Here's a guide on how to get started with Zoom and some tips on how to make it work better. So that others can see and hear you well, but also for you to have the best experience possible, e.g., set up the room, make it comfortable and how we can interact with each other.
You will of course need a computer/laptop and Internet connection, and you also need an internal or external camera (webcam), and it’s good to have a headset. You can use a mobile phone as well, but it is not something I recommend for a whole weekend, because it is difficult to see when I have a theory session, and it is also difficult to see everyone who participates.
Three easy steps to get started
1. Download and install
Zoom is free to use. Although it is possible to run Zoom via a web browser, I strongly recommend that you download and install it as a program on your computer/laptop. Here you can download "Zoom Client for Meetings":
2. Click on the link
When it is time for the course to start, click on the link you received in your payment confirmation or via e-mail. You will then come to a web page where you click on "Join" and then select "Open Zoom Meetings" in the dialog that appears. Select "Join with Video" and wait until you are "admitted".
3. Turn on the microphone
When we start, your microphone is probably turned off. When you want to say something, click on the symbol in the lower left corner to turn on the microphone (unmute). Click the same symbol again to mute the microphone.
If you do not see any symbols, you may need to hover your mouse over the bottom edge to make the symbols visible.
As simple as that.
Please open Zoom a little time before the course starts so you can test that the sound (microphone and speakers) and the webcam works. To do this, click on the symbol for microphone and camera at the lower left corner of Zoom and make sure you have selected the correct sound and camera. Then select "Test Speaker & Microphone" and "Video Settings".
Or you can a few days before the course starts, visit a test page to check that everything works: https://arcada.zoom.us/test
On Zoom's Support pages you can watch video clips that are just over a minute long about How to Join a Zoom Meeting and Joining & Configuring Audio & Video in Zoom
How to make Zoom work better
Most laptops have a built-in camera, but if you think you will be in many Zoom meetings (or, e.g., Skype), you may want a better camera with, e.g., HD quality (1080p). Or you have an older laptop or desktop computer with no camera at all, and you need to buy one. I personally have a Logitech C920, which I think works very well. There is be a big difference compared to the built-in one I have on my laptop.
The sound is better with a headset because otherwise, the speaker’s sound can go into the microphone and create an echo. My experience is also that the microphone in a headset is better than in the computer. You can use the same headset as you have for your mobile phone. If you share a computer, you can sit next to each other and share a headset or have a cord with two sockets so you can have a separate headset. But I prefer only to have the sound in one ear (especially if I am talking at the same time) because otherwise, it feels like I am in a "bubble".
It’s good to not have any disturbing noises in the background. But sometimes, there is background noise that we can not control, for example, something that happens outside our window, and then it is good if you can turn off the microphone when you are not talking. To do this, click on the lower left corner’s symbol to mute and unmute the microphone or use the shortcut Alt + A for PC or the Command key (⌘) + Shift + A for Mac.
Make sure you have enough light. There are special lamps to buy, e.g., LED ring light, but it is usually enough to light up the room with the ceiling light or sit by a window. However, do not sit with a window behind you. You will then only be a dark silhouette with a bright window behind you. If you want a little cozier lighting, you can just turn off the bright lights while you do the exercises.
How you can enhance your experience
I guess you will be in one of your homes or a home where you live together. I recommend making the room beautiful and cozy, for example, with nice pillows, a bowl of fruit, and lit candles or in a way that means cozy for you.
Make sure no one will disturb you. As I mentioned earlier, this is important so that both you and the other participants can feel safe.
You can either arrange a place where you have a computer in the same place as where you do the exercises (e.g., in bed or on a mattress on the floor). When you do the exercises, you can choose if you want to be seen in Zoom (for example, to get feedback from me) or if you want to be more private by not having the camera aimed at you when you do the exercises. Or simply turn off the camera and microphone by clicking on the two symbols at the lower left corner (but still have the sound on to hear my voice).
Or you can have two places. One where you do the exercises and one where you have the computer. So that you can sit comfortably on chairs with the laptop on a table. But it is good if you have these two places in the same room so that you can hear my voice from the computer. Then I can guide you, and you will hear when it's time to come back to Zoom.
Make it comfortable
During the course, we will do exercises where it is important to sit relaxed and be able to lean back. So it would be good if you could be prepared for that. There will be some sitting during the course, so make sure you can sit comfortably and vary the sitting position. It is also possible to stand or lie down. Feel free to wear comfortable clothes that make it easier to move. It can be nice to have something to drink and, e.g., some fruit available. We will have breaks together, but you can also take a break at any time, go to the toilet, drink, eat or stretch. The course is for you, and it is your needs that come first.
How we can to interact with Zoom
On the first evening, we will, among other things, go through different ways we can interact with each other on Zoom. Below you can read about it to be more prepared.
Interrupt or raise your hand
If you do not hear or understand what I am saying, feel free to interrupt. If, on the other hand, you want to wait until I or someone else has finished talking, you can instead raise your hand. That is, simply hold up your hand or wave it a little if you want to say or ask something. Or you can use the "raise hand function" found in Zoom. Then a hand symbol will appear next to your name. You can find it by clicking on "Participants" at the bottom, and then a new menu opens where you can select "Raise hand" at the bottom. You can also use the Alt+Y shortcut for PC or Option+Y for Mac to raise or lower your hand.
If you want to ask something or share
To ask a question or share something, you can either raise your hand (see above) or write the question in the chat (see below) or just write a question mark (?) or an exclamation mark (!) in the chat.
You can access the chat by clicking on "Chat" at the bottom of the Zoom window. Besides what I mentioned above, you can also use the chat to share a link, a book you recommend, or something you mentioned during your sharing. That way, we do not have to take time to make notes about it during the course. But we can instead compile different tips so that those who want can check these out after the course.
You can also send private messages to each other that cannot be seen by the rest of the group.
The video layout
There are different ways to display Zoom where you can choose how you see my and the other participant’s screens. But first, make sure you have the Zoom program itself in full-screen mode.
All screens have the same size. This view is probably the best to use when we have discussions.
Active Speaker View
This view will have a large window which shows the person who is currently speaking, while the other people have smaller windows. This option fits better when we go through the theory or have sharing. Make sure you have your microphone turned off (muted) when you are not talking.
If you want to focus on a window (regardless of who is talking), you can select a window and click on the three dots in the upper right corner and select "Pin Video", and in the same way, you can later unpin.
Share my screen
I will sometimes share my screen. Then you will see the same thing that I see on my laptop. I use this view when I go through the theory. In this way, I can, for example, use programs on my laptop to make presentations, view pictures, write text or even draw as on a regular whiteboard.
More information about the different video layouts on Zoom’s Support page:
Feel free to ask
If you have questions about Zoom, we can sort these out when we start the course, or you can contact me before we start (see below).
Mobile: +46 722 81 11 78