By: Mike Castle
Zoom Video Communications, Inc. is an American communications technology company headquartered in San Jose, California. It provides videotelephony and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform and is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations. Zoom’s business strategy focuses on providing an easier to use product than competitors, as well as cost savings, which include minimizing computational costs at the infrastructure level and having a high degree of employee efficiency
The following pages are a brief introduction to the Zoom software which is now popular around the world, enabling people to keep in touch. In recent months we will all have seen it used on various news and current affairs programmes. It is also a popular format for webinars and presentations. More recently we have also seen the Queen use it with some of her service personnel. Our committee at Conwy Camera Club have been using it for the last three months to keep in touch and to plan the way forward for the club. Zoom was originally designed for use with desktop and laptop computers (PC and Mac) but now works on all devices including smartphones and tablets, etc. It is usually quite easy for anyone to sign up, and to open an account. It is FREE to use as a participant, and it is not necessary to download anything (however it does run better if you do download it onto your computer). I recommend initially that you go to the ‘Zoom’ website and check out their Resources and FAQ. There you will find advice and video tutorials which may be of interest with help in setting up. However, if you just wish to ‘Join a Meeting’ without opening an account, then go straight to page 7 of this introduction.
Zoom website found at: https://zoom.us/ The first web page looks like this
Now click on ‘Resources’ in top right corner (circled red) to view options, as below:
I recommend you look at the Video Tutorials and FAQs. Likewise the following link will also take you to a number of support and information topics:
This is a copy of the page you should now be on
To Sign Up (Open an Account):
When you are ready to open an account, go back to the first page and in the top right corner there is an Orange button inviting you to sign up for free. It will only require three pieces of information
I recommend you ensure you are over 21 otherwise you may not be eligible to join! Then provide your preferred email address when prompted:
Zoom will accept this and then send you an email almost immediately for you to activate your account. Now check your emails, see below for their ‘Welcome’ email
Please input your real name, not just a ‘username’ as the host needs to see who is joining a meeting for security purposes. You will also need to make a password for your account (which can be changed later if required).
To join a meeting, you will need to receive an invitation by email from the ‘host’ i.e. the person running the meeting. Invitations should not be shared on social media. Your meeting invitation will usually have the following information:
Conwy Camera Club Meeting
Conwy Camera Club is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Photography Presentation by Zoom Meeting
Time: Sept 31, 2020 07:30 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 142 282 377 Password: Portraiture
Once you have received your invitation then there are two ways to join a meeting:
1) Either click on the link provided and it will take you direct to the meeting via your browser or
2) Log in to your account to view the Home page, as below
Click ‘Join’ and then enter the Meeting ID as highlighted above when prompted
Then when prompted enter the Meeting Password as highlighted above:
(NOT your account password)
Recommend you join with computer audio. You may wish to test your speaker and microphone first.
The next window you see should be an image of yourself, asking you to ‘Join with Video’
All being well, you will now be in the ‘waiting room’ and waiting to be admitted by the ‘host’. It is at this stage that it is important that you are using your proper name so you can be recognised. (The host only sees a list of names waiting to join, and cannot see any videos until participants are in the meeting). The following window should appear:
Once the host admits you to the meeting you will have a screen with images of the other participants, with a few others still due to join. It is advisable to be as prompt as possible when joining a meeting. If you have a lot of background noise it may be worth considering to mute your microphone. There are two main views once in the meeting. These are known as the Gallery View and Speaker view. The following is an example of a Gallery View with the current speaker outlined in Yellow.
If you wish to download Zoom onto your computer then go back to the Resources button and select the top option: ‘Download Zoom Client’.
If you would like some advice on setting up ready for Zoom meetings then please email Mike at : firstname.lastname@example.org