If You Have Never Used Zoom Before…

Zoom is a widely used and very user-friendly video conferencing tool.

Zoom is easy to use; you do not have to have a zoom account.  For UUCW meetings, you will receive an email invitation to the meeting, just click on the web link in the email.  If you’re a first-time Zoom user, you will be prompted to download and install Zoom on your computer or smartphone.

If you want to join a zoom meeting by telephone and not via a computer or smartphone, you can use the telephone number provided in the invitation, and the meeting ID number.  There is no “video” option for this method, but people will be able to hear you.

You also can sign up for your own Zoom account, which is free and lasts forever…you might use it for virtual personal meetings with your friends.  Just go to Zoom.us and create an account and experiment in advance.

For the best results, please go to Zoom.us and download the program and experiment with it at least one day before your first zoom meeting. (Note:  You can test your video and audio before your meeting at zoom.us/test.)

If you want to interact with others in a zoom meeting, you will need a computer camera. All laptops and smartphones have a built-in camera but many desktops don’t. Cameras are not very expensive. They clip on the top of your screen and you are good to go.

If you do not have a camera, try to upload a photo of yourself in your Zoom account profile. That way, other users will see that photo when they are communicating with the group.

Using a headset or earbuds may help improve the sound of the meeting.

For security reasons you may want to disable your camera when you are done with your Zoom call.


  1. Lighting! Position yourself so that most of the light is coming from in front of you (behind your monitor), instead of behind you. If you have a window behind you, shut the blinds. Otherwise, you will be backlit.
  2. Look at the camera. This takes a bit of getting used to since you want to look at the other participants’ faces, but try to look at the camera when you’re talking. Adjust your camera if it is too low or high. Your camera should be at eye level.
  3. If you can, hardwire your computer to the internet. Zoom works well on wireless but the quality is best on a solid wired internet connection. Otherwise, just make sure you have serviceable Wi-Fi.

For introduction and Tips for Group Leaders, click here.