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, 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

Published 9/28/2020