Zoom tips


ACAL often uses Zoom for meetings and events and, often forced by COVID, many people are now familiar with it’s operation. Here’s some reminders about ACAL may use it.

How to take part (typically)

Prior to the event you’ll be emailed a link which is for your exclusive use. To join the event you will need to click on the link and follow the onscreen instructions.

The link may provide a passcode or you may be directed to a ‘waiting room’, from where you can be admitted by the host at their discretion.

Pre-event checkup

It is your responsibility to check your Zoom set up well in advance of the webinar.

You’re urged to test your settings and obviously it’s best if it’s the same device and service you intend to use while participating in the webinar.

Audio test

Video test

You can also join a ‘Test meeting’ at https://zoom.us/test

During an event

The same links show how to test and adjust audio and video during the event.

On show

You may be visible via video and the event may be recorded so consider that when you prepare to join.


We aren’t experts but some simple steps can make a far more effective presentation – good sound (use a headset, simple lighting (avoid shadows on your face), plan what needs to be said, practise moving between screens if screen-sharing, and consider these …

  • Choose a simple background (I’ve seen a person sat in front of a symmetrical abstract picture in their lounge room, they looked like a weird shape was coming out of their head)
  • Avoid distracting backgrounds (I’ve seen a Zoom from the presenter’s lounge room a ceiling fan in the background cause a flicker of a shadow over his right shoulder. The flicker was reflected in the glass fronted cabinet behind his left shoulder)
  • Yes, by all means choose your own simple background – but fancy holiday shots – like a busy Hong Kong street at night meant the presenter became a feature of the street!
  • The event may be viewed on various size screens – large desktop to modest smartphone. A PowerPoint presentation that is readable on a desktop might be much too small on an iPad an unreadable on a phone.
  • It is possible for people to test their set up – and they should be urged to do so.
  • Alert people if the session is being recorded.
  • Presenters should be strongly encouraged to rehearse – and record the rehearsal, may be for their personal training but also as a backup if the connections fail during the actual event.
  • If a waiting room is being used, remember you may need to admit people, including later comers.
  • Start on time, try and avoid your first word being ‘Um’.
  • Consider having a ‘filler activity’ if you want to wait for people to join.
  • A facilitator means the presenter can concentrate on their presentation while the facilitator manages the waiting room, questions in chat and may be the screen sharing.