Getting Started with Zoom
Hopefully by now, you’ll have seen that Womenclimb is now running a very exciting (and busy!) calendar of events for members and supporters. But have you been able to access them?
For our events, we’ve been using Zoom – you may have already heard of this: you’re using it for family chats, you’ve been forced to endure an impossibly hard pub quiz, or maybe like me, you use it for work.
Zoom is great – it really does break down barriers. And whilst it’s definitely nowhere near as good as hanging out at the crag, without it, there is no way I could afford the instruction I’ve been gaining!
Zoom for newbies
When you become a Womenclimb Member or Supporter, you will get a welcome email. This is your key to unlocking our events and activities – the document will take you to all the Zoom links for all our online activities. It will be updated weekly, so you just need the one link for everything.
How do I start on Zoom?
If you’ve never used Zoom before, the link will invite you to download the Zoom App. You can either download the app or use Zoom in your web browser. Zoom gives clear instructions, but will push you to download the app. It’s important to consider the implications.
If you’ve not used it before, or if you’re using a new device, we always recommend you try and click through the link 15 minutes before the session starts. This gives you time to test your audio and video (Zoom will offer big buttons to help you do this). Always click START WITH AUDIO. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself mouthing wordlessly, as everyone else talks over you oblivious: they can’t hear you.
What if I click the link at the wrong time?
Click on this at the wrong time and you’ll find yourself stuck in a Zoom waiting room with no one to talk to. At the right time, however, you’ll be invited in to join the meeting. Sometimes you have to wait for the meeting organiser to let you in and this can take a few minutes, as they are preparing the session.
Can I use my phone?
Yes. This, however, can be fiddly and annoying, due to the screen size making chat almost impossible to use. Often you might have lower sound quality. With phones there is always the risk of other things going on – It can be distracting for other users to see your fingers pushing up as you try and swipe away a call or turn the volume up. Nevertheless, for many of us, it’s all we have, so don’t let it put you off.
What about a tablet, laptop or desktop?
You can use all of these. Remember that Zoom looks different on every device – the functions like mute, chat, gallery view and settings are in different places on all devices, so before you get onto a serious Zoom, remember to test it out first.
Want to hide?
Just making a cup of tea, or you’re in your jammies and you want to relax? No need to log out – instead, just switch off your camera by clicking ‘stop video’. You can ‘mute’ to make sure the rest of the people don’t hear you switching on the kettle, sorting your washing from the machine or any of the other clatter that sounds unpleasantly noisy on Zoom.
Set a tropical background
If you want to make it look like you’re somewhere fancy (Emily, Womenclimb CEO has the Welsh slate quarries as her backdrop quite often), you can use the ‘virtual background’ functionality, which you’ll find by clicking on the little ^ button next to ‘stop video’. Use the same button to go back and click ‘none’.
Get me outta here!
Want to leave? In the bottom right of the Zoom screen, it says Leave Meeting. Click here to get out.