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Follow these tips to learn how to prepare for and host a Zoom meeting.

  • Plan Ahead
    • Before hosting a Zoom meeting, you first create and schedule the meeting. When scheduling, input the title, date, and time of the meeting.
    • Plan the meeting in advance, so you have time to notify attendees of the meeting.
    • If you are using the free version of Zoom, you will be limited to 40-minute meetings if there are three or more people on the call. Keep this in mind if you have a lot to cover in the meeting.
    • Although you can use smartphones or tablets, a laptop or computer is the best device to host your meeting, as it allows us to access various functions more easily.
  • Send the Meeting Information
    • Send the meeting invitation and information a few days before the meeting.
    • You should include the meeting link and Meeting ID number. If you have included a password with your meeting, be sure to send that out as well.
  • Provide Expectations
    • In your meeting invitation, you can also let meeting attendees know what to expect from the meeting.
    • If there is an agenda for the meeting, include that so people can have it during the meeting.
    • This email is also a space where you can include your expectations for the meeting, such as preparations or a set of rules.
      • For example, “In this meeting we will be discussing _______. Please be prepared to share your ideas and participate in the conversation.”
      • You can also consider sending this article which lays out some of the basic rules of being mindful of each other
    • Setting expectations beforehand will help the meeting run more efficiently.
  • Choose a Co-Host(Optional)
    • A co-host is someone who can help you run your Zoom meeting.
    • A co-host can admit latecomers to the meeting from the waiting room if you (the host) are already talking.
    • A co-host can also help monitor the chat or mute people who are being too loud.
    • If you have someone in mind that you would like to be your co-host, notify them ahead of time and have them join the meeting a few minutes before it starts.
    • To make someone a co-host on Zoom, you and the co-host will first have to join the Zoom call.
      • In the Zoom meeting, hover over the desired co-hosts’ image. There will be three dots in the upper right-hand corner.
      • Click on the three dots and select the “Make co-host” option.
      • You can always remove co-hosts as well.
    • Note: You must have this co-host function turned “on” to be able to use this function. Be sure to check this by logging into your account at https://zoom.us/, going to settings (specifically, the “In Meeting (Basic)” section), and turning the co-host setting on. 
  • Use Zoom Features
    • Utilize different Zoom features to help make your meeting run smoothly.
    • At the start of the meeting, advise the meeting attendees to mute themselves if they are not talking to limit any distracting background noises.
    • As the host of the meeting, you have the ability to mute people’s microphones if they are still on or are causing too much background noise.
    • You can also share your screen if there is something you want to share with the rest of the meeting attendees. This can be a meeting agenda or a presentation you have prepared for the meeting.
  • Be a Good Facilitator
    • Plan to wait a few minutes before starting your meeting so that everyone can join and get situated.
      • You can also let everyone say hi to each other and catch up quickly.
      • You can also consider starting the meeting 10-15 minutes earlier and advise people to join the meeting early. This can allow you to make sure all technical difficulties are resolved before the start.
    • Encourage attendees to participate either by asking questions or engaging in conversation.
      • You can also ask them to use the chat function as well if there are a large number of people and speaking all at once may not be the best idea.
    • Make sure everyone is included. If you notice some people are dominating the conversation, consider shifting the focus of the meeting back to the group or ask a quieter attendee to share their input.
    • At the end of your meeting leave some time for people to say goodbye to each other or ask any last-minute questions.
    • Instead of abruptly ending the meeting for everyone, let all of the attendees leave the meeting first.
      • This way, you make sure you do not cut anyone off by ending the meeting.

View our Zoom Resources Page