Zoom Tips and Tricks

For Those Running a Meeting

Do this first: Download the Zoom app from the Zoom Download Center

What is the difference between a basic and a Licensed user?

A basic user can host meetings with up to 100 participants. If 3 or more participants join, the meeting will time out after 40 minutes. They cannot utilise user and account add-ons such as large meeting, webinar, audio conferencing, or conference room connector. A licensed user is a paid account user who can host unlimited meetings on the public cloud. By default, they can host meetings with up to 100 participants .

Cardiff U3A has a licensed user, the account for which can be used by convenors or someone acting on their behalf to set up Zoom meetings for Groups.

Contact the Beacon Administrator for further information.

Using the Cardiff U3A Licensed User

Please book a session by contacting the Beacon Administrator. Recurrent sessions can be booked. Note that using the Cardiff U3A Zoom account to schedule a meeting is not the same as booking a slot to use the account which needs to be done first.

A calendar of Zoom bookings is available

Please be aware that when you login to Zoom using the Cardiff U3A credentials, you automatically log out whoever is using the Zoom account at the time; it is therefore essential for hosts to log off Zoom at the end of their meeting, and to log in using their personal log in before joining another meeting as a participant . All meetings to date are in the day time so it is recommended setting up your meeting and sending the invitations in the evening or before 9am.

Scheduling a Meeting using Zoom

You can schedule a meeting on the web, through the Zoom Desktop client or mobile app. View this video:

Learn more about scheduling a Zoom meeting.

How do I invite others to join my meeting?

You can invite others to join your meeting by copying the join URL or meeting invitation and sending it out via email. This is the most secure method. You can do this via Beacon.

Note: the Thought Grazing website is available for Cardiff U3A members and contains an excellent video by the convenor of the Computer Group on how to schedule a meeting securely. You will need to register by contacting the group convenor

Tips for Organisers

  • Edit your invitation to members as the default is a bit unfriendly. Time is given as AM or PM. You may wish to change this to 24-hour clock to avoid confusion.

  • It usually helps if you encourage members to mute their microphones when not actually contributing as this eliminates background noise from their environment (ringing phones, creaking chairs etc)

  • You will need to agree a method to avoid members talking over one another. This may be achieved by asking members to raise a hand before speaking and only to speak when recognised by the organiser or Chair.

  • You can mute other people's microphones. In the top right corner of each participant is a small set of dots. click on these and a menu will appear, including a mute option. Useful in the middle of a presentation if someone starts coughing!

  • Tips for Participants applies to you too! See below.

  • Important Notice: Please begin updating all your clients to Zoom 5.0 now. After May 30, 2020, all Zoom clients on older versions will receive a forced upgrade when trying to join meetings as GCM Encryption will be fully enabled across the Zoom platform.

For Those 'Attending' a Meeting

  • Before joining a Zoom meeting on a computer or mobile device, you can download the Zoom app from the Zoom Download Centre. Otherwise, you will be prompted to download and install Zoom when you click a join link (see next point)

  • Cardiff U3A meeting organisers are encouraged to use the most secure option (to avoid 'Zoom bombing') by sending you an email invitation to the meeting. This is called the join link.

  • A typical invitation looks like this:

Cardiff U3A Zoom Account is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking on this link at 10am on Monday 11th April.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/123456789 [The Join link]

Meeting ID: 12304560789000

  • Depending on your default web browser, you may be prompted to open Zoom like this:

Tips for Participants

  • Lighting in your room needs to be on you, not behind you or you will just be a silhouette. Close curtains or blinds and turn on the lights providing the light falls on you.

  • If you move your mouse (or touch the screen on a tablet or phone), you will see menu icons pop up around the screen. In the bottom left is a microphone icon. Use this to mute your microphone when not speaking.

  • If you wish to share your screen with other participants, please do check with the organiser before doing so!

  • If you are sharing the screen as part of giving a talk for example, note that you cannot switch between applications (e.g. from Powerpoint to YouTube) without stopping sharing, switching application and then sharing again.

Click on 'Allow'

A short video from Zoom shows how this works - the first 50 seconds are the most relevant.

Sometimes the audio or video in Zoom becomes choppy or distorted. What can I do to improve my Zoom experience?

Taken from https://wiki.millersville.edu/display/instructdocs/Improving+your+Zoom+connection

Use the best Internet connection you can.

In general:

  • Wired connections are better than wireless (WiFi or cellular) connections.

  • WiFi connections are better than cellular (3G/4G/LTE) connections.

Plan ahead for Zoom meetings, and as often as possible, join Zoom meetings from a location where you can use a fast, reliable, wired Internet connection.

Mute your microphone when you're not speaking.

When your microphone is on, Zoom will devote part of your Internet connection to an audio stream for you, even if you are not speaking. Mute your microphone when you do not need it, and you will allow Zoom use your Internet connection more effectively.

Stop your webcam video when you don't need it.

If your instructor or moderator is okay with you doing so, start your video only when you need to show yourself on webcam, and stop your video when it isn't needed.

Disable HD webcam video.

Sending high definition (HD) webcam video requires more bandwidth than sending non-HD. Disabling HD video will free up more of your Internet connection for other parts of your Zoom meeting.

See: Disabling HD video in Zoom

Close other, unneeded applications on your computer.

Zoom meetings can demand significant memory and processing power from your computer. Closing other applications, ones you do not need during the session, will help Zoom run better.

Avoid other activities that will steal bandwidth.

Don't start other bandwidth-intensive activities just before, or during, a Zoom meeting. On your Zoom device—and as much as possible, on other computers and devices that share your Internet connection—avoid:

  • large downloads

  • large uploads

  • streaming video (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube)

  • cloud backups (e.g. Carbonite, CrashPlan)

  • cloud file synchronizations (e.g. OneDrive, Dropbox)

  • other high-bandwidth activities

Other Tips and How To's

How do I join computer/device audio?

On most devices, you can join computer/device audio by clicking Join Audio, Join with Computer Audio, or Audio to access the audio settings. Learn more about connecting your audio.

Can I Use Bluetooth Headset?

Yes, as long as the Bluetooth device is compatible with the computer or mobile device that you are using.

Do I have to have a webcam to join on Zoom?

While you are not required to have a webcam to join a Zoom Meeting or Webinar, you will not be able to transmit video of yourself. You will continue to be able to listen and speak during the meeting, share your screen, and view the webcam video of other participants.