Zoom took the world by storm, seeing exponential growth during 2020 and 2021 when most everything in the world went remote. Zoom meetings allowed people to maintain some semblance of everyday life during the global COVID pandemic. It’s safe to say that Zoom is here to stay, and the program has remained a pillar of remote learning and working. But for the newly introduced, the interface can be a bit confusing. Luckily, Zoom intentionally makes its interface relatively simple. Let’s go through how to start a Zoom meeting as the host.
Step 1: Signing Up for Zoom
Before starting a meeting, you must sign up for Zoom. You can do this by visiting their website, clicking the sign-in/up menu, and selecting “Sign Up.” Zoom sign-ups are done with email and password, which may seem basic but effective and practical.
Enter the email and password you want to use with Zoom and verify your email. Then, if you already have an account, sign in.
How to Start a Zoom Meeting as the Host on Desktop
Now one thing that will differ between people is their platform. This is because different platforms use different UIs and commands. For example, personal computers–those running Windows, at least–have one of the simplest UIs for Zoom. However, both MacOS and Windows use the same basic structure and layout for their pages. So, whether you need to start a Zoom meeting on Mac or Windows, you’ll use the same instructions.
Step 2: Log Into Zoom
PC users will need to use the complete Zoom application, which you’ll be directed to download on the landing page once you’ve logged in. Install that app and run it. You’ll need to log in again, this time to the app, to bring up the home page for the app.
Step 3: Start a Call
To start a Zoom call on desktop, you’ll want to press the orange “Start Call” button. This button can be found in the center of the application and is quite eye-catching. You are sure not to miss it.
Step 4: Begin the Conference Call
After you press the “Start Call” button, Zoom will open a dialogue asking you what inputs you want to include in your call. You can start the call using just video, audio, or both (or neither, but if that’s the case, why are you starting a call?) The call will then start with the inputs you toggled on.
Step 5: Invite Participants Using Your Contacts
There are three ways to invite additional participants to your Zoom conference. The first is to use the contacts app on your computer. Now, to invite someone using this method, their contact details (email or phone number) must be saved to the contacts app on your computer. So, this may not be the best way for the average person to invite someone.
Step 6: Invite Participants Using Desk Phones
Desk phones may be on their way out of usefulness, but Zoom has you covered if this is something your company uses! You can also use desk phones to invite people to your Zoom call. When you use the desk phone interface, you can select assigned phones to call to start your Zoom call.
Step 7: Invite Participants Using Email
Finally, you can invite participants using their email addresses. This is the final screen available in the participant invitation tab. Zoom has integration for your default email protocol application, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail.
Step 8: Invite Participants Using Zoom Link
If your participants can’t be invited with any of the default integrations for Zoom, Zoom also allows you to copy the invite link for the call to your clipboard and disseminate it that way. The button to copy the conference link is in the bottom left-hand corner of the invite window.
Here is a step-by-step video for further reference:
How to Start a Zoom Meeting as the Host on Mobile
Similar to PC and Mac, iOS and Android have essentially the same instructions for starting a Zoom call. We think this is an excellent design choice as it makes it easy for people to integrate large groups into one conference call, even when parties are using different platforms. The following instructions should work for both iOS and Android, and the layouts for the two applications are essentially the same.
Step 1: Log in to Zoom
Just as with PC and Mac, you’ll need to log in to the Zoom platform to start a call as the host. Only people who have Zoom accounts can start calls. Those without Zoom accounts can only join calls. The login screen for Zoom mobile looks very similar to PC and Mac, just vertical.
Step 2: Start a Meeting
Unlike Zoom for PC and Mac, Zoom mobile uses scrolling toolbars at the top of the screen. The blue “Start a Meeting” button is the first option in the main toolbar. You can scroll the toolbar to see more options, but to start a meeting, you just need to tap the Start a Meeting button.
Step 3: Begin the Conference Call
Once the call is started, you’ll see your inputs and a toolbar at the bottom of the screen. You’ll want to find the “Participants” button. There should be a 1 next to the participant’s button indicating that you are live in the call. Clicking this button will bring up an additional dialogue with an invite button at the bottom of the screen.
Step 4: Invite Participants Using a Text Message
The invite page for mobile is a scroll list of all possible integrations, plus the ability to copy the link. Your phone will link Zoom to all of your text messaging apps, including alternate apps like TextNow. You can use these to deliver the link to your Zoom meeting to people.
Step 5: Invite Participants Using Desk Phones
You can also invite using desk phones in the Zoom mobile app. You’ll need to scroll down past the other options to reach the bottom of the list where the Desk Phone option lives.
Step 6: Invite Participants Using Email
Zoom mobile is also integrated with email apps and will connect to any email app on your phone including Gmail, Outlook, and ProtonMail. You can use this to send Zoom links directly to your email contacts.
Step 7: Invite Participants Using the Invite Link
Scrolling down to the bottom of the list will bring you to the Copy Invite Link option which you can use to send the link to anyone who is not covered by Text Message, Desk Phone, or Email.
Why Do I Want to Start My Zoom Meeting as the Host?
Starting a Zoom meeting as the host gives you administrative privileges over the meeting and allows you to make extra judgment calls when the meeting begins. Doing things like setting a password or adding and removing people from the call can be helpful when working with others to create something together. If you’re unsure how to use these features, you’ll want to get comfortable with them before your meeting to ensure an even and steady workflow.
Zoom hosts can also designate further roles and permissions within the client to allow collaboration from all team members while also controlling the situation from behind the scenes. If you’re unsure if you’ll do well in this role, you might want to see if someone else–someone more tech-savvy, perhaps–can run the meeting for you so that it goes smoothly.
Scheduling a Zoom Meeting
If you have a meeting coming up, you can schedule the meeting in advance. This command creates the room you’ll use and leaves it empty to allow you to populate it during the meeting. It also allows you to create a waiting room where people can mill around while waiting for the meeting to start.
To schedule a meeting, you’ll want to click on the “Schedule” button, which will allow you to create a room in advance and designate a waiting room if you’d like. When using the waiting room feature, only users you permit to join the room can access the room when the meeting starts. From here, you can schedule the date and time of the meeting, and the room will be made in advance, allowing you to join the room when the meeting is set to take place.
Setting up a Zoom meeting can be an important part of your job, so learning to do it easily is crucial. Luckily, Zoom maintains a consistent interface that’s easy to pick up and learn. However, there are many things you can learn that can improve your Zoom experience and bring life to many collaborative projects!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Girts Ragelis/Shutterstock.com.