OK Zoomer - it's time to ramp up your Zoom game.

Most of have now had more than a month’s worth of Zoom meetings. My Wife is closing in on 10,000 hours this week alone. That should make us all 99th level Zoom Wizards… but we are far from that. If are just talking and sharing your screen, you are missing out on a bunch of very useful – and dare I say “fun” tools that are already in the app. We’ll get to those in a moment, but first, here are some of the problems I’ve noticed with people trying to use Zoom:

Can you hear me?

No. You are on mute. Move your mouse over the Zoom app screen. In the lower left part of the screen you will see the UNMUTE setting – Click it to Unmute yourself and then repeat whatever it was that you just said. Check to make sure that it’s using the correct microphone and speaker by clicking that little arrow to the right of the Unmute button. When you are not talking, please be a good Zoomer and mute yourself.

Where is that crazy echo coming from?

It’s YOU. Put on some headphones or earbuds and use the arrow to the right of the UNMUTE button to choose the headphone option. Otherwise, everything you hear coming out of your computer’s speakers are going right back in through your computer’s microphone causing that endless feedback loop that is such a joy to listen to.

I’m sharing a video but nobody can hear the sound

This issue was the catalyst for this article in the first place… there are TWO BUTTONS you need to click when you share your screen so that your computer’s audio will play through for everyone. When you click “Share Screen”, in the lower left there are 2 checkboxesShare computer sound and Optimize Screen Share for Video Clip – click BOTH of those, then click the blue share button in the lower right. Now everyone will hear the sound of the video.

Pro-Tip: if you are the host, click the “Participants” button and MUTE ALL so that people aren’t talking over the video. When it’s over, you can re-enable their microphones if you like.

Security

Unless you want Jon Bon Jovi or Matthew McConaughey or those crazy NELK pranksters crashing your Zoom meetings, you should hover over the Zoom app interface and click the SECURITY button and LOCK the meeting once everyone has joined. That is the same place where you can allow/disallow participants to share their screens. CAUTION: If you lock the meeting, nobody else will be able to join.

Those are some of the most common issues I’ve witnessed. Now for the fun part:

Here are some easy-to-use features that can really improve your Zoom game immediately.

Whiteboard

Yes, there’s a buit-in whiteboard in here. It has a text tool, so people won’t have to decipher your handwriting. Plus, there are other things in here as well – a pencil, a stamp, an eraser and the ability to undo, redo, clear and even save the whiteboard. Bet you didn’t know that… it’s okay, nobody does. This Whiteboard feature needs some work anyhow – you can’t edit text once you put it on the board, you need to use the eraser and do it over – hopefully Zoom developers are reading this. Alternatively, you could use Powerpoint or Keynote to run whiteboard sessions.

Share your iPhone with everyone

You can share your iPhone or iPad’s screen wirelessly using AirPlay – now THAT is cool! One word of caution – make sure you swipe away all the open apps on your phone BEFORE sharing.

Writing on the Presenter’s presentation

When someone shares their screen in Zoom – ANYONE can draw all over the screen and yes EVERYBODY can see it. So, let’s start this one with a word of warning to presenters…

Participants can draw on top of your presentation for all to see.

The setting is ON by default, and after this post goes viral, your staff will know that they can do this – you have been warned.

Once you have shared your screen, you can DISABLE NOTATIONS BY ATTENDEES by going to the top of your screen and making the Zoom menu appear and selecting the “…” in the lower right and choosing “Disable Attendee Notation”.

Now that people know this is possible, watch out… people can (and will) draw on top of your presentation – See example below. As the presenter, you can clear other peoples drawings (or all drawings) and you can even have the Attendee’s name show up with the drawing so that any “body part” illustrations are immediately attributed to the graffiti artist who did it.

You have just RAMPED UP YOUR ZOOM GAME!

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