How to be a Good Zoom Host

29 tips on how to have a better zoom meeting 
By Nick Gonzalez

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Zooming is booming. Here’s how to do it better.

  1. If you are new to Zoom, have practice meetings with friends and family. Learn how to use Zoom’s basic features.

  2. If you don’t know how to use the basic tools you will have problems.

  3. Don’t let another person schedule your meeting. Get your own zoom account. Prices start at zero.  Invest and save yourself problems.

  4. If you have a large group of over 20 people, assign someone to help you with the meeting.  This is called being a co-host in a zoom meeting.  Co-hosts can mute people, monitor the chat, spotlight people, etc. Make sure that your co-hosts know how to use Zoom.

  5. Learn to use the mute button.  When you mute everyone, make sure to uncheck the box that says “allow participants to unmute themselves” if necessary. Or else you may be saying often, “everyone please mute yourself” when that’s not necessary.

  6. Spotlight yourself, students, or special guests when they speak.  Spotlighting places a participant that you pick on the screen for everyone in the meeting to see. If you don’t use this feature the main screen will switch to wherever is talking or to wherever there is noise. Make sure to turn off the spotlight feature after they are finished speaking.
     

  7. Make sure to schedule a zoom meeting correctly.  Do not use your personal Zoom ID for meetings. Let zoom generate the meeting ID.

  8. After you schedule a zoom meeting, test the zoom link in another browser or another computer to make sure it works. Test it as soon as you schedule the meeting.  Send it to a friend to test.

  9. When sending the link to participants send the correct link.  Send the Zoom link (ex: https://zoom.us/j/123456789) and the zoom ID: 123456789.

  10. Start your meeting a few minutes before the official start time. This will allow participants a few minutes to get their video and sound.

  11. Start the actual meeting on time. Waiting for others to show up is wasting the time of those who showed up on time. And if you have more meetings they too will be late.

  12. Don’t be late to your own meeting.

  13. Know that everyone can hear everything you say and all sounds around you including children, pets and music, etc. Turn off your audio often if necessary.

  14. If you are having an important meeting with a guest speaker, have a test meeting with that person to make sure he or she has Zoom installed, has a good connection, good lighting, sounds, etc.

  15. Make sure that the main person speaking has extra lighting. Normal house lighting is not enough. Use a lamp and position the light in front of you, not in the back.

  16. When you start your meeting (especially if its a school course) tell your participants what to expect and how to act. This could include to telling participants to turn ON their video, to position the camera directly in front of them, not to have side conversations, don’t walk around or eat in front of the camera, and don’t lay in bed.

  17. Encourage participation from the beginning of your meeting to use the thumbs up, wave, and the chat.

  18. Learn how to use Zoom polls, break out rooms, annotations, etc. This can really change the dynamic of your meeting.

  19. Learn how to share your screen. Be creative, share a document, a slide, a youtube video, etc.
     

  20. Pay attention to the body language of your participants. They will tell you when the meeting is too long or when you need to either take a break or continue the meeting at another time.

  21. Learn to use the Gallery view. The gallery view allows you to see everyone in the meeting instead of just yourself.

  22. Make sure to look directly at the camera often when speaking. This gives the effect of eye-to-eye contact with your participants and helps your communication.

  23. Ensure your background represents you well. Use the Zoom green screen option.

  24. As a host make sure you are in the center of the screen. Don’t be on the edge.  Tell your participant to place themselves in the center of the screen. 

  25. Wear headphones if you will be in a noisy location.

  26. If you plan to have lots of zoom meetings consider a separate microphone.

  27. Know that paid Zoom customers can record their meetings.  This is a great feature that allows you to send to others.

  28. Turn off the video of people in the meeting who are distracting:  walking, not paying attention, eating, sleeping, etc. You can be sure that your participants will be chatting about it during your meeting.

  29. Keep the chat open on your computer so that you can see what people are talking about or asking about.

That’s all for now.

What tips or insight do you recommend? Let me know.