In a time of uncertainty, there has been one constant in my life: Zoom. Over the past few months, I have gotten to know Zoom like the back of my hand, but this wasn’t always the case. Prior to remote classes, I had never used this video call application before, so it took me some time to learn how to use all of its best features. Since Zoom is such a big part of my life now, I wanted to share my five favorite tricks and tips that I use on a daily basis.
1. Enter a Meeting Silently
Get off to a good start by entering a meeting silently. Ever since I accidentally entered a Zoom meeting with my microphone on and my dog barking, I have been determined not to relive that embarrassing moment. Luckily, there is an option in the audio settings to always mute your microphone upon entering a meeting. Additionally, if you also want to enter a meeting without video on, you can adjust that in video settings.
2. Adjust Your Video for Low Light
Whether it’s a rainy day or your house simply has dismal lighting, Zoom allows you to adjust your video for low light. To find this feature, open settings and click on the video tab on the left side of your screen. There, you will find several video settings, including the option to adjust for low light. I recommend checking it out because this setting is sure to brighten your day.
3. Mute and Unmute with Spacebar
Say goodbye to the days of fumbling to turn on your microphone in time to answer a question and say hello to your new best friend: the spacebar. The ability to unmute yourself by simply holding down your spacebar is by far the best feature Zoom has to offer. It is a small yet useful detail that has transformed my Zoom experience. This shortcut makes turning your microphone on and off a natural action instead of a frantic race with your mouse to the microphone button each time you want to talk. If you can’t currently unmute with the spacebar, you can turn this feature on in your audio settings.
4. Shortcuts Galore!
Zoom offers over 40 keyboard shortcuts that will help make your video call experience as smooth as possible. In the settings, there is a whole section dedicated to keyboard shortcuts where you can customize which shortcuts you want. But it doesn’t stop stop there; be sure to enable global shortcuts, too. Global shortcuts allow you to use your desired keyboard commands, even if Zoom is minimized and you are on another tab.
5. Emoji Reactions
Emoji reactions are a great way to let the speaker know you are engaged without having to talk. This feature allows you to display an emoji on your screen that automatically disappears after five seconds. When you are in a meeting, you can find the reactions button with your other meeting controls at the bottom of your screen. Just click on the smiley face icon to display your emoji options, which range from clapping hands to a surprised face.