Tips for Leading a Zoom Meeting

Review the instructions for meeting attendees first.

Who Schedules and Who Hosts

  • Someone involved with the meeting needs to have a professional (i.e., paid for) Zoom account. Rev. Sharon has an account, and several Chalice congregants have purchased their own accounts. There is no need for everyone to have a paid account. Contact Rev. Sharon about scheduling your meeting. (Without a professional account, meetings are limited to three people and 40 minutes.)
  • The person who schedules the meeting is automatically one of the hosts. But the host can designate co-hosts once the meeting starts.
  • Why this matters: hosts and co-hosts have controls that meeting attendees don’t.
    • Hosts can mute, rename, and hide the video of any meeting attendee. These functions can be important if someone doesn’t realize they have their microphone or camera on.

Meeting Orientation

At your first meeting (and maybe every meeting) you will need to help your group learn Zoom and get to know each other.

  • Make sure folks know where the “stop video” and audio “mute/unmute” buttons are. Ask everyone to mute themselves and to keep themselves muted until they are speaking. 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!
    • If they are on a phone *6 [star 6] mutes and unmutes).
  • 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 Gallery View.
  • Tell them where to find the chat button. Chat is good for sending messages without interrupting speakers (like if you need to leave suddenly, or if you are having technical problems).
  • Have people open the participants list. If there are many people at the meeting, they may not be able to see everyone on their screen, but they can still see the participants list.
  • If it’s a large group, people may need to “raise their hand” when they want to speak. They will find “raise hand” when they open the “participants” list. (The host doesn’t have a “raise hand” button, but can see when participants raise their hand.)
  • Show them how to get out of the meeting at the end. (Leave Meeting, usually bottom right.)

Best Practices

  • Welcome each person to the meeting and affirm their sound and camera.
  • 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.
  • If it’s a large group, invite people to “raise their hand” (under participants) when they want to speak.

Tips for Group Leaders

  • 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-host. 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.
  • 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
  • It is a good practice to have a host and a co-host, so two people are able to help run the meeting.