About this post: Are you looking to connect with family and friends? Using Zoom, you can set a time to virtually connect, where everyone can chat with one another and you can see all of their beautiful faces!!! If you want to know how to ZOOM…this post is for you!
More than ever, we need to come together…while staying apart!
Whether you need to have a client meeting, a virtual book club discussion, tea with friends, Friday night drinks or Sunday afternoon family time…ZOOM is the perfect way to virtually connect!
For running large meetings, you might want to look into the paid version as there are many more options, however, for connecting with friends and family, the free version of Zoom works pretty fantastic.
Here’s how to connect with family and friends virtually!
You can download the Zoom app onto your phone, or go you can go to the Zoom.us website and set up your account with a username and password. I personally prefer to use Zoom from my computer as it allows me to have a larger screen so I can see everyone a bit better…but it’s totally up to you. For this post, I’ll be showing screenshots from the website…but you can transfer all of these skills to the app (even if it looks a bit different).
Host a Meeting
Once you have your account set up, you can choose to host a meeting immediately, or, you can schedule one for an upcoming time and date. Typically, I’m scheduling a meeting for a future time however, if you want to host immediately, here’s how it works.
In the upper right corner of the website, click the “Host Meeting” option and, since I want everyone to see my lovely mug shot, I choose “With Video On“.
Immediately, a lovely screen will open with your face staring at you UNLESS, you’re neurotic like me and have a sticker over your computer camera so…REMOVE THE STICKER! Then, you may decide to:
- Go change your clothes
- Move to a different location so the lighting is better or so everyone doesn’t see how messy your house is
- Brush your hair
- Remove that hunk of spinach from your teeth
- Add a little makeup
- Put on pants
- Get botox
Or…like me…do none of the above and carry on…
You’ll notice at the bottom of the screen there’s a black bar with a number of options. NOTE…there are MANY things you can do in Zoom when hosting it as a meeting site such as recording your call and showing folks your computer screen (great when you’re trying to teach something online or show a PowerPoint slide show) BUT, for this post, I’m keeping things simple and showing how to connect with loved ones.
Click on the Invite option to open the Invite Screen.
From the Invite Screen, you can choose to invite through Email or copy either the URL or the Invitation.
If you choose to email, your email program will open with the zoom links already in the message…all you need to do is email the folks you’d like to have at your virtual chat. If you choose copy URL or Copy Invitation, it will be copied to your clipboard where you can then go to your email, messenger, text, etc…and paste the URL or Invitation. The difference? The URL gives a link…the Invitation gives a few other options for folks if they want to join by audio-only through their phone etc… I usually send the full invite so they can decide what method they wish to connect.
Then…wait for folks to arrive and chat away!!!
In most cases, I schedule meetings to happen at a later time, so, here’s how that works.
Schedule a Meeting:
Once you’re logged in to the Zoom.us site, choose My Account from the main screen…
Click on Schedule a Meeting.
(Note, there are many ways to do this…but for the sake of this blog post, I’m showing one way.)
From there, the meeting scheduler will open where you’ll enter:
- Name of your meeting
- Date and time
- Duration of meeting
If you have the FREE version, you can only schedule 40-minute meetings HOWEVER, Zoom will often let you go longer than that time frame depending on how busy the service is at the time. If you want a longer meeting, you can always purchase a copy, or, when your 40 minutes is coming to an end, send a new URL to the folks at your meeting and re-convene.
A little further down the screen…
- Add the time zone
- Set a recurring meeting if you’re setting something to happen weekly
- Include a password if you’d like (I rarely do)
- Turn on video for both the host and the participants so you can all chat together
Even further down the screen, there are a few other options that you can check out…but typically at this point, I just press SAVE on the bottom of the screen and my meeting is set!
Let Folks Know About the Meeting!
Once you have your meeting set up, you’ll need to let folks know about your meeting. After you hit the SAVE option, a screen will pop up with your meeting details, if you scroll down a little, you’ll see an area that allow you to copy your invitation…
Choose this option to copy the invitation to your clipboard, and then paste it in an email or a message to your friends where they’ll get a link to your meeting.
If you’re hosting a PUBLIC meeting, you might want to post on social media…you can even set up a Facebook Even and add the links in the post for folks to join you!
Types of Meetings!
It’s time to really think out of the box!!! Yes, Zoom is amazing for staying in touch with colleagues, having one on one meetings, hosting a board meeting or an online course…everything you need for business meetings is at your fingertips.
However, at this moment and time in the world…think of how else you can use Zoom to connect with those you love.
- Host a Happy Hour with friends
- Set up a play date with your children and their buddies
- Spend Sunday afternoon with your family playing games or laughing with one another
- Join friends for a craft afternoon
- Have a tea or coffee date (and yes, I’ll be doing them every Thursday afternoon at 3:00 Atlantic…I’ll post reminders on my Facebook Page.
There are LOTS of ways we can connect with one another and while social-distancing, we need one another! Zoom is the perfect place to see your friends and family while you’re home alone.
If you have an idea for a fun virtual connection, add it in the comments below. If you have any questions at all…ask away!!!
And join me…for tea, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:00 Atlantic. I’d love to see you!