Getting Started with Zoom

Many of us are familiar with Zoom meetings during the pandemic as a way of communicating with coworkers, family members, and friends that we would otherwise be able to see in person.  However, whether you are a seasoned Zoom meeting veteran or have never tried it before, we want provide you with the best experience possible.  To that end, here are some tips to help you along in your Zoom journey.

  • To get the best experience using Zoom, you need to use the client version of Zoom on your computer, tablet, or mobile device (phone). Features such as moving between breakout rooms to mingle with your biking buddies before the meeting, to voting for the new board of directors requires the Zoom client installed on your device.
  • Use the most current version of Zoom to ensure that you have access to the latest features! The number and breadth of features across Zoom and other virtual meeting platforms has exploded due to required working and schooling from home.  Current versions of software will also have needed security patches to protect you and your information as well!  The TCBC Annual Meeting will have some breakout rooms before the business meeting that will allow you to mingle with others.  The ability to move between rooms is dependent on having an up to date version of Zoom.  You will need a minimum version of 5.3.1 to use breakout rooms.

Download and install the most current version of the application here:  https://zoom.us/download

To install Zoom on your tablet or mobile device, please used the Apple AppStore or Google Play Store on your device to download the Zoom App.  The app is free.

Do I Need to Create a Zoom Account?

No.  You do not need to create a Zoom account to participate in meetings – it is only needed if you wanted to host meetings with others.

Creating a free Zoom account is very easy with an email address being the only thing needed.  You can also create an account by linking a Facebook or Gmail account so that you do not have to remember another password.  Our experience with Zoom is that you will not receive marketing and unsolicited email.  A free account would allow you to host meetings with up to 2 other participants for a maximum of 40 minutes.  But again, you are not required to create an account to attend a meeting.

Joining a Meeting

In most cases you will receive an email invitation in advance or a registration confirmation that will have information similar to below:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81787209521?pwd=SkM3eEwzSTdxMUVEQUxwYUZnTWZZZz09

Meeting ID: 817 8720 9521
Passcode: 122253

The easiest way to join a meeting is by clicking on the link included in the email.  However, you can use the Meeting ID and Passcode to join the meeting if you don’t have the email handy or perhaps will be joining a meeting on a secondary device.

When opening your Zoom app (depending on your device, this screen may be slightly different), when clicking on “Join” a meeting – you are presented with a box for the Meeting ID.  In the email above – we would enter in 81787209521 and then the next box is the name that we want to display in the meeting.  For the TCBC Annual meeting we recommend that you use your name and member number such as “John Doe – 1234”  Otherwise, just your name is fine.

After you click on “Join” you will be asked for the Passcode for the meeting.  In our example above, we would use 122253.

However, using the provided web link from the email that has the Meeting ID and Passcode built into the link is the easiest way to connect!

Basic Zoom Use in a Meeting 

Once you are in the meeting, the Zoom bar is your main area to interact in the app.  On the computer application, the Zoom bar can be accessed by moving your mouse to the bottom of the screen until the bar displays.  On a tablet or phone device, this may be at the top.  The bar on a client device looks like below:

Note: Not all icons will display for all users.  Icons such as “Record” is a host function and “Breakout Rooms” or “Polling” may or may not be displayed depending on the meeting you are participating in.

On the Zoom bar you can do things such as mute/unmute your microphone, turn your video on and off, open a chat window to ask questions or privately communicate with others and more.

Using Breakout Rooms

One feature that will be used during the TCBC Annual meeting is breakout rooms.  This allows for members to move in an out of room to socialize with a small group of other members.  You must have a current version of the Zoom software in order to use this feature.  If you are unsure if you have a supported version of the application, please go back to the top of this page for instructions on updating your application.

If the breakout rooms are open, when you click on the Breakout Rooms icon in the Zoom bar, you will see a window similar to below:

Here you will see the rooms along with who is in the room at the time.  You can then select a room to join.  Note: If you are on a tablet or phone (mobile device) you may only see a listing of the rooms, but not who is in the room.

To change rooms, you can simply click on the “Breakout Rooms” icon again and select a different room.

Some Best Practices with Zoom (and all online) Meetings

Here are some additional tips and tricks for a better Zoom experience

  • Use headphones, if possible, instead of just using the computer’s speakers. Some computers and devices are better than others in preventing feedback when on an online meeting.  This occurs when your microphone picks up the conversation being played out from the computer’s speakers.  This creates an echo of whoever is speaking and can be very disruptive in a meeting.  By wearing headphones, you eliminate the possibility of the echo occurring.  (Note:  During the business meeting the host will place all participants on mute to prevent feedback and background noise while the presenter is speaking.)
  • If headphones are not an option, another best practice is to mute your microphone unless you are speaking.
  • If you have two members of the same household on devices close to each other, having headphones or placing your device on mute is necessary otherwise you will get the dreaded “feedback squelch” that you hear at an event when a person with a microphone stands too close to the speakers. 

TCBC will continue to use Zoom meetings for items such as Ride Leader Training, Bike U, Board Meetings, and other committee meetings until it is safe and socially responsible to meet in person again.  We hope that this guide will help you become better acquainted with Zoom meetings to stay engaged with TCBC.