If You Have Never Used Zoom Before…

If you have never used ZOOM before, you are in for a treat.  This is a widely used and very user-friendly video conferencing tool.  It is easiest to use from a computer, but you can also use it from a smart phone. You can call in to the video conference from any phone but that is harder for everyone.  The Zoom account is free and lasts forever…you might discover other uses for it.

You will get an invitation from your group leader with the zoom link for your call or for worship you will find it on the Sunday Services page or in the Friday email update.

That invitation will have a link to click on if you have not downloaded the small zoom program to your computer or phone. You can also go to zoom.us and create an account and experiment now.

Please do your downloading and experimenting at least the day before your first call.

Here’s a walk through.

  • Please use a headset (microphone and earphones such as came with your phone.  Your computer might need a set with a usb plug on one end.)
  • You will need a camera if you want to be interactive.  Virtually all laptops have a built in camera but most desktops don’t.  Cameras are not very expensive.  They clip on the top of your screen and you are good to go.  All phones have a camera.  If you are planning to use your phone you might want to purchase a stand for your phone…or you can work out how to prop it up in the right place for your call.  If you do not have a camera, try to upload a photo of yourself in your Zoom account profile.  That way, other users will see that photo when they are communicating with the group.
  •  For Security reasons you will want to unplug your camera when you are done with your zoom call.

Zoom Tutorial

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Zoom Meetings – tips for Users

  • Test your video and audio before your meeting at zoom.us/test.
  • Lights, camera, action! Note, the first item here is LIGHTS. Sure, you’re not a starlet, but you still need to be lit. Position yourself so that most of the light is coming from in front of you (behind your monitor), instead of behind you. If you have a window behind you, shut the blinds. Otherwise, you will be backlit. 
  • Look at the camera. This takes a bit of getting used to since you want to look at the other participants faces (and, let’s be honest, your own face), but try to look at the camera when you’re talking.
  • When possible, try to use a good quality camera and headset instead of your computer’s built-in ones. Zoom works just fine with the built-ins, but the quality is even sharper with higher quality hardware.
  • Adjust your camera if it is too low or high. Only your barber wants to stare at the top of your head. Your camera should be at eye level.
  • If you can, hardwire your computer into the internet. Sure, Zoom works well on wireless all the way down to 3G, but the quality is best on a solid wired internet connection, so wire in when you can. Otherwise, just make sure you have serviceable Wi-Fi.

(Tips from blog.zoom.us)  

Zoom Meetings – tips for Group Leaders

Zoom Stuff I learned over time.

  • As the leader, you can change people’s display names if they are, say, using their spouse’s computer or calling in on a phone line.  Makes a huge difference!
  • If you know you have an iffy internet connection, (During a storm, for instance) you should make another participant a co-leader.  Do that in the Manage Participants.  That way, if you lose connection, the meeting can go on until you get back.
  • If you don’t have a very robust internet connection, you may have to ask family members to refrain from streaming or other internet intense activities during your zoom meetings.  If nothing else will work, turn off your video and see if that helps.
  • You need to know that people’s faces will appear on the screen in different orders, so you can’t  “go around the circle.”  Instead call on one person and when they are done ask them to call on someone else.
  • It is important that folks stay muted until they speak.  You will have to remind folks to mute and unmute themselves.  You can override and do it yourself if you need to.

Quick and Interactive Intro to Zoom for a new group

At your first meeting you will need to help your group learn zoom and get to know each other.

  • Make sure folks know where the video and audio mute buttons are.   Ask everyone to mute themselves and to keep themselves muted until  they are speaking.  (if they are on a phone *6[star 6]mutes and umutes)  Give them permission to mute their video if they need to eat their supper or deal with a child during the call. Give people 15 seconds to experiment!  *A quick tip: Users can remain on mute and hold down the space bar to unmute when they speak – this is especially helpful for those with kids or barking dogs!
  • Ask everyone to notice that there are two views (accessible at the top of the screen:  Speaker View and Gallery view If they want to see the whole group, they need group view.
  • Tell them where to find the chat button and how to have a general conversation.  Ask each person to post the town of their congregation and watch the chat populate.
  • Tell them that they can also chat with one person and how to do that   (by scrolling down from “everyone”.)  Then ask them to talk in groups of two.  You will need to pair them up and ask the first person in the pair to use the chat to initiate a conversation with their counterpart .  Then ask each person in the pair to share with each other   a role they have in their congregation and one appreciation of the pre-work or retreat experience so far.  (you can try screen sharing with a document on which you have written those two questions.)
  • Then “go around the circle” (see #4 above) and ask each person to introduce their partner to the whole group with what they’ve learned so far about them.
  •  Show them how to raise their hand.   It’s the little hand next to the chat box.  YOU DON”T HAVE THIS…but they do.  Take a little poll in your group, asking people to raise their hands and lower them (same button) in response to a few questions. (phone callers have no alternative to just butting in.  Leaders should try to make sure to ask if phone callers have any comments periodically.)
    • Raise your hand if it is cold where you live. (put hands down)
    • Raise your hand if your congregation has a mission statement you can recite (call on those who raise their hands to let them recite it.  Remind them to unmute and mute themselves)
    • Raise your hand if you know your congregation has a mission statement.
    • Raise your hand if you have not had a chance to raise your hand
  • Show them how to get out of the meeting at the end..(Leave Meeting, usually bottom right)