Zoom meeting basics

Zoom meetings leapt into the spotlight in 2020 during the global pandemic when everything shut down and millions of people used it to meet with others when meetings could not be held in person. They found it fast and easy and oh-so-useful. 2 1/2 years later, it is assumed that you know how to participate in a Zoom meeting, but we know there are people who are still ‘newbies’ so here are some of the very basics.

To join a meeting

To join a meeting, all you need is the meeting ID. You don’t even need a Zoom account. You can go to the website Zoom.us, click the option to “Join a meeting” and enter the meeting ID. The very first time you will need to download a little app.

If someone sends you a link to a meeting, you don’t even need to know the meeting ID. Just click the link and it will take you there. If you want to just see if you have the proper equipment to join a Zoom meeting, you can just type zoom.us/test into a browser window to try joining this test meeting any time.

Speaker View or Gallery View

Once you’re in a meeting, you can choose the view of either Gallery or Speaker view. Just click the “View” button in upper right and make your choice. Gallery view shows the group, each in their own Zoom-square. If it is a large group there may even be multiple pages – just click the arrow at the left or right. Speaker view shows the person who is speaking and it will change when someone else starts to speak.

Controlling your sound and video

Other options are in the lower left corner – a microphone icon and a video icon. Just click on either of them to mute your microphone and/or your camera. This controls whether the others in the meeting can hear and/or see you. You can also choose more option by clicking the little up arrow next to the icons.

Learn More

Episode 244 of “What Does this Button Do?” goes into much more detail on using Zoom meetings, including joining from iOS or Android devices. For our Premium Members, we also have a complete Learning Guide on using Zoom meetings. It consists of a Printed reference sheet and a playlist of videos. The Zoom website has extensive help. And, to become an expert, check out the Facebook group, Zoom Experts.