SPAC Zoom Meeting Guide

Instructions for attending a Zoom Conference Call

Note: this is a work in progress…

Introduction

Zoom is a video conferencing tool that offers a simple way to attend a meeting, including hearing and seeing other people as well as any shared presentation. This short guide contains basic instructions on how to attend a Zoom call.

Generally, things start with you receiving an invitation to the meeting in question. Broadly speaking, there are two types of invitations:

  • Scheduled meetings are those scheduled for some point in the future. An invitation typically comes in the body of an email that contains the details of the meeting, including a link to the meeting. If you use a digital calendar like Google or Outlook for keeping track of appointments and events, you should probably add this meeting to it. Either way, you should keep the email for when it comes time to join the meeting. If you are simply keeping it in your inbox, may I suggest flagging it somehow so that it is easy to find when the time comes.
  • Ad hoc meetings are ones that are created on the spur of the moment with little notice. In these cases, you may receive the meeting details in an email or, more typically, over the phone or online chat.

Besides the time and date of the meeting, the other key details of a meeting are the Meeting ID number and Passcode (if the meeting requires it). You might want to jot those down.

Although you do not need the Zoom application or a Zoom account to attend a meeting, Zoom has begun to be quite aggressive in prompting people to install the Zoom app. Given that you get a better meeting experience via the Zoom app, this guide will focus on installing and using this method for attending meetings. A short discussion of attending via just a web browser is presented at the bottom of this page.

Installing Zoom

If you do not have the Zoom application installed, the easiest way is to install it prior to your first meeting. Doing so is easy but the exact process depends on the device you are using:

PC/Macintosh Computer

If using a Windows PC or Macintosh computer, click on the following link:

Download Center – Zoom

Then click on the Download button for the “Zoom Client for Meetings”.

iPad or iPhone / Android tablet or smartphone

You can download the Zoom mobile client from the Apple AppStore or Android PlayStore by searching for “Zoom Cloud Meetings”. Go ahead and install it like you would any other app. You may be asked to provide permission for the app to access various components of your device: do so.

Zoom Configuration

Again, the configuration of Zoom depends on the device.

iPad or iPhone / Android tablet or smartphone

Once Zoom has launched, click on the gear icon in the top, left of the screen.

In the options screen, click on Meetings:

Click on the first item, Auto-Connect to Audio and select the Use Internet option:

Click Done and then the back arrow (“<“) to return to the main screen. Then click on Close.

Joining a Meeting

There are two ways to join a meeting. Both start with you launching the Zoom app, so go ahead and do that first.

Within the Application

First, you need to make sure you have the Meeting ID and Passcode jotted down. Next, click on the blue Join a Meeting button.

You’ll be asked for the Meeting ID. Enter it and then enter your name into the name field just below.

Once done, click on the Join button. If the meeting is password-protected, you’ll need to enter that next and click on Continue.

Note: while entering the passcode, Zoom will appear to be trying to connect to the meeting (“Waiting…”). You must click on the passcode dialog Continue button or the connection attempt will time out.

If the meeting has the ‘waiting room’ feature enabled, you will see a message that you will have to wait until you are admitted to the meeting by the host.

You may also be notified that Zoom is trying to access the microphone and/or camera, as well as the network. Click on OK to give it permission to do so.

You may also see the message, “to hear others please join audio”. Click on the Call using internet audio option that is provided in the dialog.

From the Invitation

If you were provided with an emailed invitation to the meeting, then the invitation includes a link to the meeting. After having opened the Zoom app, go to the meeting invitation and click on the meeting link. You will be taken to the meeting, although you may see some or all of the prompts described just above.

Zoom Meeting Controls

When in a meeting, Zoom provides several controls. These are displayed differently depending on your device. On a PC, for example, the meeting controls appear at the bottom of the screen, while on a tablet they appear at the top. Also, on a tablet or smartphone, you may need to click on the Zoom screen to get the controls to appear. The controls may appear in a different order or be hidden “underneath” the More ellipsis menu (“…”).

In other words, you may need to look around a bit to find exactly where a control mentioned below is actually located on your device.

  1. Video toggle. If you see the camera icon with a red line through it, then your camera is off. Click on this icon to toggle your camera on and off.
  2. Audio toggle. If you see a red line through the microphone icon, then your microphone is off (muted). Click on this icon to toggle your microphone on and off (mute/unmute). Note: it is standard practice for all participants to be muted by the host once the meeting starts. You may manually unmute yourself by clicking on this toggle, or you may see a request to unmute appear on your screen if the host wishes to hear from you.
  3. Participant view. Zoom has two display modes: “Gallery” and “Active Speaker”. The latter is on by default. In Active Speaker mode, you will only see the video feed of the person speaking. In Gallery mode, you will see everyone collectively. Toggle between the two by clicking on this button. Note that the host has the ability to override this setting remotely in the event that a particular speaker be highlighted on everyone’s screen.
  4. Participant list. Click on this button to see a list of meeting participants. You will also find a number of “action” buttons, including “yes”, “no”, “raise hand”, etc. Clicking on one of these action buttons will cause an icon reflecting that action to appear in the participants screen of everyone else.
  5. More. The list of features available in the More menu varies, but on the iPad you’ll find the Chat feature, meeting settings, etc.
  6. Share Content. You can use this button to share a document or your screen with everyone on the call. Typically, the use of this feature is restricted in SPAC meetings, so, if you try this, you’ll see a notification that access is restricted. Click on this button again to stop sharing.