Zoom – Tips & tricks

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You’re probably all familiar with Zoom by now – the video-conferencing website / app. It’s a great free way to keep in touch with your friends and family during this period when we’re all staying indoors keeping safe. You’ve most likely had your fair share of online quizzes as well, organised by that one enthusiastic family member.

Quizzing and calling your friends is a great way to stay social when you’re unable to see anyone in person. So what if, next time you hop on your Zoom call, you had a little trick up your sleeve which could make everyone think you’re a tech genius.

Well, an easy way to do that would be by turning your background into a tropical landscape or the inside of a volcano… Or the inside of a Nando’s if you’re missing it that badly!

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to do exactly that, and more.

Custom background

It’s easy when you know how…

Open up your Zoom app, click the Settings icon in the top-right corner and then select ‘virtual background’ from the list of options down the left-hand side. From here you can select one of the pre downloaded choices and trick your friends into thinking you’re relaxing on a beach or sight-seeing in San Francisco.

Or if you’ve already got a picture in mind, you can upload your own and set it as a custom background. This can turn your boring Zoom call into a competition of who can choose the most outlandish picture as a background.

Regular meetings

Okay, so you’ve had your fun with the funny backgrounds. This tip is more ‘pro’, and will help you keep on track with weekly catch-ups and work meetings.

To create a recurring meeting, all you have to do is tick the ‘recurring meeting’ box when scheduling a call. This will allow you to repeat a call every week, right on time. Simply open the Zoom app, click on ‘schedule’ and you’ll see this option right underneath the meeting time selection.

Appearance filter

This is a very nifty little feature that’ll touch up your appearance if you’re looking a bit rough. Stay up as late as you’d like without worrying about the comments your colleagues will make on your Zoom meeting the next day.

To do this just open up your app, click on settings and select ‘video’, and in the ‘my video’ section you’ll see the ‘touch up my appearance’ option at the bottom. Tick that box and you’re good to go.

The filter is very subtle so nobody is going to call you out for using it, but if you look closely you can definitely notice a difference. Ideal for a Zoom first date perhaps?

Share your screen (Game night!)

You can share your screen with everyone on your Zoom call to showcase work presentations, host a games night or watch videos together. Many people have been utilising this feature to share their homemade questionnaires, designed on PowerPoint, with their friends for a more authentic quizzing experience.

To share your screen with others, simply start or join a call and you’ll notice a small symbol at the bottom of your screen that will look like a square with an arrow inside. You’re going to make sure you open up whichever file you want to share and then just click the button.

Whilst you’re screen sharing, your friends, family or colleagues will be able to see everything you’re seeing on your screen. It’s an easy way to show your friends you’re the host with the most!

Easy keyboard shortcuts

As you might have probably guessed, this one won’t be much help if you’re using Zoom on your mobile or tablet. But it’ll be very useful if you’re using a PC! Here’s a few that’ll help make things a little easier.

I is for invite – Press Cmd+I (macOS) or Alt+I (Windows) to jump to the invite window, where you can grab the link to the meeting or send invitations to your friends via email.

M is for mute – Press Cmd+Ctrl+M (macOS) or Alt+M (Windows) when you’re the meeting host and want to mute everyone else on the line.

S is for share – Press Cmd+Shift+S (macOS) or Alt+Shift+S (Windows) to share your screen.

Get the kit you need at Ebuyer

If you find yourself struggling to Zoom call on your mobile, or have found yourself using an outdated PC with no webcam, it’s definitely time to think about getting an upgrade.

Join in the fun of online quizzes and keep up to date with your work colleagues by grabbing a laptop with a built-in camera or a brand-new webcam to hook up to your desktop. Ebuyer’s got you covered.

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