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Discover the ins and outs of Zoom functions

Since the onset of the pandemic, the professional world has gone through periods of immense change. Now, two years later, much of our professional lives is completely different than before. Hybrid or remote work is more mainstream than ever, and Zoom has completely revolutionized how we move about our work lives.

To maximize your user experience, consider reviewing the functions detailed in this Zoom lightning round.  

1. Backgrounds Blur

When a custom virtual background is unavailable or not suiting your needs, but you still want to maintain some privacy with regards to your surroundings, the blur background option can be a great alternative. This option simply blurs the background of your video, obscuring exactly who or what is behind you.

How to enable blur background before a meeting

  1. Sign into the Zoom desktop app.
  2. Click your profile picture, then click Settings
  3. Select Backgrounds & FiltersNote: If you do not have the Virtual Background tab but it is enabled on the web portal, sign out of the Zoom desktop client and sign in again.
  4. Click the Blur option.

How to enable blur background during a meeting

  1. Join a Zoom Meeting or Webinar.
  2. In the bottom-left corner of the video window, click the up arrow button next to the Start Video / Stop Video button. 
  3. Click Blur My Background. 
    Note: This option requires version 5.9.3 or higher. Please refer to the section above to control the blur background feature when using older versions.

2. Virtual Background

The Virtual Background feature allows you to display an image or video as your background during a Zoom meeting.

  1. Sign into the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select Background & Effects
  4. Select either a pre-uploaded background or you can upload your own for any occasion. 

3. Display Name

  1. To change your name after entering a Zoom meeting, click on the “Participants” button at the top of the Zoom window.
  2. Next, hover your mouse over your name in the “Participants” list on the right-hand side of the Zoom window. Click on “Rename”. 
  3. Enter the name you’d like to appear in the Zoom meeting and click “OK”.
  4. You can also add your name pronunciation and your preferred pronouns, if you’d like. For example: John Elway (He/Him) “jahn el-way”

4. Lighting Preferences and Low Light

Zoom’s low light settings allow you to combat poor lighting conditions during remote video conferences by brightening your video in dark environments.

  1. In the Zoom desktop client, click your profile picture then click Settings.
  2. Click the Video tab.
  3. Enable Adjust for low light
  4. By default, the setting will be set to Auto. However, you can select Manual, and adjust the setting to the desired effect. 

5. Recording

Local recording allows participants to record meeting video and audio locally to a computer. Local recordings can include participant names, separate audio tracks for each participant, timestamps and other options.

To enable or disable local recording for your own use, sign into the Zoom web portal:

  1. In the navigation menu, click Settings.
  2. Click the Recording tab.
  3. Click the Local Recording toggle to enable or disable it.
  4. If a verification dialog appears, click Turn On to verify the change. Note: If the option is grayed out, it has been locked at either the group or account level, and you will need to contact your Zoom administrator.
  5. (Optional) Select the check boxes to enable or disable additional features, then click Save:
    • Save chat messages from the meeting/webinar: Allows you to save in-meeting chat messages in the local recording files.
    • Save closed caption as a VTT file: Allows you to save closed caption files in local recordings.
    • Hosts can give meeting participants permission to record locally: Allows you to give permission to record locally as well. 

While Zoom was rarely used by many of us before 2020, it is here to stay. Today's tips aimed to improve your experience as a participant in a Zoom meeting. Next month, look for tips on presenting or leading a Zoom meeting.


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