In today’s virtual world, staying connected is more important than ever. As we continue to practice social distancing by working remotely, videoconferencing services like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have gained popularity in both a professional setting and in maintaining personal relationships. Zoom has been a saving grace in maintaining some sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 global pandemic. It has even allowed me the opportunity to reconnect face-to-face and build stronger relationships with some distant friends and family that I would typically only text or maybe call occasionally. Recent interviews and articles share that platforms like Zoom are here to stay. The benefits of connecting with distant relatives, friends, and colleagues far outweigh the so-called “Zoom fatigue” of on-camera meetings. When businesses across the country first started virtual meetings, everything was about being on camera to show that you were fully present in the conversation. Businesses are now becoming more attuned to their employees’ needs for scheduling some off-camera meetings. 

Zoom has helped businesses stay on target and has given many people the flexibility of scheduling meetings at times that work best for their work-life balance. There are many features that Zoom offers to help keep meetings moving according to the agenda, or simply keep them interesting. Here are five cool zoom tricks and tips to try during your next video conferencing meeting:

  1. No makeup, no problem!

Zoom has a built-in touch-up feature when you can’t get out of those face-to-face meetings. To activate this feature and give the appearance of a smooth, well-rested face, simply click Video Settings and under My Video, check the box that says Touch Up My Appearance.

  1. Record the meeting and save it to your computer.

Whether you are attending a staff meeting, an informational webinar, or even a wine tasting class, there may be some key takeaways you don’t want to forget. Instead of taking notes in the moment, simply record to video so you can access the content again whenever you want. If it is an event that you are hosting, you can even upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo. To record a Zoom meeting as an attendee, go to Settings then turn on the option for Recording. When you are the host, click the Record icon on the bottom toolbar.

  1. Have fun with the virtual whiteboard.

Sharing your screen during meetings isn’t just for Powerpoint Presentations and Word Documents. Zoom has a Whiteboard feature that can help you host a fun and interactive meeting. Use the whiteboard to map out business plans and marketing ideas or take a brain-break and partake in a game of Pictionary! To activate, you must start your session by clicking Whiteboard. And don’t forget to save all of your brilliant ideas from the whiteboard as a PDF at the end of the session!

  1. Use emojis to participate without interrupting.

Often when you are attending a staff meeting or informational webinar, you want to let the host know that you are paying attention, but you hate to interrupt the flow of conversation. Herein lies the fun little feature of using emojis to let the host know you’re there and you get it. To react during a meeting using emojis, click the Reactions tab at the bottom of the meeting screen and choose the one you want to share. 

  1. Become a meeting pro with your mute button.

The amazing feature of the mute button. Mute allows you to reduce your own background noise, so you don’t disturb the meeting host or other attendees. The mute button can easily be enabled and disabled by pressing your spacebar. If you often attend Zoom meetings, you may want to activate your mute button by default. To do this, go to Settings > Audio > Mute microphone when joining a meeting

Finally, one more pro-tip—change your background! If you don’t want to look like you are working in a closet or spare bedroom, transform your virtual location at the touch of a button. All you have to do to be sitting on a beach is go to Settings then Virtual Background and get instantly transported!