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Bits and Bytes: Become a Zoom Champion

By Zak Wallace

The pandemic has changed the face of how we do business day-to-day. Zoom is a popular video conferencing service that many are using more than ever these days. This time around in Bits and Bytes, I want to go over some tips to make your lives easier while using Zoom!


 

Virtual Backgrounds


Are you in a messy room that you don’t want to show the office? Virtual Backgrounds are for you! To choose a virtual background, open up Zoom, click on the little gear (Settings) in the upper right corner, then click on "Backgrounds & Filters" in the left panel. Here, you’ll be able to choose a picture or video to cover up your background, so the focus is on you!


You’ll be surprised how creative you can get. Simply do an internet search for "Zoom background" for some fun ideas!


Turn Video & Audio Off by Default


It’s important to show our faces and be heard in these meetings so we don’t lose that personal connection with each other, but if you’re joining a big group, it’s sometimes better to keep video and audio off and then manually turn them on when you’re ready.


To accomplish this, you’ll want to head to the Settings and click on "Video." Here you can tick the box that says, "Stop my video when joining a meeting." Then click on "Audio," and tick the box, "Mute my microphone when joining a meeting." This way, when joining a meeting, your video and audio are automatically off until you are settled and ready to turn them on.


Use “Push to Talk” Instead of Keeping an Open Audio Line


You may be in a bigger Zoom room where most people are muted. A cool feature offered by Zoom is “Push to talk.” When you do this, you will be able to stay muted except when you hold the spacebar. This ensures your pets or children or anything else don’t end up as background noise for 50 people without realizing.


Head back to the Settings and click on "Audio" one more time. Here, you’ll want to tap the “Press and hold 'Space key' to temporarily unmute."


 

With these features enabled, you can become a Zoom Champion and be effective in meetings without unknowingly causing an accidental disturbance!

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