An easy alternative to a traditional meeting for work or groups

If you haven’t heard of Zoom before the pandemic I’ll bet you have now. I’ve been using the platform off and on for a few years then all of a sudden everybody was asking me to FaceTime in lieu of meetings and I said there was a much better way but sometimes the learning curve can be a little intimidating.

It’s actually very easy but for some clients who I prefer to keep anonymous, FaceTime is just fine. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, here is a little background, how it works and some compelling features:

Zoom is a web-based video conferencing tool with a local, desktop client and a mobile app that allows users to meet online, with or without video. Zoom users can choose to record sessions, collaborate on projects, and share or annotate on one another’s screens, all with one easy-to-use platform. Zoom offers quality video, audio, and a wireless screen-sharing performance across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Blackberry and Zoom Rooms which I have not tired.

How Does It Work?

Joining a Meeting

  1. Go to Zoom.us
  2. Click the “Join a Meeting” tab. You can find the tab on the top right corner of the homepage
  3. When prompted, add your designated Meeting ID (The Meeting ID can be a 9, 10, or 11-Digit number). The Meeting ID should be provided by the host.
  4. You’re in!

Start a Meeting

  1. Go to Zoom.us
  2. Toggle over the “Host a Meeting” tab on the top right hand corner
  3. Choose whether you would like to keep video chat on or off
  4. Sign in using your login information or create a new account
  5. Launch the Zoom application and open
  6. Send out the meeting details, including the Meeting ID and/or link
  7. You’ve created a meeting!

Sharing Your Screen

  1. Zoom allows users to share their screen to the entire conference call! To do so, simply click “Share Screen” at the bottom of the window. Note: Only one person can use screen-share at a time, and one person must “Stop Sharing” before someone else can start sharing.
  2. To stop sharing the screen, simply click “Stop Sharing.”

Pros

Reimagining Online Video Conferencing. Imagine if Skype was on steroids. Using HD video and voice, Zoom brings innovation into meetings and webinars. Zoom also features dynamic voice detection and a choice of either full-screen, gallery view, or both using dual streaming for those of you with twice the amount of screens. If you’re more laid back, you’re allowed to join as a view-only attendee, or by telephone dial-in when you’re on the go.

Mobile Friendly. Zoom has a feature-rich, mobile app for both iOS and Android, allowing you to virtually connect from anywhere with an Internet connection

Meetings at your Convenience. You have the option of either starting an instant meeting or creating a scheduled meeting. When you schedule a meeting, a Personal Meeting ID will be assigned for you to share or distribute. As a host you have special privileges to record a meeting or mute participants. Zoom allows you to create MP4 and M4A recordings throughout a meeting, and offers Google Chrome and Outlook plug-ins. Rest assured that whatever you share, whether through a desktop or through the mobile application, is at its highest quality. You can even enable optimization and sound transfer for video sharing. Aside from all this, participants have the option of virtually raising their hand for permission to ask a question or speak to a group. And using the Zoom meeting format’s breakout groups, hosts can designate times for small group collaboration without ending or restarting a meeting.

Safety is a Priority. Aside from being given your own private login username and password, Zoom also implements both Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption and AES 256-bits encryption. Zoom features role based access control and admin feature controls.

It’s Free! That right, you don’t pay anything. But of course, you have the option to pay and upgrade to gain access to even more features that Zoom offers

Unlimited Number of Meetings. While using the free version, you can have as many sessions as you would like!

Cons

When using Zoom’s free plan, there is a meeting duration cap of 40 minutes. This is of course, upgradable using a paid version.

Also with Zoom’s free plan, there is a maximum of 50 participants allowed per session. Again, this feature is upgradable using the Pro version.

Resources

Zoom Website:
Zoom.us

Zoom Pricing Plans:
Zoom.uc/pricing

Zoom Tutorials:
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/201137166-Audio-Video-Sharing

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