More than virtual backgrounds: Top 5 Zoom Meeting features!

Written by Louisa

28th July 2020

When COVID-19 hit, it massively disrupted daily life as we know it. With businesses and large corporations scrambling to manage remote teams and provide business continuity, it was soon realised that employees would need support in new ways of working. The immediate response of many companies was to roll out a digital platform like Zoom: ‘a virtual collaboration platform that provides multiple channels of communication and gives people the ability to collaborate in real-time using screen share and virtual meetings from the devices they already have.’

At Sei Mani we used our expertise in remote working to partner with a global management consultancy to enable them to use Zoom to maximise their efficiency and potential of the digital workplace. Working around the globe, we provided our signature on-demand learning service known as ‘genius desk’ with 24-hour cover 5 days a week. We delivered over 600 instructor-led training sessions, as well as mailbox and Slack channels answering over 2000 queries. Additional support included self-learning content of knowledge base articles and on-demand videos. It certainly was a busy time!

In our experience, we have found certain Zoom features are underestimated or people have limited ‘know how’ about their functionality. Let’s look at the top 5 features that will improve your Zoom Meetings experience:

1. Security settings

With the recent release of Zoom version 5.0 it now delivers the most advanced security enhancements to date with support for AES 256-bit GCM encryption, providing added protection for meeting data and greater resistance to tampering. It also has lock meeting, password protection for meetings, profile picture control, report user and enhanced data centre information settings so you can be sure your Zoom meetings will be safe and secure!

These enhanced features truly help to get the security savvy onboard. Knowing the security features are in place and how they can be managed for meetings really gained the user’s trust.

2. Breakout rooms

Breakout rooms enhance the user experience, allowing hosts to seamlessly divide their main meetings into smaller meetings, leaders to break up teams for group collaboration, and corporations to facilitate employee training and team building exercises. This allows employees to work more productively in smaller groups as needed. Each breakout room can have a co-host to facilitate the meeting or the host can be alerted via the ‘Ask for Help’ button, and the host can visit the breakout rooms to assist and answer questions if needed.

Whilst rolling out the recent Zoom project we found breakout rooms proved very useful for project teams to deliver synchronous course delivery and allowed participants to engage in important collaborative and team-based activities in a structured manner. Taking the in-person workshop online was a real game changer!

3. Whiteboarding and annotation

Whiteboarding enables meeting participants to draw on a blank canvas. It uses the same concept as screen sharing, except that you share a blank drawable surface on your screen which you can add more whiteboards to if you wish! It allows you and your meeting attendees to collaborate and express themselves in the same way you would on a real whiteboard, without all the nasty marker fumes and ink stains! You can even annotate over a shared document or website. Adding a new dimension to remote learning environments and can greatly enhance how you interact with your attendees!

4. The waiting room

The waiting room is just like it sounds: It’s a virtual staging area that prevents attendees from joining a meeting until the host is ready. Meeting hosts can customise the waiting room settings to gain further control over which attendees join a specific meeting and when. The host can also customise the title, and message that appears in the waiting room letting attendees know they are in the right place, as well as sending personalised messages to those waiting in the waiting room.

Waiting rooms are a video conferencing ‘best practice’ and are especially useful for protecting meetings that have external participants. This was especially useful for HR departments or hiring managers conducting numerous first-round video interview; Business Partners and Managing Directors holding all attendees in a waiting room to ensure that they can make final preparations and have everything set up ready for the meeting before they admit the attendees.

5. Recording your Zoom Meetings and webinars

Every Zoomer at one time or another will probably want to record their meetings or webinars. Zoom now has two types of recording: local recording and cloud recording. Local recordings are the recordings that come standard with all Zoom accounts and are saved to your device. Cloud recordings, a paid option, are saved to the Zoom cloud where they can be viewed, shared and downloaded. Both options provide standard MP4 video and M4A audio files that can be easily edited.

L&D and marketing teams were especially excited for this feature. Using cloud recordings, they were able to add registration pages to the meeting or webinar recording, meaning they could capture leads or make sure people attended mandatory training no matter where they were joining from.

The knowledge and expertise provided by our genius desk helped overcome users lack of knowledge in these areas by adding cognitive collaboration and tailor-made work around solutions to achieve game-changing results. This meant people could quickly deliver when their customers needed them, and the positive feedback received was unprecedented!

So, if you are using Zoom and want to stand out from the rest make sure you too have the ‘know how’ about these 5 important features.

Get in touch today to speak to one of our experts about how we can drive success with your digital workplace tools.

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