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September 12, 2016
Hey Chris – I am setting up a Zoom event for my NextDoor.com group on Tech issues. I’ve never done a zoom with a lot of people. How do you manage how and when people can speak? Do you only use the chat feature during the presentation? What about after the presentation – how do you open it up for talk? Am I correct that if a person does not want to be “seen” – or if they do not have a webcam – they can still join and listen, chat, and speak.
Managing speakers in a large Zoom group can be difficult – every group handles it differently. Some may demand that everyone stay muted and only ask questions in chat, others may have specific times where questions are allowed.
I highly recommend that you have at least one co-host. Then they can pay attention to the chat when you’re speaking, and they can mute people who are making distracting noises. Then, it’s up to you whether you just read the questions in chat, or you allow people to actually speak. In any case, either you, or your co-host should actually call on people by name if you do want them to speak. You can ask them to use the “raise hand” button so you see that they want to speak. You can even tell people to actually raise their hand – you’ll see them if their camera is on.
Yes, it’s true that people can keep their cameras off but still be seen and heard if they unmute. I usually state that I assume you don’t want to talk if we can’t see you.
One thing that has changed since the June is that hosts and co-host cannot UNmute people. You can mute them, but only the person can unmute themselves. All the host or co-host can do is ask them to unmute.
Check out this article for some more tips.