We are all getting better at Zoom! People are getting on more easily and are learning how to mute and unmute themselves easily. Chatting is getting easier. Meetings are happening all over and we are able to enjoy the benefits of this whole virtual thing. We can see the quilts really closely and we are in charge of our own volume! No more yelling “I can’t hear you”! or “Use the microphone!”
If you haven’t used Zoom a lot you may want to try a Zoom test meeting. Go to zoom.us/test and start a meeting. It will want you to download the Zoom app, either on your computer or tablet. We are going to be using Zoom for the foreseeable future so now might be the time to download it. But you can also select “join from your browser”, and run it without the app. You don’t need a Zoom account, but it is free and easy. And it will remember your virtual background and always “touch up your appearance” if you select that. When you are in your test meeting, check and see where the mute and un-mute buttons are, where to stop and start video, where to find the Chat section and how to do Reactions. These very important buttons are in different spots depending on which device you are using. So please take a minute to find them and write down where they are. On tablets, you might have to touch the centre of your screen to get them to pop up. Now is a good time to find the icon to switch from gallery view to active speaker.
For a quilting guild meeting , where you want to see the presentation and the quilts, think about using your biggest screen possible. A laptop should allow you to see 25 others, a tablet might be limited to 9. You can do a Zoom meeting on your smart phone, but wouldn’t it be great on your smart TV? You have more controls available on the bigger devices.
If you are having connectivity problems, like your video is blurry or your sound goes in and out, get as close to your modem/router as possible! You won’t be the only one in your laundry room, I can guarantee it! It is also possible to plug your laptop or tablet into the router for an even better connection. You will just need an Ethernet adapter cable. And possibly a virtual background! More on that below!
The Zoom platform is set up for horizontal display, so it is best to tip your tablet sideways, so you can see the full screen view. Laptops are already set for this. You will need to have a full battery or be able to plug in.
What if you feel self conscious and don’t want people seeing your face during the meetings? No problem! You can put in a profile photo, of you or a quilt or anything, and if you don’t turn your video on, people will only see that! Here is a link on how to do it! You will need a Zoom account
You can also set a virtual background, so others don’t see your messy room behind you. You can pick one of the Zoom photos or use one of your own. If you are interested in this, just google “How do I do a Zoom virtual background on my _________ (iPad or whatever you have)? Or check out the Zoom Help Section here.
For Show and Share, please send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Take your photos sideways (landscape) if using your phone or tablet. Try to use natural light. Zoom in for some closeups! And send your photos the largest size possible. Please submit your photos by the Sunday prior to the meeting. Your Zoom Team has lots to do to get ready for each meeting so please give them time to get the slideshow ready. You will be asked to un-mute yourself to speak about your quilt when it comes up.
During the meeting, we will mute everyone. So we don’t hear every cough and dog bark. And so that you can sew along on your machine while the meeting is going, without disturbing anyone! But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear from you. Simply un-mute to ask your questions. We will have one of our Zoom Team Members monitoring the Chat comments, so if you have a question and you don’t want to interrupt, type it into the Chat box and we will get to it. You can ask the guest speaker questions this way!
This is a lot of words, but every one is important and is here so we can have awesome Zoom meetings! See you on Monday night!