The internet has afforded us the luxury of sitting down at our homes, work-places, leisure venues or care and hospitality centres, and have live visual communications with families, friends and colleagues.
There are numerous applications we can download on our smartphones or PC’s (Personal Computers) and enjoy awesome live video conversations with other people, even during happy moments like weddings and birthday parties. These apps include Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Jitsi Meet, and many others. I shared more lights on these various video conferencing apps and a brief description of each of them in another article. You can find it here.
Having hosted and also participated in several live video meetings on Zoom, I have noted that some participants find it a little challenging understanding the right tab and functions to press within the app in order to have a great Zoom meeting experience.
In this article, I will walk you through on how to join, participate and host a Zoom meeting. This article can also serve as a guide to help first-time Zoom meeting participants and users get along quick.
You can use any of the navigation buttons below to go straight to the part you like to read about.
Getting Started With Zoom
Zoom is an easy and straightforward app that allows you to host or join a meeting over the internet via a smartphone or PC. To use Zoom, you first need to download the app on your smartphone or PC. The app is available for different operating systems (OS) and it is free for basic users.
Downloading the App
To get started, open your phone’s app store, type zoom and select ZOOM cloud meetings and download the app.
For your PC, you can get the Zoom app by going to zoom’s website. Select JOIN A MEETING or HOST A MEETING as the case may be – follow the direction (I will explain as we go on) and you would have the app downloaded to your PC. Then go ahead and install the downloaded app on your PC.
Now open the app and sign up to create an account and set your preferences. When the Zoom app asks to use your phone camera and microphone, select ”Allow”.
Zoom App Environment – Basic
When you open the mobile app, the basic environment is simple and has few action buttons and navigation tabs.
At the bottom part of the mobile app, you have the Meet & Chat tab, Meetings, Contact and Settings as shown on the image below.
Meet & Chat
The Meet & Chat tab which is the default tab when the app is opened has four major action buttons that will help you initiate or participate in a live zoom meeting. These buttons are:
New Meeting tap: With this orange button you can start an instant meeting or unscheduled meeting and then add invites to your meeting.
Join: Join button lets you join a meeting. Here’s where you enter your meeting invitation details. If you received an invitation, you can also tap on the link to join the meeting.
Schedule: The schedule button allows you to schedule a new meeting and set the criteria for participants.
Share Screen: With Share screen, you can share your phone screen or entire desktop, specific application, a portion of your screen and other contents from your phone or PC.
The Meetings tab provides you with a list of all your scheduled meetings. In this tab, you can start a new meeting, your scheduled meeting or edit any of your meetings.
Contacts Tab lets you connect your phone contacts to your Zoom app. You can also manage all your contacts here.
Settings tab provides you with the resources to manage your communications on-and-off the meeting. You can also view and edit your profile in the Settings tab.
How to Join a Meeting
Joining a Zoom meeting is simple, and you can join via different methods. First, ensure you have an internet connection on your device.
Joining a meeting
- Tap the invite link sent to you to be part of a zoom meeting. This would automatically launch or requests you to launch the Zoom app.
- The app would send you to a waiting room, depending on the instructions the host has set for the app.
- Open Zoom app, tap Join a Meeting or Join.
- Enter the meeting ID and your name, then hit Join.
- Enter the meeting passcode and hit Join Meeting or Join.
- The app would then send you to a waiting room, depending on the instructions the host has set for the app.
- Once the host admits you into the meeting room, you now become part of the meeting participants. You can now visually see and hear the conversations going on in the meeting room.
- Your video and or audio may be stopped by the host during meeting setup. So, if your video is turned off and you want other participants to see you, simply tap on Start Video button to turn on your video (the red crossed line will disappear).
- To turn on your microphone, simply tab the Mute or Mic button to change it from Unmute to Mute. Now you can speak and be heard by the other participants.
- You can also drag your phone to the right to activate Safe Drive Mode if you are driving, to avail yourself with easy unmute to speak and mute when done speaking.
- To view the list of participants, tap on Participants button. And if you want to exit from there, tap on Close – up-left – to go back to the room.
- To view more participants on the live view, drag your phone screen to the left, and keep dragging the screen to the left to see more.
Chatting During Meeting
You can send and receive chats while the meeting is going on.
- To send chat to everyone at the meeting or a specific participant, tap on More – Chat.
- On Send to: ensure that Everyone is selected to send a broadcast message.
- Or select a specific participant on the dropdown arrow beside Send to: to send to specific participant.
- Then type your message and Send.
- Tap Close to exit from Chat.
Sending Reactions During Meeting
Zoom desktop and mobile apps have few reaction icons that you can send to quietly communicate your engagement during the meeting.
To use these reactions, tap on More on the mobile app and select the reaction that expresses your feelings or thoughts.
Leaving the Meeting
To leave the meeting, simply tap on Leave Meeting.
How to Host a Zoom Meeting
There are different ways you can host a Zoom meeting. There’s what I call instant Zoom meeting where you tap on New meeting or Start on the mobile app, or Host Meeting on Zoom’s website via a web browser, and start an instant meeting. There’s also a scheduled meeting where you set a future date and time and then send out invitations to participants before the date and time of the meeting.
Hosting Instant Meeting
To host a meeting via the mobile app,
- Open Zoom app – tap on New Meeting and select Start a Meeting.
- When the meeting room opens, tap on Participants – Invite and chose a method to send out invitation(s) from the list of available options.
- You can select Copy Invite Link to copy the invitation link and then go to your other favourite platforms such as WhatsApp or Telegram and paste it as a message to the people you want to invite.
Scheduling a Future Meeting
Scheduling a meeting in Zoom is easy and simple.
Here’s the procedure to schedule a meeting:
- Open Zoom app, tap on Schedule to open Schedule Meeting panel.
- On the cursor blinking bar, type the name for your meeting.
- Select the date, meeting starting time and end time.
- Select the time zone from the list of available time zones. Participants would have to calculate and match their local times to fit into the schedule.
- Note the Passcode settings. You can leave it the way it is.
- You may need to set MEETING OPTIONS or leave them way they are.
- Select Done to finish and close the Schedule Meeting settings.
- Select your invite medium in the opened Add Invitees via box. If you want to choose other channels, tap outside the box.
- Now, on the Meeting Details page tap Invite and choose your preferred channel to invite participants.
- You can select Copy to Clipboard to copy the invitation link and then go to your other favourite platforms such as WhatsApp or Telegram and paste it as a message to the people you want to invite.
Starting a Scheduled Meeting
- To start your scheduled meeting, open Zoom mobile app, tap on Meetings (located at the bottom of the app).
- Identify the scheduled meeting you want to start and tap on Start.
Ending a Meeting
To end a meeting tap on End – End for everyone.
You can also allow the meeting to go on while you leave. To do this, tap on End and select Leave meeting.
Controls and Settings
When you are the host, you have many controls and buttons that can help you manage communications among meeting participants. These controls are simple and easy to understand and implement. For instance, you can instruct the app to mute the microphone of every participant that joins. You can also ask participants to unmute themselves or even turn on their videos just by tapping on a button within the app. To experience these controls, tap on More – Security and also More – Meeting Settings. These controls are accessible when the meeting is started.
Using an earpiece for your mobile phone to participate in a Zoom meeting makes it more enjoyable for you, and helps others to hear you more clearly.
That’s it for now! You can find more helpful resources about Zoom by going to Zoom’s Help Center.
Thanks for reading.