How to be a Good Zoom Host

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


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: 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 it for now. Thanks for visiting. If you enjoyed this blog post click here for updates. Also, check out my Marriage Matters blog and follow me on Twitter, or Instagram, Nick Gonzalez.
“The Jubilee of Theology and Technology”

Organize Your Prayer Lists

I wonder how the Psalmist organized his prayers and songs.  Since David wrote at least 73 of the Psalms, how do you think he kept it all nice and neat?   If he had an iPhone, he probably would have used the new app. called, “My Prayer List”.    😉myprayer“My Prayer Lists” helps to organize your prayers into lists and pray for them on certain days or certain times of the day. Forget about trying to remember who or what you wanted to pray for or trying to remember where you left the prayer request slips.

Here’s a demonstration how it works:

This little application will let you organize your prayers into groups, it’ll email your prayers to your friends to remind them of important needs in both your life and others and even has password protection.  Not bad for only $3.99.

So what do you use to organize your prayer list? Paper? A computer program? Memory? Let us know what system works best for you.

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Preach Online

Wouldn’t you like make your church services available to be viewed online?  Expand your outreach.  Those who could not make it to church due to sickness, work, etc. would be able to keep in tune to what’s happening in your church.  Ready?

Now’s the time to put your sermons on the web.  There are two services that will help make this happen for you. The first one is Sermon Connect,

Sermon Connect provides streaming, blogging and podcasting.  Their current promotion code is Aug08.  They have a very nice interface.  The second service that can help you put your services online is:

Sermon.Info lets you upload unlimited audio files.  You can also search for them by keyword. also provides, live broadcasting as part of the premium services.   Both services provide free signup so try them both and see which works best for you.

If you’re not ready for video just yet, you may want to consider putting your audio sermons (instead of video) online.  Sermon Companion,, is a good choice.  They are fast and easy to work with.


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Win an iPod Touch

Sign up to the Gospel Music Channel Free Newsletter for a chance to win an iPod Touch.

Register to win an iPod Touch from Gospel Music Channel! Listen to your favorite Gospel artists, catch up on Gospel Music Channel shows and exclusive videos, get free MP3 downloads, and more.

Get the latest gospel & Christian music news, reviews, free indie artists’ downloads, and videos sent to your inbox weekly.  You could win instantly!

Click here or on the photo above to be taken to the registration page.



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Get Christian Videos on your PDA or Smartphone Free!

Are you ready to download your favorite Gospel Videos from YouTube or Google Video to your PDA or smart phone?


Wouldn’t you like to take YouTube videos from Chris Tomlin, Salvador, Kirk Franklin or Bryan Duncan with you on your phone?  Well, now you don’t have to wait till you get to your computer to worship with them.

For PC users all you need to do is download Save2PC. Yes, it’s Free.  Save2PC is a free program that downloads videos from Youtube or Google Video and saves them as Avi or Mpeg files.  No need to use scripts for web browsers.

Just enter a URL of a video into the program and press start to download your AVI, MPEG or FLV file to the selected folder.  Save2PC easily downloads files from YouTube and Google Video, and it is free from any type of registration, popups, adwares, spywares or malwares.

For Mac users all you need is TubiTunes (and Mac OS X 10.5 or later).  TubiTunes is free during the trial period but after that is only $4.95.  TubiTunes lets you download web videos to your iTunes library with just one click.

TubiTunes not only works with YouTube but also works with several other popular web video sites like: CollegeHumor, DailyMotion, Google Video, Metacafe, and many more.  It can also download MP3 files from MySpace, plus you can download local movie files to your iPhone / iPod.   You can even download higher-quality mpeg-4 videos from, if they are available.

The next time you need some good Gospel music videos, you now know what to do and how to do it.  You can really get creative if after you download your favorite Christian music to your computer, hook up your pc (it’s probably easiest with a laptop) to your flat screen TV (get the adapter from your favorite electronics store) and let them all play durring your next fellowship at the house.

If you want to show Christian Music videos at church just hook up your laptop (with all of the downloaded videos of course) to a projector and show them on your big screen (or wall).

While your thinking about who do download first, check out:, the Urban Gospel Video Directory and the Top 10 Worship Videos. For more Christian music click here.

Here’s my favorite YouTube Video from Chris Tomlin, How Great is Our God. Enjoy!  By the way if you really enjoyed this post you will definitely like this one.


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Learn to Share the Gospel on your Palm

Do you know how to share your faith?

Download a FREE little program (for your Palm PDA) and learn how to present the Gospel in an effective biblically based manner.

The program comes from Evangelism Explosion.  I like its ease of use and the creativity of the program. The program asks 2 simple questions, “Do you know for certain that you are going to be with God in heaven?” and ‘Why should God let you into his heaven?” It’s a clear cut interactive presentation of the Gospel.  The presentation is also available online here.

evangelism explosion
Use it to learn how to share the Gospel or install it on your Palm PDA then lend it to a friend so he can go through the presentation.   Click here to download the Free program.    Basically it’s a Gospel Tract for Palm OS Handhelds.

Evangelism Explosion (EE) International is reaching out to teach the world how to evangelize.   This free download shows you an easy, effective and biblical way to share your faith using a Palm PDA.

How do you respond when someone asks about your faith in God, in Christ, your belief in Heaven and Hell, in the Bible? Do you become defensive, do you fight, go into combat mode, become intimidated?  None of these extremes are necessary nor are they appropriate.  Check out EE’s  Answers to Tough Questions for some pretty good responses for those who are skeptical and may question your faith.

If you want to learn more about sharing your faith check out this FREE four-session course by ChristianBible called, Sharing Your Faith.  It looks at the apostle Paul’s life, and his advice in the book of 1 Thessalonians to help us overcome our uncertainties and fears about sharing our faith.


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30 Day Guide For New Believers

Global Media Outreach (A ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ) has put together a web site that provides a Free 30 day guide for new believers.   What I really like is their easy to remember domain name:

look unto jesus

look unto jesus

The site also contains 6 easy steps for people who have recently given their life to Christ or are renewing their faith in Christ.  Each day, they have noted, there are over 1 million internet searches, from people all around the world, for spiritual terms like “I need God”…”Who is Jesus” …”prayer”, etc.  Their goal is to reach these people for Christ through cutting edge and emerging technologies.

They also provide online small groups, live chat sessions and several “how to” booklets that teach the basic truths about the Christian life.   Written by Dr. Bill Bright, the late founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, these “Transferable Concepts” are designed to present Christian truths that you can learn and then share with others.

If you are looking for a good site for new believers, check out: presenting the good news of Jesus Christ over the Internet.


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Stream Christian Music from your iPhone / iPod

Stream your favorite Christian music from your iPhone or iPod to a pair of Bluetooh compatible speakers or headphones of your choice.

All you need is the newest, smallest, slimmest & lightest Bluetooth stereo transmitter by Infinxx.  With this Tiny “About 5 grams” adapter, you can enjoy Excellent High Quality Stereo Music from Both your iPhone 2G/3G, and iPod without using any wires!

Whats really nice is that the transmitter doesn’t requires any charging or power source, (no batteries!) because its powered by the iPhone/iPod. The adapter cost $62. and is available from the Mobile Brando website


If you really want to get creative, learn how to stream your favorites Christian Radio Stations from your Pda / Smartphone to your church sound system, plus listen to worship music on your iPod/Mp3 player/Smartphone  through your church, office or home sound system, FREE!  All you need to do is … click to continue


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$299. laptop that fits in the palm of your hand.

Looking for a church laptop?  Looking for one that is affordable, one that can get your basic computing done? Look no further. Introducing the 3K Razorbook 400.

This notebook fits in the palm of your hand.  What I like about it is that it only weighs 2lbs. This is extremely helpful for those who keep their laptop inside a backback. I remember lugging my 6.6 lb laptop to school for 4 years.   If I would have known about this two punder, I would have purchased one faster than you can say, “back pain”.

299 laptop

Don’t let the small size fool you.  It comes with a full size keyboard, a network port as well as built-in wireless access.   You don’t have to buy any software either.    It comes preloaded with a suite of Office tools.   The open source Office Suite includes AbiWord – Opens Microsoft® Word Files, GNUMeric – Opens Microsoft® Excel Files, an E-mail Client, (if you use web email like Yahoo or Google you will not use this) and a PDF Reader.

It comes with 512MB of memory and Linux operating system.  It also takes only 15 seconds to boot up. Wow!  (That even gives my mac competition)  Since it only has 4GB internal flash drive you will not be able to save all of your files to it (just copy your files to an external flash drive using the USB connection or just email them to yourself or use (Google Docs) to save your files online).

The 4GB drive is a flash drive and not a normal hard disk drive with moving internal components.  This makes the laptop “bump proof” (a cool safety feature for kids and clumsy adults).  You also will not be able to install any of your favorites apps but since it comes pre-installed with just about everything you need to get your work done that’s not really a big problem.

If you’re looking for a computer that’s new, not expensive, and a system that can take care of your basic computing needs, (like word processing, email, and surfing) or if you are a student, like to travel or need an extra church or home computer, this laptop has your name all over it.


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Free Church Website Checkup

Is your church web site welcoming or friendly?

When people visit your church web site, will they find anything interesting, useful or inviting?

Internet Evangelism Day, a group that explains the potential of web evangelism, says, “church websites are an essential part of local churches’ public profiles to their communities.  Indeed, in some parts of the world, church websites draw more people into face-to-face church activities than any other method.   Church sites outnumber all other types of Christian sites by a ratio of 5 to 1.  Church sites could therefore be powerful outreach tools”.

Internet Evangelism Day has put together a FREE questionnaire to help you evaluate your church web site.  Check it out here.  The results display a detailed evaluation of your site and includes advice to help make your site better.

While your are at the site visit their “tips for church web sites” or click below to take a tour of their web site.

IEDay provides a wealth of information regarding the use of the internet and the church.  I’ve been receiving their free newsletter for a while now.  You should check it out too.  To join, send a blank email to: It’s one of the newsletters that I actually look forward to receiving.  To view their previous issues visit:


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Listen to the Radio on your PDA, FREE!

Why would anyone want to convert a $375. PDA into a $10.00 radio? Answer: because you could, plus, why not? It’s Free! radio

Yes, you can now listen to your favorite radio programs on your PDA.

What’s really nice is that you can also listen to radio stations that are not in your regional listening area. This includes out of state radio stations including many from all around the world.

Did I say you get all this for free yet?

Whether you have a Windows Mobile, Palm, Blackberry or any Pocket PC / Smartphone, as long you have web access, you’re good to go. Just make sure that your phone plan includes unlimited access to the web or it may cost you a bundle.

In this post I’m going to introduce to you five sites where you can get FREE Streaming Media (or Internet Radio) for your PDA. The first one is my favorite.

1. Point your device to: or the specially formatted alternative shorter url: Here you’ll have access to just about all of the AM and FM radio stations broadcasting in the United States (plus stations from Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and the Netherlands). This is way cool if you ask me. I like the option to search for stations by either station name, callsign or music style. Since most of the stations display a short description you can search keyword “Christian” to find all of the Christian radion stations available or you can just scroll down (for a long time)until you find one.

You can also use “TheStreamCenter” to listen to streaming internet radio on your computer desktop. Just visit:, scroll down to a station and click on it’s stream. Two of my favorite stations there are KDUV (for Christian music) and KKLA (for Christian Talk Radio).

2. Another place to listen to Internet radio on your smartphone or Pocket PC shows is: Once there, you will see a directory of Internet radio shows and stations. You can listen live or on-demand. The directory includes schedules and stream links for talk radio, current events, business, the arts, and other programming. Many top talk radio shows can be found on the Popular Internet Radio Show channel, including Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Al Franken, and others.

3. has put together a mobile site with links to some of the most popular streaming sites in English. Go to click on the stream you want to listen to, sit back and enjoy. Links include CNN, adio, NPR – National Public Radio, Bloomberg Radio, Air America Radio, the BBC, and more.cell

4. is a very popular music site that also allows you to listen to the radio on your pda and desktop. They have a great music selection. Just type: in the browser of your phone or PC/Mac and get access to a plethora of music. Select Inspirational from the Stations by Genre then simply select a stream. Three of my favorite internet radio stations are: eXTreme Gospel, Church Beat Radio and Praise Broadcasting. Check them out.

They also have a paid version at: . The paid version removes ads, and has access to additional stations. What’s nice is that you can try it out for 15 days “without” using a credit.

5. Last but not least, visit Here is a spot where you can tune-in to thousands of free online radio stations from DJs and broadcasters around the world. Once you arrive click on Comprehensive Genre List, select Gospel, then click on Search. The result will display a list with a variety of stations for you to choose from. It’s awesome.

Keep in mind that this technology (streaming internet radio) isn’t perfect so you may notice short pauses or “buffering” while you listen to your streaming radio. Also, make sure you have a strong wireless connection (as many bars as possible) on your phone for a good experience. If you receive an error, just try it again, click on your refresh button, or the big red X and start over by returning to your home screen on your pda. If you really have problems take out the battery, put it back in and try again.

Be Creative. Listen to internet radio from your desktop speakers.   Plug in a stereo audio cable from your pda earphone jack to your computers desktop speakers line-in jack (if it has one).  You may need an adapter to convert the connection from the pda headphone jack to the cable.  Just ask your local electronics store manager for help  (I use a female mini to male sub-mini stereo adapter for my Palm Treo 755p ).

Note: If you listen to internet radio on a PC (not on your PDA or Smart Phone) you may want to restart your computer every 3-4 hours since it will cause your pc to slow down because of all of the resources it takes to run.  If you are on a network, streaming internet radio could also slow down the overall network performance especially if several people are streaming from the internet simultaneously and you are on a slow internet connection. One way around this problem is to stream internet radio from your web enabled phone and not from your computer.

If your car stereo has an audio-input jack, plug in a audio cable from your pda headphone jack to the car audio-input and enjoy your streaming internet radio while your drive! (I use a stereo audio cable, male mini to male mini, you may need the adapter mentioned earlier)

If you car has a cassette deck, get a cassette deck adapter.  Slip the cassette adapter in your cassette deck and plug the other end in your PDA Smartphone headphone jack (using the adapter).  Now pick a station and enjoy your streaming radio. This will work for the music files on your phone as well, see below.

Listen to worship music on your iPod/Mp3 player/Smartphone  through your church, office or home sound system, FREE.

I know what you’re thing, “if I can stream internet radio, can I listen to my phone’s music files in my car, house, church or home stereo system too?”  The answer is absolutely YES!  Just follow the same procedure used earlier.  Just connect one end of the cable (with or without the cable adapter) to your phone and the other end into your sound system, now sit back and enjoy!

Something else you may want to consider is to connect your phone to an FM Transmitter (you will probably need the adapter again).   This will allow you to enjoy streaming internet radio (or your music files) from your phone to your car, home, office, or church stereo system without long messy cables.   Just select the FM station indicated on the FM Transmitter and enjoy.

Have Fun. If you enjoy having access to a variety of music I’m sure you will appreciate the ability to stream internet radio on your pda.  Just remember to save your favorite stations to your pda favorites.  Another thing to keep in mind is that streaming internet radio on a pda drains the battery fast.   It’s not that big of a problem.  Just plug in your pda while your in the office, your car and at home.   The only situation I run into when streaming internet radion or listening to my music files on my pda is, wouldn’t you know it, when I get interrupted by a phone call.  In that case I either ignore the call and continue listening (that’s what voice mail is for right?) or just take the call.

If you really enjoyed this post you will definitely like this one.  What’s your favorite Internet Radio Station?

© 2008, Nick Gonzalez,
For permission to reprint this article, send an e-mail to: NickG at


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Remember the Milk!

milkYou got things to do, places to go, people to see and souls to save.  How do you remember it all?

Introducing, “Remember the Milk“.   It’s one of the best ways to manage your tasks online.  I like it!   For people busy in ministry, this is just what the doctor ordered, and it’s simple and easy to use.  If you have long term or future projects, Rememer The Milk can help.

The best thing I like about Remember The Milk is that you always have access to all of your tasks.  You can even access your “things to do” from your Blackberry (with the professional version).  That’s nice.

Some of the other features of this Free service include:

Take your tasks with you.
Access your tasks on your web-enabled mobile device. Print your entire list or a handy weekly planner which shows upcoming tasks. View your tasks on your calendar with Apple iCal or Google Calendar. Subscribe to feeds with Atom/RSS.

Manage tasks quickly and easily.
An intuitive interface makes managing tasks fun. Set due dates easily with next Friday or in 2 weeks. Extensive keyboard shortcuts make task management quicker than ever.

Get reminded, anywhere.
Receive reminders via email, SMS, and instant messenger (AIM, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Skype and Yahoo! are all supported).

Work together to get things done.
Share, send and publish tasks and lists with your contacts or the world. Remind your significant other to do their household chores.

Plan your time.
See what’s due today and tomorrow, and the things you’ve missed. Prioritize, estimate your time, and postpone with ease. Set tasks to repeat every week or after 2 months.

Organize the way you want to.
Are you a list lover? Create as many lists as you need. Into tagging? Use the task cloud to easily see what you have to do. Want to store notes along with your tasks? You can do that too.

The best thing about Remember the Milk (besides being FREE) is that your to-do list is always available. You can access it on your computer or your pda/smartphone.  If you need something simple and easy, look no further.

Update:  Another free task management system worth looking into is


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Hear the Bible on your Computer Free (MP3 Bible)

Bible is on a mission to provide Internet-connected Biblical study tools and MP3 messages that are easy to use in a browser or standalone application.

I like their MP3 Bible Player. It allows you to listen to the Bible on your computer. All you need is an internet connection. So lay down and relax as you listen to the Bible on your computer.

It can even read the Bible in the Spanish translation as well as other audio narrations, recent sermons and streaming worship music. You can use this service on your Internet-enabled PC or Mac.

Check out these features:

  • Entire Text of the Bible
  • Recent Sermons by Many Top Pastors
  • Scripture Memorization Program
  • Daily Bible Reader
  • Random Scripture Verse
  • Complete C2000 Series MP3 Messages by Pastor Chuck Smith
  • Easton’s Bible Dictionary
  • If you have a Pocket PC you can listen to Bible while commuting, during lunch, anywhere!  (all for FREE).  Click here to check it out.


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