At your first meeting, you will need to help your group learn Zoom and get to know each other.

Make sure participants know where the video and audio mute buttons are. It is important that participants stay muted until they speak.  You will have to remind folks to mute and unmute themselves. You can override and do it yourself if you need to. If they are on a phone, *6[star 6] mutes and unmutes.

As a host, you can give them permission to mute their video if they step away from the meeting. Give people time to experiment! *A quick tip: Users can remain on mute and hold down the space bar to unmute when they speak – this is especially helpful for those with kids or barking dogs!

As the leader, you can change people’s display names if they are, say, using their spouse’s computer or calling in on a phone line.

If you know you have a weak internet connection, (During a storm, for instance) you should make another participant a co-leader. Do that in the Manage Participants. That way, if you lose connection, the meeting can go on until you get back. If you don’t have a very robust internet connection, you may have to ask family members to refrain from streaming or other internet intense activities during your zoom meetings.  If nothing else will work, turn off your video and see if that helps.

You need to know that people’s faces will appear on the screen in different orders, so you can’t “go around the circle.” Instead, call on one person and when they are done ask them to call on someone else.

Ask everyone to notice that there are two views (accessible at the top of the screen:  Speaker View and Gallery view. If they want to see the whole group, they need Gallery view.

Tell them where to find the chat button and how to have a general conversation. Ask each person to post the town of their congregation and watch the chat populate.

Tell them that they can also chat with one person and how to do that (by scrolling down from “everyone”.)  Ask the participants to practice chatting with one other person.

Show them how to raise their hand. It’s the little hand next to the chatbox. Leaders don’t have this… but attendees do. Take a little poll in your group, asking people to raise their hands and lower them (same button) in response to a few questions. (phone callers do not have this option and must interject their response.  Leaders should try to make sure to ask if phone callers have any comments periodically.)

Show them how to get out of the meeting at the end. (Leave Meeting in the lower right)

Here are two very helpful instructional videos: Intro to Zoom and Hosting a Zoom meeting