Using Zoom like a Pro: Quick Tips for Higher Education Administrators

The Vemo team is working remotely and has been relying on Zoom to communicate with our partners and with each other. We’re taking a quick pause on our regular  Vemo Insights coverage to answer some key questions about using Zoom efficiently and effectively. Whether you’re a professor leading 500+ student lectures over Zoom or an administrator in back-to-back Zoom meetings all day long, we hope these tips will help you harness the full power of Zoom. 

Where can I find Zoom backgrounds?

If you’re finding it a challenge to find a private, distraction-free place to hold video meetings, consider adding a Zoom background image. From the Zoom settings menu, select “Virtual Background.” Zoom has a handful of stock images, but if you want more options, download an image from one of the following sites and then hit “+” icon to add it to your Zoom Background Library: 

  • Canva has many options and, if you want to take it to the next level, lets you build custom backgrounds for your school or company
  • West Elm specializes in backgrounds that feature real, impeccably designed homes 
  • The Disney compilation lets you add a touch of magic from their resorts and parks, and their Pixar collection lets you dive into your favorite movies
  • Star Wars fans can join Zoom from the Millenium Falcon

Extra tip: For a subtle filter on your video display, you can check the “Touch up my appearance” box in the Zoom video settings menu. This feature applies an imperceptible soft focus to your display, giving you a more polished appearance on video calls.

How do I quickly mute my mic and/or video (even when I’m not paying attention)? 

From time to time, you may need to quickly mute your mic or turn off your video. If you go to Zoom settings and click “Keyboard Shortcuts,” you can check “Enable Global Shortcuts” for things like muting your mic and/or video. This allows you to toggle your mic or video even when Zoom is not in focus. 

Extra tip: By default, you can hold your spacebar to mute/unmute your microphone when the Zoom app is in focus. 

How do I see all participants? 

Zoom defaults to Speaker View, which highlights whoever is speaking in a large panel and minimizes the rest of the attendees in small boxes at the top. The other viewing option, “Gallery View,” lets you see everyone in the meeting at the same time. To turn it on, click the “Gallery View” button in the top-right corner of the screen during your next Zoom call. 

It’s still not working—can you give me more instructions? 

Absolutely! Zoom has a series of guides you may find useful: