The best part about Zoom is that it offers major features under the free tier. For instance, you can record all your video meetings locally on your computer. Simply click on the “Record” button during a meeting and it will start the recording in just one click. You can find all your recordings in the Documents folder. Apart from that, Zoom also offers cloud recording but that is available only to paid users.
Zoom has some of the best third-party apps which you can integrate with just one click. You want to join a Microsoft Teams meeting from Zoom? No worries, simply add the app from its marketplace and you are done. Want to import all your meeting schedules from Google Calendar or Outlook? There are dedicated apps for that as well. You want to meet your colleagues from Slack and start video conversation in one click, well, there is an app for that. Simply put, third-party integration on Zoom is incomparable and you must take advantage of it. You can find all the apps in Zoom App Marketplace.
Screen Sharing is one of the best features of Zoom and you should definitely take advantage of it. While many organizations use it for remote assistance, some users share the screen and watch videos and movies together. So to use it, just start a meeting and click on “Share Screen” at the bottom. Thereafter, you can enable the whole screen or only the active window. You can also turn on the computer sound for a better experience.
Snap Camera is a desktop version of Snapchat where you can apply many beauty filters from Snapchat to create lenses. You can further share these lenses with Zoom as your default look. While I don’t know how useful it is, the Snap Camera integration with Zoom is pretty fun, especially when you are having a group call with your friends. To use it, all you have to do is download Snap Camera application for Windows or macOS (Free) and then click a picture using any of the lenses available there. After that, simply open Zoom and go to Settings. Under the “Video” tab, change the Camera from the drop-down menu to “Snap Camera”. Enjoy! If you are an avid Snapchat user, you should also read our article on best Snapchat tips to get the most out of the service.
If you tend to invite many participants to your Zoom meeting, you can enable a global feature that copies the invitation URL automatically to your clipboard. It will save you a lot of time from clicking on “Invite” and finding the Invitation URL. So open Settings and switch the “General” tab. Here, enable “Automatically copy invitation URL once then the meeting starts” and now you can ask people to join your meeting by sharing the URL to Slack, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms seamlessly.
Among Active Speaker, Gallery, and Mini layouts, I love Gallery View the most. It’s because everyone is on the same page and you can easily monitor all the participants at once. That said, it’s advised to use this feature when you have a small group otherwise Active Speaker is quite good. So to enable it, click on “Gallery View” in the top-right corner of your Zoom window and you are done.
If you want to master Zoom, you must know some of the helpful keyboard shortcuts. Just above, I mentioned how to mute/unmute yourself by simply holding the space bar. But apart from that, there are many other shortcuts as well. Here are some key shortcuts for Windows and macOS.
Sometimes, we get a meeting notification and we hurriedly join the conference in our clumsy self. To avoid any such embarrassment, you can permanently disable the video when joining a meeting. Once you are in your best composure, you can enable the video. To use this feature, open Settings -> Video and enable “Turn off my video when joining meeting”. That’s it.
If you have to follow just one tip for Zoom then let it be this one. When there are too many participants in a meeting, it’s hard to hear everyone because of cross-talk and background noise. But you can reverse this behavior by a simple hack. For example, if you are in a web conference and not speaking then keep your mic on mute. And when you want to talk briefly, simply hold the space bar to enable the mic and speak. Once you release the space bar key, you’ll be muted again. This way, the meeting will be super-smooth, Zoom will eat less bandwidth, and everyone will be able to hear others clearly. So to use this feature, open Settings -> Audio -> Enable “Mute my microphone when joining a meeting” to permanently change the behavior. Now, whenever you are in a meeting, press and hold the space bar to temporarily unmute yourself and speak thereafter. How awesome is that?
Among the plethora of features on Zoom, Virtual Background is my favorite one. It allows you to add a custom background — a photo or video — during your Zoom meeting. While Zoom offers some cool media out of the box, you can also add your own images and videos to the background. In my usage, it worked really well and the software was able to distinguish the face from the background in real-time. So to enable it, click on the “cogwheel” icon to open Settings and switch to the “Virtual Background” tab. Here, you can choose a background from the given options or add your own custom image or video.