Zoom has opened a gap between video call apps, especially in work and educational environments. And with the tricks we show you in this article, you can get even more out of this tool for making meetings and video calls.
Sometimes you need to make a video call but for whatever reason, you don’t want it to be seen what you have behind. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to complicate your life, Zoom has an option to cover what is behind you.
In the Zoom Settings options there is a section called Virtual Background. This tool will crop your live image and will cover the background with an image or a video.
You can use one of the pre-designed backgrounds, or add the one you prefer by uploading the image or video file from your computer. So if you don’t want to use anything flashy, you can upload a solid color image.
This type of tools always work best if you have a green screen behind, since it makes it easier for the program to crop the image properly. You can improvise with a green cloth, but if your computer has a good processor, it won’t even be necessary.
Enhance the image
Other camera-related Zoom functionality will help you considerably improve the image that captures your webcam. But not only that; It will also allow you to appear better looking.
To take advantage of these functions, enter Video section in the Zoom Settings. Among all the options in this category, you are interested in two: “Enable HD” and “Retouch my appearance”.
The “Enable HD” option allows you use high-quality video, which will give a much more professional look to the image captured by your webcam. Although of course, the image quality depends mainly on the camera itself.
And with “Retouch my appearance” Zoom will apply a filter to live video. If you haven’t fixed yourself for the video call, it can be very practical: this tool makes the skin look even and conceals imperfections.
Activate the microphone quickly
Muting the microphone is a basic courtesy standard in any online meeting. Prevents other participants from having to hear unnecessary noise during conversation, and can also save you from awkward moments.
For this very reason, many meeting programs mute by default the microphones as soon as the call comes in. It is the most practical, since it avoids carelessness with the audio by any user.
But when it is your turn to speak and you are muted, it may take longer than necessary to activate microphone if you weren’t totally attentive to the conversation. So you don’t panic trying to reactivate your audio, Zoom makes it easy for you.
With the program window selected, hold the space bar and your microphone will be activated. It will remain active as long as you keep that key pressed, which for quick interventions is a very good solution.
And if you need to talk for a long time, just press Alt and the letter A at the same time on your keyboard. This will make the microphone fully activated, without the need to hold anything down.
Control Zoom through Slack
Slack was already popular in many work environments, but you may not know that there are ways to connect it with other programs. And on the official Zoom page you can download a plugin that allows you to integrate the video call app with Slack.
With this tool you can, among other things, start Zoom meetings from Slack, control who joins, know the exact duration of the meeting, receive a summary of the meeting data when it ends, and even send the recording of the meeting by direct message.
Of course, it is important that you meet the necessary requirements to be able to use that plugin. Mainly you need to have the proper account type in Zoom, and that the email you use for Zoom and Slack match. You can check it in more detail here.
Use whiteboard mode
You probably already know that, like many other video calling programs, Slack allows users to share your screen and audio with the rest of the meeting attendees.
But something not so well known is the possibility of using a virtual whiteboard, and that it is visible to all the people present in the call. And this option is available in both the desktop and app versions.
Just click on the share screen button, and among the available options will appear the option to share a whiteboard. Next to the board will appear various drawing and writing tools, so you can use it in the way that suits you best.
Also, you can add pages to the board, so there is no need to delete the previous if you run out of space. And to avoid problems, only the person who created the whiteboard can write to it, and create or delete pages.
Rooms for groups within the same meeting
Whether it’s a work meeting, study or leisure, sometimes you need the people who attend to discuss in smaller groups some specific topic. But stopping the meeting and organizing it again later so that these group discussions can take place is not optimal.
However, among the Zoom options you have a tool that simplifies these situations. The rooms for groups They allow the meeting administrator to divide people into groups, before the call begins or for the duration of the call.
At any point in the meeting you can direct people to the group rooms, and when they have finished the conversation, they will join the general meeting again without complications.
To enable this option you will have to enter the configuration section on the Zoom website. Simply activate the “Group Room” option, and once this is done you will have the option to create groups with different participants in each meeting.
If you are having to schedule meetings that are repeated over a specific period of time and are always attended by the same people, you may find it a bit tedious having to set up the same meetings over and over again.
But if you take a good look at the different Zoom options, it is possible to save yourself that step, making the meetings recur. When you go to schedule a meeting in the Zoom portal, select the “Recurring meetings” box and a pop-up window will appear in which you can set the specific parameters.
You will be able to establish how often that meeting occurs, and the exact date and time when it should take place. You can also set an end date for those recurring meetings, so you don’t even have to manually cancel them.
Once you’ve scheduled everything, the meeting URL and settings will always be the same, so everyone can join in without having to worry about setting anything up or forwarding the link.
Remote computer control
It may be the case that you need to help another person remotely, or that you have to perform some task on your computer remotely. And as in so many other cases, Zoom gives you the possibility to do all this. no need to download other programs.
The remote control option, which is usually activated by default In the Zoom web configuration options, it allows a user to give permission to another to control what appears on their screen.
This includes the entire desktop, and also the applications or programs on the computer. And you can even remotely restart the other user’s computer. The computer owner will always have to manually accept these operations, so there should be no security issues.
In order for you to use this feature, you will have to start a remote support session. Within it you will have the option to control, as mentioned before, the desktop and the programs.
At Zoom you have the possibility to record meetings so you can check again everything that has been said. But the problem with recordings is that unless you know the exact moment something has been discussed, it will take a long time to find the parts of the conversation that interest you.
Luckily, there is another tool within Zoom that allows you to review meetings much more efficiently: transcripts. In the Cloud Recordings settings, you can turn on audio transcripts for Zoom to transcribe everything that was discussed in the meeting.
Thus, every time you record a video call, Zoom will save in your account not only the video and audio file with what the screen showed in the meeting, and with the users’ webcam, but you will also have a text file with everything what has been talked about. And if there are errors in the transcription, you can edit the text manually to correct it.
That way, if you need to find something quickly, you can search the text with keywords you know they were used in that part of the meeting. And if you are consulting the transcript from the Zoom website, you can jump directly to that part of the meeting in the video by clicking on the corresponding section of the transcript.