Beginners Guide: Preparation for a Zoom Meeting

To use the Zoom meeting on a PC or Apple computer we recommend downloading and installing the Zoom application/program in advance of the meeting. For smartphones and Kindles go to the App Store (Google Play for Android and Apple Play for iPhones, or the Amazon app store for Kindle) and follow usual procedures to install the Zoom app. It’s free. For tablets it will depend on the type, O/S, etc.

With all NWSGS monthly and some SIG meetings, you must pre-register for the meeting with a link provided on the website or in an email. Once registered with Zoom, you will receive an email from Zoom with a link to the meeting. You need this link to access the meeting.

Equipment Needed: At a minimum, you will need speakers, earphones, or earbuds to listen to the presentation. If you would like to ask questions, you will need a microphone. Most modern devices have these built-in or came equipped.

If you do not have either speakers or a microphone but have an audio jack here are some suggestions. You can buy a single or stereo portable speaker or a headset with or without mic with the correct connector plug or try earbuds with a three-pole plug (to listen only) for under $10 at Big Lots, or Dollar store (least expensive)., or more expensive over $10 at Amazon, Best Buy, Office Depot, etc, For the NWSGS meetings we will also have the ability for you to dial in using your phone for audio connection vice using your computer audio equipment. I recommend using the computer audio if possible since unless you have a speakerphone holding it to your ear for an hour can get tedious.

Downloading and Installing the Zoom Application

Process for installing Zoom application on a Mindows PC is as follows (should be very similar for an Apple/MAC)¡

  1. Open a web browser and type into the address line of the browser, then hit enter
  2. The Zoom Download Center page should open, click on blue Download just below “Zoom Client for Meetings”

3. Click on Save the file, this will cause the ZoomInstaller.exe file to be saved into the computers Download folder.

4. Open the Download folder and run the ZoomInstaller (double click it to run), may ask for permission to modify the computer, if so select yes.

5. After the Zoom application is installed, find it in the list of installed programs¡ click on Start and scroll all the way to the letter “Z” part of the installed applications list. You may want to move it to the start area (if Windows 10) or pin to the taskbar for future use (optional).

Join a Meeting

Join a Meeting via URL

  1. Click the Meeting URL link provided in the email confirmation from Zoom.
  2. If necessary, follow the prompts to download and install the Zoom desktop application.

NOTE: You will need to download and install the Zoom desktop application to use meeting chat and participate in polls.

Join a Meeting via the Zoom Web Portal

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to the Zoom Web Portal at
  2. Click Join (Connect to a meeting).
  3. Enter the Meeting ID into the field. The meeting ID is the 9, 10, or 11-digit number located in the meeting invitation or at the end of the Zoom meeting URL.
  4. Click Join.
  5. If necessary, follow the prompts to download and install the Zoom desktop application.

NOTE: If the host has decided not to allow participants to join before the host, you will see a message appear on your screen and you will automatically join the meeting when the host arrives.

The Zoom meeting window is displayed. A menu bar containing participant tools appears at the bottom of the Zoom meeting. This menu bar will appear and disappear as you roll your mouse over the area. If a meeting is being recorded, an icon will appear at the top of the window.

Figure 1: Participant meeting interface with no video or screen sharing displayed.

NOTE: Mobile app interfaces will appear differently but contain most of the same functionality. For help with using Zoom on iOS and Android devices, visit the Mobile

Mute/Unmute Audio and Adjust Audio Options

Using audio in a Zoom meeting requires you to have access to either a microphone through your computer or a telephone. Please be aware that the host can control participant audio in a meeting. This means the host can mute and unmute you at any time. Check the icons in the menu bar and the participants panel to determine your current audio setting.

  1. To unmute yourself and begin talking, click the Unmute button {microphone) in the bottom-left corner of the meeting window.
  2. To mute yourself, click the Mute button {microphone). A red slash will appear over the microphone icon indicating that your audio is now off.
  3. To test your computer microphone and speakers, click the up arrow to the right of the microphone icon and select Audio options.

NOTE: You can switch to a different audio input device using the Audio Options button. If you have joined the meeting via computer audio, be sure to leave computer audio before dialing into the meeting via the phone.

Send Messages with Chat

You can send a chat message to all participants in the meeting or privately to specific individuals.

NOTE: When you enter a meeting, any messages posted in chat prior to you joining the meeting are not visible to you in the chat panel.

Send a Message to Everyone

  1. Click the Chat button in the menu bar to open the Chat panel.
  2. Type your message in the Text box at the bottom of the panel.
  3. Press Enter to send the message.
  4. To save the chat transcript, click the More button at the bottom of the chat panel, and select Save Chat.

Figure 2: Save chat option selected from the More button at the bottom of the chat panel

Send a Private Message

You can send a private message to a single person by clicking the down arrow in the To: field and selecting the person’s name from the list. The person’s name will stay selected until you click the down arrow again and select Everyone.

Share Your Screen

Both hosts and participants can share their screen in Zoom. However, participants cannot share if the host is already sharing, or if the host has disabled this feature for participants.

  1. Click the Share Screen button on the menu bar.
  2. Select the desktop or application you would like to share or select whiteboard to share a whiteboard. Selecting Desktop will allow you to share everything on your desktop.
  3. Click the Share Screen.

When sharing your screen, the menu bar moves to the top of your screen and disappears until you roll your mouse over the area. Additional tools, such as Chat,

Remote Control, and Audio options are located under the More button. To reposition the menu bar, click and drag it to another location on your computer.

Figure 4: Screen sharing menu bar in expanded view

  • If you receive a chat message while you are screen sharing, the More button will blink. To view the chat message, click the More button and select Chat from the list.
  • Click the Annotate button to open the annotation menu. Use the draw tools

{arrows, shapes) to direct participants’ attention to an area of your screen or use the text tool to type notes on the screen.

  • Click the X in the upper right of the annotation menu to close the annotation menu.
  • Click the More icon to view additional options.
  • Click Stop Share in the small menu bar to stop sharing your screen.

NOTE: The host can control who can share their screen, therefore this feature may be disabled in your meeting.

Leave a Meeting

  1. Click the Leave Meeting option in the menu bar to exit the meeting.
  2. Click the Leave Meeting button in the dialog box.

Zoom Meetings

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