Zoom & Virtual Meetings: the What, How, and HELP!

Welcome to the pandemic and the age of “virtual” everything! I am sure that many of you have already had cause to dive right into Zoom for meetings, or to maintain contact with family and friends.

 

This article is for the rest of you who haven’t used Zoom and feel skeptical about even trying it. Don’t you dare tell me that you can’t figure it out, because it’s easy, and I’m going to help you!

First of all, what the heck is Zoom? It is just a fancy word for a conference call using a computer, smart phone, or just a regular old telephone. Webcams and microphones can be used but are not required to participate.

If you want to try it out before the day of the annual meeting, shoot me an email or leave me a voicemail and we can schedule a quick practice session.

I will be available by phone on the day of the annual meeting starting at 9am, to try helping anyone who still can’t get on.

Join by Computer

  • Click the Zoom link that will been sent to you in an email, and Zoom should automatically and quickly download to your computer.

  • In Downloads on your computer, click Zoom_launcher.exe. Zoom should direct you to this with a large orange flag.

  • Once Zoom has launched, a screen should pop up asking for your name. This will identify you during the meeting. You’ll also have to enter the password.

  • If it is after 9am, you should now be part of the meeting. Click the green button that says “Join Audio By Computer”.

  • If you have a webcam, you can click on the camera icon to turn video on, or leave it off if you prefer. Click the microphone icon to mute or unmute yourself.

Join by Tablet or Smartphone

  • If you choose to use your tablet or smartphone, be sure to download the app ahead of time. It’s called “Zoom Cloud Meetings”

  • Once you have downloaded the Zoom app, follow the “Join by computer” instructions above.

Join by Telephone

  • First, dial the phone number provided in the Zoom email. Don’t have email? Call me a week before the meeting to get the phone number to dial into the meeting. My number is (603)438-7482. Leave a message and I’ll call you back.

  • When prompted, dial the meeting ID number that is also provided.  

  • If you find your phone has been automatically muted press *6 to unmute when you wish to speak.

Troubleshooting

Okay, Kim, I followed all the steps and it's still not working. Now what?!

I'm on my computer but my video isn't working.

Do you have a webcam? If you don't, we won't be able to see your face, but we can still talk to you. A lot of people choose not to use the video function, because they look like Grizzly Adams after 4+ months of COVID isolation. No judgement here! 

I definitely have a webcam, but it's not working. 

Don't forget to click on the camera icon on the lower left of your screen to enable video. Make sure any other programs that might use your webcam (like Skype or Google Hangouts) are closed.

 

Check to make sure your webcam is enabled: 

On a Mac 

  1. Click the apple icon on top left corner > Select System Preferences from the menu.

  2. Click Security & Privacy > Click Privacy tab.

  3. Click Camera in the left hand column, then tick the box next to Google Chrome.

*If you don't see Camera or Google Chrome option, please update your MacOS to the latest version. 

On a PC 

  1. Open Start and click on Settings.

  2. Select Privacy.

  3. Select Camera tab from the left. Under Allow apps to open your camera move the toggle to On, and underneath using the on or off toggle choose which apps can use your camera. If unsure, turn them all on it doesn’t have any negative effect on the PC.

I never got an email with the Zoom link and password!

Check your spam folder! I probably sent it around September 13th,2020. If you can't find it, email me at kkgrimy@yahoo.com with the subject: NEWC ZOOM LINK and I will reply to your email with the link. 

I can't hear anything, and people can't hear me. 

Leave the meeting and join again, making sure you select "Join with Computer Audio". Don't forget to click on the microphone icon on the lower left of the Zoom screen to unmute yourself. Confirm that your microphone and speakers are enabled. If you don't have a webcam, you probably don't have built-in sound, so just call in on a phone for audio if you don't have a headset. If the steps below don't work, call in instead.

On a Mac:

  1. Click on your Apple menu in the top-left corner and select System Preferences.

  2. Double-click the Sound icon.

  3. Click on the Input tab to see your microphone list.

  4. Click on the microphone you want to use. ...

  5. Adjust Input volume by moving the slider to the right.

On a PC:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Sound.

  4. Under the "Input" section, click the Manage sound devices option.

  5. Under the "Input" section, select the microphone.

  6. Clear the Disable option to enable the device.

 

Everyone keeps freezing and I got kicked out!

Check your wifi or cell signal. That's probably the culprit. Internet connections were taxed during the pandemic with all the kids home-schooling online, and connection speeds definitely slows under those conditions. If schools in your town are not open in September, you may experience freezing. Just keep logging back in to the meeting if you have the patience. 

I am dialing in from an old cell phone or a land line. Why isn't the password working? 

If you're calling in from a telephone, you have to dial in the meeting ID # and then when you're prompted, dial the passcode which is right below the meeting ID in the email where the phone numbers are listed. Can't find the email? Call me. I'll give you the info. 

I want to use my computer or smart phone, but it's slow and I can't get it to work right! 

Unless your software is really outdated, (in which case you should either update, or use a regular phone) the best advice I can give you is to RESTART YOUR DEVICE. This solves so many technical problems with no real explanation. It might solve yours too! 

Send dues to:
New England Woodcarvers, Inc

4 Cross Street

Medfield, MA 02052

USA
17 Clearbrook Drive
Belchertown, MA 01007, USA
NewEnglandWoodcarvers@gmail.com