Zoom offers lots of features to help you make the most of your meetings. For many of these features, you must enable them in your account settings first, to allow both yourself and the meeting participants to be able to use them during the meeting. You can often turn these features off during a meeting if you don't want to use them - but if you haven't enabled them in your settings, you won't be able to use them at all.
When you get your Zoom account, go the ‘Settings’ menu to choose which features you would like to enable. We have summarised some of the key features that you might want to use:
Host and Participant video: video is a key feature on Zoom, it makes the communication all the better – we strongly suggest you use these features.
Audio type: the Computer Audio option allows people to join via a device connected to the internet. The Telephone option allows people to dial in on a normal phone line. You can set the default to whatever you want, this default setting can be changed for individual meetings when setting them up (see Setting up meetings below).
Require a password: your Zoom account will be defaulted so that anyone joining a meeting requires a password – we suggest you keep this setting as it is (see Security below).
Chat and Private Chat: you can have a chat bar for participants to send written messages to everyone or someone else privately. This is a useful feature for helping to sort out any sound issues you might have, sharing links, and generally managing the meeting. Read the Zoom guidance on chat.
Co-host: whoever owns the account and sets-up the meeting will be the host. You can also assign co-hosts, this is especially useful if you are using breakout rooms (see below) as it means a co-host can manage a breakout room. Read the Zoom guidance on Hosting and co-hosting meetings.
Polling: host and co-hosts can set up poll questions in meetings – this can be very handy for committee votes, among other things. Read the Zoom guidance on Polling for meetings.
Allow participants to rename themselves: this is useful as when some people join their name might just be ‘i-phone’ or if they have joined on a device owned by someone else it might have the name of the person who owns the device. Allow them to rename themselves so everyone knows who everyone is.
Screen Share: this allows you to share what is on your computer screen with everyone else in the meeting – it’s great for showing documents and sharing videos, for example. You can set it so that only the host can share their screen or that anyone can share their screen. If you set it to host only as default in the ‘Settings’ menu you can still change it to ‘everyone’ once an individual meeting has started. Read the Zoom guidance on Screen Sharing.
Nonverbal feedback: this allows people to use icons to express opinions or give feedback, such as ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘I need a break’ etc. They are not essential functionality but can useful. Read the Zoom guidance on Nonverbal feedback.
Breakout rooms: these can be very useful. They allow you to break up into smaller groups, then come back to the main room. You can set-up and manage breakout rooms within each individual meeting and either decide who goes in what room or let Zoom assign them randomly. Read the Zoom guidance on Breakout rooms.
Waiting room: this feature allows you to control who can enter the meeting. Everyone apart from the host goes into the ‘waiting room’ when they enter a meeting, the host then admits them at the click of a button. We recommend you use this feature for security reasons (see below). Read the guidance on Waiting rooms.
Select data centre regions for meetings/webinars hosted by your account (paid for only accounts): see security below.
Recordings: it is possible for hosts and participants to record your Zoom meetings so they can watch them again. There have been some security concerns around this – see security below.