If you haven’t read the article on joining a Zoom meeting, you may want to do that first, just so we’re all on the same screen. 📄 Today’s article will show you how to begin hosting your own meetings. So, grab a beverage of choice, and let’s begin!
Create Your Account
Before you can host a meeting, you need to setup an account for yourself. While joining a meeting doesn’t require this step, hosting a meeting does. To start this process, go to the zoom website and activate the Sign Up, It’s Free button. You can also just Create your account with this link.
If you are doing this with a screen reader, you will need to contend with three combo boxes, one for month, day, and year of your birthday. However, these drop-down boxes don’t work the way you might expect. So here is what I recommend you do if you use a screen reader.
- Once on the Sign-Up page, press H to move to the heading that says “For verification, please confirm your date of birth”.
- If your using NVDA, press NVDA+SPACE; if JAWS, press JAWSKey+Z.
- Tab until you reach the Month combo box.
- Press SPACE to open the combo box and use your UP/DOWN ARROW keys to select your month.
- Tab and do the same for the day.
- Tab and do the same for the year.
- Now, if all three combo boxes are entered correctly, you should be able to tab to the Continue button.
Congratulations! 🎇 You just got through the toughest part of this process. If you are placed on the Work Email text box, you are on your way.
Next, just type your email address and press ENTER. Note that it doesn’t have to be an actual “work” email address, .
You will be sent an email with an activation link. Once you have confirmed that your email address really exists, you will be placed in a form where you can setup your name, password, and other options for hosting a meeting. Oh, hosting a meeting, yeah! That’s what we’re here for.
Interacting with Controls
Now that you have your account setup and configured, it’s time to start your meeting. The controls are generally labeled the same on all the platforms (i.e., Windows, iOS, Android, web, etc.). Just remember that you can join and host meetings on any topic you’d like.
When you open Zoom on a computer, you will tab your way through controls, pressing the SPACEBAR once you have found what you want. On mobile devices, you will flick from control to control. Once you have found the control you want to interact with, you just double tap with one finger.
Starting a New Meeting with Video Off
Pressing this button instantly starts a new meeting. You will be placed in the meeting right away.
New Meeting Option Dropdown
This option allows you to start a meeting with video on, start a meeting with your Personal Meeting ID (PMI), copy your PMI, and copy the meeting’s invitation.
Scheduling a Meeting for the Future
To do this, find the Schedule button. When you activate this button, you will be placed in the schedule meeting screen. Watch a video for scheduling meetings.
The first box you will land on is the Topic text box. By default, the topic will be your name followed by Zoom Meeting (i.e., Casey Mathews’s Zoom Meeting). Of course, you can type whatever you want here.
The first control for this is the day. If you’re using a screen reader on a computing device, you may hear something like “Start:Friday, August 7, 2020,10:00 AM”. Keep in mind that this first control only sets the day. To activate it press SPACE. You are placed into a grid where UP/DOWN ARROWS take you week by week, and LEFT/RIGHT ARROWS take you day by day. Press ENTER when you locate the day you want to schedule your meeting.
When you go to the time, you will need to use your UP and DOWN ARROW keys, but in this combo box, you will not need to press SPACE as you do for the date selector.
Next, you have two boxes that let you select the duration of the meeting. The first box is for the number of hours, and the second is for the number of minutes. Both boxes use the ARROW keys on the pc to navigate. So, if you wanted your meeting to be an hour and a half, you would select 1 hours in the first box, and 30 minutes in the second box.
If you check this box, then the time and date selections you may have made will disappear, and you will need to select a calendar such as Outlook or Google calendar. After you have made all of your meeting settings, and you activate the Schedule button, you will be taken to the calendar that you selected, where you can specify the recurrence options for your meeting. Here’s what to do depending on the calendar option you choose.
- When prompted, sign into Google. If you’ve already signed in, select your Google account.
- Allow Zoom to access your Google account. Google Calendar will create a calendar event with the Zoom meeting details.
- In the drop-down menu past the date and time options, select the recurrence options you want for your meeting.
- Finalize your meeting options and activate the Save button.
Note: You must have Outlook desktop installed on your computer for this to work. To set up a recurring Zoom meeting on the Outlook web app, check out the Zoom Scheduler add-in.
- Activate the Recurrence button.
- Change the recurrence settings, then activate the Ok button.
- Finalize your meeting options and Save the meeting in Outlook.
Choosing this radio button will allow you to download a calendar file that you can use to import into a calendaring program.
Zoom will automatically generate a meeting ID, and this is the recommended setting for security. You can use your PMI if you wish.
Require meeting password
This is also checked by default, and is also recommended for security. You can, of course, turn this off if you wish. The meeting password will be shown.
The next two options determine whether you want host video and participant video on. This is up to your meeting’s preferences.
Choose whether to allow users to call in via Telephone only, Computer Audio only, Both, and 3rd Party Audio (if enabled for your account). Setting this to both is recommended for best compatibility.
Dial in Options
This option will probably be set to United States, but you can press this button, and check each country that you would like to have a dial in number for. Zoom will automatically handle phone numbers for the countries that you select.
Advanced Meeting options
If you press this menu button, you will have an expanded list of options described below.
Enable waiting room
This checkbox is on by default. The Waiting Room feature allows the host to control when a participant joins the meeting. As the meeting host, you can admit attendees one by one, or hold all attendees in the waiting room and admit them all at once. You can send all participants to the waiting room when joining your meeting, or only guests, participants who are not on your Zoom account or are not signed in.
Enable join before host
This checkbox is not checked by default, and its good practice to leave this setting off.
Join Before Host allows attendees to join the meeting before the host joins or when the host cannot attend the meeting. If you select Join Before Host, then the participants can join the meeting before the host joins, or without the host.
If you do not select Join Before Host, the participants will see a pop-up dialog that says “The meeting is waiting for the host to join.” There is a button to login and start the meeting as the host.
Mute participants on entry
This isn’t checked by default. This checkbox controls if meeting participants are automatically muted when they enter the meeting. Depending on how you run your meetings, you may not want anyone to be talking when the meeting starts.
Automatically record meeting on the local computer
This checkbox will record the meeting to your local computer.
I am placing some download links and plugins for the Zoom meeting platform. For an always up-to-date list, Visit the Zoom Downloads page.
Zoom Plugin for Microsoft Outlook
The Zoom Plugin for Outlook installs a button on the Microsoft Outlook tool bar to enable you to start or schedule a meeting with one-click.
Zoom Plugin for IBM Notes
The Zoom Plugin for IBM Notes installs a button on the IBM Notes meeting schedule window to enable you to schedule a meeting with one click.
The Zoom Extension for Browsers allows you to start or schedule your Zoom meeting with a single click from your browser or within Google calendar.
A solution designed to modernize meetings spaces for an easy and intuitive way to collaborate – with Zoom’s world-class video conferencing capabilities.
Start, join, and schedule meetings; send group text, images, and push-to-talk messages on mobile devices.
Zoom Client Plugin for Sharing iPhone/iPad
The Zoom client plugin will be automatically installed when you try to share your iPhone/iPad screen to remote meeting participants during your Zoom meeting time.
Zoom Rooms for Conference Rooms and Touchscreen Displays
Install the Zoom Rooms (Windows) application to setup your conference room for one-touch meeting and calendar integration.
Controllers for Zoom Rooms
Install the Controller software to the iPad, Android or Windows Tablet used to control Zoom Room meetings in your conference room.
Zoom Plugin for Skype for Business
This plugin lets you start Zoom instant meetings and invite contacts directly from Skype for Business.
We Zoomed Through That!
As we wrap up, keep in mind that you may have more settings depending on your Zoom account level. If you have any questions or suggestions for other Zoom related articles, please drop me a comment below.
Come Zoom with me! 🦅