Photo illustration by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

During the Coronavirus pandemic and this time of social distancing and working from home, Zoom has emerged as the go-to platform to stay in touch with friends & family, conduct virtual business meetings, attend online classes and more. This tool is easy to start using and definitely worth checking out, so if you haven’t used Zoom before or just want some tips then keep reading. And don’t forget to join ours tomorrow!

PSA: We will be holding a virtual NCTV “open house” tomorrow, Thursday, April 2 at 1pm.

Please join us tomorrow at 1pm, when we will host an open house of sorts through Zoom to see how our members are doing and what we can offer while we are all confined to our respective homes. Is there some sort of technological issue you are experiencing and need help troubleshooting? Would you like to invest some of all this newfound free time into learning a new skill or program? Let us know! As your local community television station, we are able, willing and ready to serve as a resource in any capacity we can. So please join us this Thursday, April 2 at 1pm for a Zoom video conference.

Getting started…

Zoom can be used on your desktop computer, your phone or practically any smart device you’d like to use it on. While you will get the most out of Zoom by registering and using your computer or smart app, you can also join a meeting by dialing in on any phone and entering your meeting ID number. (NOTE: The meeting ID for our 4/2/2020 open house is 757 311 372) For a list of dial in numbers, visit this page.

In order to register, visit Zoom.us on your computer or smart device’s internet browser. On the top right corner, click the button “SIGN UP, IT’S FREE.” From there you should follow the instructions to enter and then validate your email address.

The next step is to download the application to your device. Visit https://zoom.us/download. If you are on an iPhone/Android device then the app store should automatically open, prompting you to install. If you are on your computer, then click the blue “Download” button, open the resulting file and follow the prompts to install the app.

Joining a meeting…

After you have registered and installed the Zoom application, you are ready to take advantage of all of its (free) features. To join a Zoom meeting, simply click on the invite link you were sent and you will be brought into the meeting. If you know your meeting ID number you can launch the application and join the chat simply by entering the number when prompted.

Scheduling a meeting…

There are two ways to schedule your own meeting. If you are using the desktop application, click the home button on the top left corner of the screen and then click the “Schedule” button. If you are in a browser, visit https://zoom.us/meeting and click the “Schedule a New Meeting” button. The next step is to enter all the relevant details regarding your meeting. After this you will be given details and invite links you can share to invite others to participate.

Zoom tips & best practices…

  • Use Zoom from a desktop computer with high speed internet access.
  • If you’d like to see how your video looks before starting a meeting… go to Preferences and select the video tab. You will see a preview of what you will broadcast to others. Select “Enable HD” if your internet can handle it. Play with toggling “Touch up my appearance” on and off- it may improve your appearance or cartoonize it.
  • Be eye level with your camera.
  • Mute yourself while your aren’t speaking to minimize background noise. (Pro tip: holding down the space bar unmutes yourself while you are speaking and releasing it will return yourself to mute.)
  • By default Zoom will feature the camera of whoever is talking. If you’d like to see a grid view of everyone participating in the meeting, then click “Gallery View” in the upper right corner of a call.

Join us tomorrow at 1pm and/or let us know how we can be of assistance!