Zoom: What is it & How to Use Part 1

Part 1

Hey all, what’s up? For the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has incited social distancing policies which have caused many face to face interactions to transition to screen to screen. Zoom has come out as a key communication tool for many, and I think that both for the rest of the pandemic and afterwards it will be similarly important. In this post, I’d like to provide some instructions on how to use Zoom; this includes: how to make an account, how to set up a session, how to invite others to a session, and some of the tools / abilities that you have as a session host.

Table of Contents

  • Making an Account
  • Setting Up a Session
  • Abilities Within a Session
  • Share Screen
  • Ending a Session
  • Joining a Zoom Session
  • Zoom App
  • Conclusion

Making an Account

To make an account, visit the Zoom website by typing zoom.us into the address bar of your browser and clicking enter. 


Next, click on the orange box near the top right corner of your screen that says “Sign Up, It’s Free”


A screen that asks for your date of birth will appear. Enter your date of birth, and click the “continue” button.


A screen will appear that asks you to enter your email address.

If you have a Google Mail (gmail) or Facebook account, you can click on the corresponding option on the bottom half of the screen. You will need to sign in to your gmail or Facebook account as prompted by Zoom. After you sign in, your Zoom account should be all set!

If you do not have a gmail or Facebook account, enter your email address into the box labeled “Your work email address”. You will be prompted to follow the instructions of a confirmation email sent to the address that you entered into the box, so you will need to access your email’s inbox and follow the directions of the confirmation email sent from Zoom. After, your Zoom account should be all set!


Setting Up a Session

This next set of instructions will guide you through setting up a session so that you can talk to other people!

First, make sure that you are logged in to Zoom, and press the “schedule a meeting” button near the top right corner of your screen. 

  • The “Topic” and “Description” settings are used to give a name to the zoom session and to write a brief description of what will happen in the session, respectively. Note that a description is optional, so if you do not want to write one, you can leave that box blank.
  • The “When” setting allows you to determine when the meeting will take place. Enter the date, the time, and whether the time is AM or PM.
  • “Duration” controls how long the meeting is scheduled to take place.
  • “Time Zone” clarifies the “When” setting mentioned above. For instance, if you want your meeting to take place at 3:00 PM, and you live in the Pacific Timezone, then you would enter 3:00 into the middle box of “When”, PM into the rightmost box, and Pacific Time into the “Time Zone” box.

If you scroll down a bit, you will see the last of the settings for your session:

  • “Meeting ID” has to do with the ID that defines your Zoom session. You can leave this session on “Generate Automatically” for now.
  • “Security” includes a password, and a checkbox that determines if there will be a waiting room or not. A zoom waiting room is similar to the concept of a waiting room in real life, so you can check this box if you’d like this, or uncheck it if not. 
  • “Video” determines if you and your participants will have their webcams on or off.
  • “Meeting Options” just has some extra settings. “Enable Join Before Host” allows your participants to join the session before you. “Mute participants upon entry” mutes participants when they enter the session. “Record the meeting automatically on a local computer” records the zoom session. Check these if you would like for these conditions to apply.

Once you are done inputting your settings, press “Save”. The session will then appear as such:

  • To invite others to your session, click “Copy Invitation”. A box with the invitation will appear, and you can press the button “Copy Meeting Invitation”. To invite others, simply paste the meeting invitation into an email, text, or any other method that would make the invitation accessible to your desired participants. An invitation could look like this:

August Dolmatch is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: My Meeting

Time: Aug 1, 2020 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 728 3109 4499

Passcode: 2t1cUH

Finally, to start your meeting, press “Start this meeting”.

That’s it for part 1 of the Zoom tutorial, with part 2 coming soon with even more info!

Thanks for reading.

One thought on “Zoom: What is it & How to Use Part 1

  1. Zoom: What is it & How to Use Part 2 - Talk the Gap

    […] Part 2: If you haven’t already, make sure to check out part 1 here: http://talkthegap.com/zoom-what-is-it-how-to-use-part-1/ […]

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