Zoom meetings can be a busy and dynamic place to hang out with your fellow Woodturning360 members. People want to talk to each other and ask questions and join in – which is Great! The more members join in, the more inclusive and enjoyable to the club will be.
‘Zoom’ – A New Meeting Experience
You may well have heard of ‘Zoom‘ before in 2020. It has become the worlds most popular meeting platform for it’s ease of use and functionality. Woodturning360 meetings will be presented using the ‘Zoom’ environment.
It is important to note that you do not need a Zoom account to join a meeting. Zoom supports all major operating systems and mobile devices to ensure our members are able to join their meeting quickly and as easily as possible.
We have chosen Zoom as it is the most flexible and powerful for our needs. It will enable WT360 members to use their webcams or mobile devices to join in the meetings, see everyone else with their cameras on, and speak to each other in person. It is a great fun environment for our type of meeting. There is more information below
If you have not used Zoom before, we strongly recommend you download it and use their comprehensive support pages for help and advice if you need it. All in all though, it is very easy – and free. Remember, you do not need to sign up for one of the paid accounts!
Keeping the Peace
Given the sometimes chaotic nature of Zoom meetings with lots of people wanting to speak at the same time and ask the demonstrator questions, a Moderator will be employed to keep the peace and give each member wanting to engage in the meeting an opportunity to speak.
Joining a Meeting
If you have not joined in a Zoom meeting before, please read the information here to familiarise yourself with the installation and the use of the platform.
Please check the following things you need in order to get the best experience of the demo:
- Internet Connection: Ideally, you will need a reasonable internet connection strong enough to send and receive video and audio streams;
- Display Device: A suitable laptop or PC with webcam and microphone. The camera should be pointing towards you, so I can see you! If you can connect your device to your TV, that would be ideal so you can see the biggest picture possible.
- Webcam: If using a PC as your connection device, a separate webcam should be used so I can see you and interact more easily during the meeting.
- Audio: You need to be able to hear me, so make sure your volume is up.
- Club Meetings: A day or two before each meeting, you will be emailed the special link required to join together with any other information. For security, this link will be different each month.
- Demo Meetings: These are on the first Monday of each month. The joining link will be emailed to you up to 48 hours before the meeting. Keep the link safe and private. Demonstrations are purely for Woodturning360 members only.
- Important: Make sure you join the meeting using the name on your booking confirmation so you can be checked off the participant list. Entrance will not be permitted to any name not on the list.
- All you will need to do from your laptop, PC or mobile device is click the link, and if you have downloaded the software in advance, Zoom will do the rest for you.
- Meeting moderator will look after you and ask any questions that appear in the chat panel of Zoom.
- All you need to do is sit back with a drink, maybe a snack and enjoy the presentation.
The Zoom Platform
After you have installed Zoom and entered the meeting room, your screen will likely look like this. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with the features available for you. Please note this screen may look different on mobile devices or if you launch the meeting from a browser window (instead of installing the software) and not all features may be available.
- #1 – Audio and Video: Use these controls to switch your webcam and microphone on and off. It will likely work 100% as soon as you join the meeting. Please leave the audio on ‘Mute’ unless you wish to say something after raising your hand (see below)
- #2 – Participants, Chat and Reactions: Click the Participants button to toggle the panel (4) on and off. Click on the Chat button to view or hide the chat panel. The ‘Reactions’ button as emoticons and the important ‘Raise Hand’ icon used for asking questions.
- #3 – Speaker/Gallery View: At the top of the screen, in the bar, you will see a view of the participants and their webcam view if they have it switched on. To the top right of that, click the Gallery View button to see everyone’s webcams in a paginated gallery. Great fun! Just to the right of that is a square Full Screen button if you want to watch the demonstration in full screen mode.
- #4 – Participant Panel: Toggle this panel on and off at #2. It shows a list of everyone in the meeting. At the bottom of this panel, there are some controls: Faster/Slower, Yes, No, etc: More: Under the More button, there are a few, self explanatory features. Have a play!
- #5 – Chat Panel: Toggle this panel on and off at #2. Use this panel to chat with other participants in the meeting or ask a question. As chat can move quite quickly, it is better to ask a question by raising your hand so it is clear to me and the Moderator.
Zoom Meeting Etiquette
With this new technology and method of meeting, there are some things that we can all do to make the Zoom environment smoother and more enjoyable for everyone.
Here are some solid pointers we can all follow to make our meetings better.
Get to Know the Zoom Environment!
If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, it can be a little daunting at first. Take some time to get to know the environment and the functions – perhaps even have a meeting with a friend or three to explore it together. The help pages on their website at (www.zoom.us) are very comprehensive and have pages for every device.
Whilst you can use Zoom from a web browser, it works better if you download it to your computer or use the app on your device. It’s completely free to join a meeting – you do not need an account.
Check Your Settings Before Joining a Meeting
Using the Right Camera?
On your computer, double check that Zoom is connecting the to right camera.
Using the Right Microphone?
Check Zoom is using the correct microphone, and most importantly, check the microphone level. You can also set you microphone level using your computer settings. If using a mobile device, you probably won’t need to check either the camera or microphone.
Use your Real Name
When you join a meeting, enter your real name if you are prompted. You will be asked to rename yourself if you join the meeting and you are called ‘iPad’ or ‘Galaxy Tab A6’.
Mic On, Mic Off!
If you’re not speaking, mute your microphone. Background noise is very distracting to the person speaking and annoying to those listening. When joining a WT360 meeting, your microphone will be muted by default so you can just turn up and join in without disturbing the speaker.
Likewise, talking over the speaker blocks their audio for the others.
Keep headset mics away from your mouth and nose to avoid breathing sounds. Lavalier mics should be withn 6-8in or your chin.
Hosts can no longer unmute your microphone for you, so it is important you can do this yourself.
Got Something to Say? Raise Your Hand.
This might sound like something from school, but raising your hand to speak is the most polite way to join the conversation. There is a ‘Raise Hand’ located under the ‘Reactions’ button.
An experienced host (like those in WT360) will see your raised hand and come to you at an appropriate time. When invited to by the host, unmute your microphone to speak and then mute it again when you’ve finished. If you are using a computer (rather than a mobile device), you can use the Space Bar like a walkie-talkie – Press it to speak, release to mute.
Avoid waving at the camera for attention as your camera may not be visible to the Host.
Ready for your Close-Up?
There’s a good chance you’ll be using a webcam, or the one on your device. If you are comfortable with your face on camera, please use it so members can see who they are talking to and keep it looking at your face – The top of your head, the ceiling light or window don’t look as good!
Switch the camera off and mute the mic if you’re eating.
Keep Typed Chat ‘On-Topic’
The chat panel in Zoom should be treated differently to the one on YouTube. Please keep chat ‘on-topic’ and to a minimum so your Host can see any questions typed there for a speaker to answer. This also helps those using mobile devices as chat messages appear as a pop-up on their screen. Too much off-topic chat can also lead to missed questions. Use the Private chat off-topic conversations.
Get a Room!!
It is common for a small group of members to have a conversation with all their mics umuted which can dominate the meeting. Having things in common and sharing them is great, and turns into a ‘proper’ conversation.
If a group conversation between a small number of members begins to ‘take over’ a meeting, the Host will offer to set-up a Breakout room for you, or you can ask for one. This enables those members to continue chatting away from the main meeting. One of those members will be nominated to ‘Chair’ the room but will not have any of the controls a meeting host does.
Like most things in life, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out. Got a question that hasn’t been asked yet? Put your hand up and ask it! Still not sure? Ask it in the Chat window to either send a message publicly, or send the Host (or another member) a Private message.
It’s important that as many people as possible can join in the meetings and ask questions, give insight, feedback, feel part of the club and generally join in. Your Host (and Martin in particular) will be viewing as many cameras as possible and often invite people to speak if they haven’t already.
The best way to get comfortable using the Zoom environment is to speak! It may seem daunting, but once you get comfortable, it’s a piece of cake.
Still not sure? No problem at all – sit back and enjoy listening to and watching what’s going on.
Send Us Feedback
WT360 is a new kind of club, certainly for the Woodturning world so we’re finding our way as much as you may be. We’re doing what we feel is right, but if it’s not working somehow for you, send us a message via the Facebook page, or drop us an email by clicking HERE so we can look into it for you and see how we can make it better for everyone.