacy concerns in a variety of ways, many of which are found in the Settings window, such as enabling or disabling participant permissions. You can also lock the meeting once all participants have logged in to prevent anyone uninvited from joining. The Security icon at the bottom of the Zoom window provides access to most of these settings.
Professional Environment and Leadership Skills
As discussed in Zoom: Etiquette for Participants, keeping a professional workspace is crucial. This includes your desk space, background, attire and attitude. In addition, you are now the leader and you will be guiding the meeting. As the host, you should introduce any guests that may not already know each other. Provide an opportunity for those new members to greet each other.
Start your Zoom meeting with an agenda or schedule for the session to keep your participants engaged and informed as well as keep you on track. Maintain eye contact when a participant is speaking to demonstrate attentiveness and leadership.
Throughout your Zoom meeting, take time to pause for others to chime in. Your participants should be given an opportunity to share their questions and comments. The Raise Hand/Lower Hand options can help with that and are found in the Reactions icon.
As the host, make sure you are the last to leave. This ensures everyone has a chance to ask any last questions. Be sure to click End Meeting For All so there are no stragglers or hidden Zoom windows left logged in.
The Participants icon at the bottom of the window is a quick way to pull up a list of participants and control their settings. By clicking on the More option at the bottom of the Participants window, additional options for participant controls and mute settings are available for the host.
The Chat feature in Zoom is helpful to send messages at a time when someone else is speaking or to distribute a file to the whole group or a specific person. Click the Chat icon at the bottom of the Zoom window to open a Chat window. The ellipsis opens control options and additional settings are found here.
The Record icon allows you to record a desired portion of the Zoom meeting and save it to your device or cloud. From there you can share it with those who may have missed the meeting or keep it for future reference. More on Record here.
The Screen Share icon is an invaluable tool to the host with a variety of views available. The Screen Share icon also provides Advanced Sharing Options to address multi-screen sharing.
Within Screen Share you will see a Whiteboard option that is an interactive way to illustrate and communicate with the audience. Features include text boxes, free drawing and shapes, stamps, formatting settings which includes size and color options, an eraser and the option to save the Whiteboard.