Zoom Conferencing: In-Meeting Features
Beyond simple face-to-face conferencing and content sharing, Zoom offers a host of added features to make for more interesting and productive meetings, some of which are listed below. Please note that a number of these features are only available from version 4.0 up. Always make sure you have the latest version of the desktop client.
Some of the features you may find helpful include...
In Meeting (Basic) controls:
Co-Host: This feature allows you to designate a meeting participant as your co-host. Once selected, this person will inherit all your "host" powers, such as the ability to record, invite and remove participants, etc.
Polling: This feature lets you create poll questions and present them to your participants for response. Once all participants have entered their responses to a poll, Zoom will show you the results, which you may then choose to share with the participants. All responses are anonymous and appear as totals and percentages. If you schedule your meeting in advance, you can create your poll questions ahead of time and access them during the meeting. Alternately, you can create poll questions in real-time during the meeting.
In Meeting (Advanced) controls:
Breakout room - This feature lets you divide a large group into smaller ones for independent discussions, then reassemble the full group when desired. As host, you have the ability to move from group to group to see how the discussions are going.
Remote support - With this feature enabled, you can request to take control of the desktop of any meeting participant. Be aware that with this feature enabled, the "breakout room" and "multiple share" options become unavailable.
Virtual background - If you set up your camera with a solid color background behind you (green works best), this feature lets you insert a virtual background using any image on your computer.
Closed captioning - This feature could be helpful for meetings requiring ADA compliance by displaying captions at the bottom of the application screen. Note, however, that the captions are not automatically generated by Zoom; instead you need to assign a meeting participant to type them in.
Share dual camera - this feature allows you to access a second camera, in addition to the one you're using to show your face. This could be useful for demonstrations, displaying documents or teaching aids, etc.
Attention tracking - with this feature enabled, you can monitor how attentive your meeting participants are. If a participant opens an application on top of Zoom and focuses on that for longer than 30 seconds, a "clock" icon will appear next to their name in the participant list. This could be a useful tool to keep your participants engaged; for instance, if you notice a number of participants have lost interest and moved on to something else, it might be time to make your presentation more interesting!
Waiting room - when enabled, participants are placed into a waiting room on joining your meeting. In the waiting room, they won't see or hear anything other than a notice telling them to please wait for admission. As host, you decide when to admit them. You also have the option to place them back in the waiting room again in the course of the meeting, if desired. This could be helpful when conducting interviews or in other situations where a degree of privacy is sometimes required.
Displaying multiple participants - Its now possible to display thumbnail video windows of up to 49 participants per screen. Depending on the nature of your meeting, this could end up just being a distraction, but there may be applications where it's desirable.
Finally, a new "multiple screen share" option is available from within the application itself. When you have a meeting in progress, click on the arrow next to the "share" icon to choose whether you want to (a) only allow one participant at a time to share or (b) allow multiple participants to share simultaneously. This feature could be helpful when comparing drafts of documents, changes to drawings, etc. As noted above, this feature is disabled if you've activated the "remote support" feature.
Zoom is always adding features and improvements, and it's always a good idea to perform updates when offered.