Get started with ZOOM

Before a “Meeting”

  1. Decide if you will attend the meeting on your desktop computer, a tablet or smartphone. What you see on-screen differs depending on the device you are using. A full size computer screen offers greater access to controls, and is therefore a better choice for meeting in which you plan to actively participate. If you are satisfied to watch, with less participation, a phone works very well.
    1. The desktop computer has the largest screen, so you will be able to see more of the other participants; and it is easier to take advantage of on-screen controls, such as applause and raising your hand. It’s also easier to use the Chat function and to see document details during Screen Sharing. 
    2. If opting for the desktop computer, make sure it is equipped with a webcam and a speaker or headphones. 
      1. If you have not used the computer microphone in awhile, you can check it on a PC in the Control Panel   >   Hardware and Sound   >   Sound   >   Manage Audio Devices. 
        1. You will have another opportunity to check your audio immediately upon joining a Zoom meeting. 
      2. Webcams are generally wired with a USB plug. To check whether or not the webcam is operational on your PC, check in the Control Panel   >   Hardware and Sound   >   Device Manager. Expand the “Camera” folder (click the arrow beside it); then double-click on your webcam. A dropdown window will tell you if it is functioning correctly. 
      3. To test a speaker, return to Control Panel   >   Hardware and Sound   >   Sound   >   Manage Audio Devices; or just play some audio off the internet and adjust the volume.
    3. Tablets and smartphones have video and audio incorporated in the device, so just familiarize yourself with volume controls in Settings.
  2. Whichever device you opt for, be aware that your environment will become part of the meeting. 
    1. Check the video. Look behind your head. What else is appearing in the shot? Is that what you want other people in the meeting to see? If not, re-arrange the background, or select a new angle or location.
    2. Check the audio. Be quiet for a moment and just listen. If you hear kitchen, kids, loud HVAC, barking dogs, or other sounds that will distract others in the meeting, consider a new location. At the very least, inform any other people you share space with that you will be in a meeting, and arrange for other ‘noise’ to be minimized.
    3. Speakers. Thinking of the needs of others as well; you might opt to use headphones. For some people, a set of ear buds with an embedded microphone works quite well.
  3. Zoom Meeting invitations include an internet link to “Join via computer”.  Use that URL to Join the Meeting at the appointed time. 
    1. Some invitations also include phone numbers as a call-in option, to listen on a landline. 
    2. Zoom also offers the option of 9-digit (usually) Meeting ID. You may be asked for it depending on the way you log in.  
      1. In other words, you can join a meeting without clicking on the invitation link; but rather, by going to join.zoom.us on any browser and entering the Meeting ID provided in the invitation.  

To join a meeting

  1. At the start time of the meeting, click on the internet link in the invitation. 
    1. If this is your first-time Zoom meeting, you will be instructed to download the Zoom application. (The download and Install process is very quick)
  2. As Zoom opens you will have an opportunity to test your audio. Click on “Test Computer Audio.” Once you are satisfied your audio is working, click on “Join audio by computer.” 

Participant controls

Participant controls are located along the lower portion of the Zoom screen

Zoom screen with participant controls
  • Mute/Unmute your microphone (far left) 
  • Turn on/off camera (“Start/Stop Video”) 
  • Invite other participants 
  • View Participant list
    • Opens a pop-out screen that includes a “Raise Hand” icon you may use to inform the presenter you have a question or comment 
    • Change the screen name shown for you in the participant list and video window 
  • Share your screen (requires presenter's permission)

In the top right corner of the Zoom screen you will see a choice to toggle between “Speaker” and “Gallery” view. “Speaker view” shows who is actively speaking at any given time. “Gallery view” arranges the video from all the meeting participants on the screen.


For more details, access ZOOM tutorials

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