There is a lot of uncertainty right now. So many things about life as we know it have changed in the last few weeks, and for many of us, we’re not quite sure we have caught up to all of it yet. “Going out to eat with friends” now means ordering takeout, driving to pick it up, and eating it in your car with your window rolled down, parked at least 6 feet away from your friend who is doing the same thing (no, I have not actually tried this yet, but people are definitely doing it right now). And “let’s schedule a meeting” means let’s plan a time to talk on the phone or have a Zoom meeting. Zoom, like Purell, is suddenly a hot commodity, but what is it, and how do you use it?
Zoom is a virtual meeting platform (video conferencing) that allows us to communicate with each other, either on video calls using computers or smartphones or with audio-only, using a phone. Zoom also allows for multiple people to be on together, as a virtual conference. When using computers, people can choose to allow others to look at what is on their computer screens, so everyone can look at a document or program together. This may seem a bit daunting, but it is reasonably straightforward to use.
Here is a simple guide for how to join a Zoom call:
Using Zoom with your phone – Audio Only:
Dialing in on the phone is the easiest way to use Zoom, although it is audio only. To use this method:
- Dial the number that has been provided to you.
- When prompted, enter the Meeting ID number provided and then enter “#”.
- Enter “#” again. When prompted, you do not need to provide a participant ID.
- You will be brought into the meeting.
- Make sure the mute button on your phone is off.
Using Zoom on your computer – Audio and Video:
- Click on the provided link. If this is the first time you’ve used Zoom, you’ll be prompted to install a small Zoom app. If you’ve already installed it, click “open” when prompted.
- A box should come up with a button that reads “Join with computer audio.” Click this button.
- You should see the meeting host and any other participants who have elected to have their video on.
- For a meeting, if you want your video to show, hover your mouse over the bottom left corner of the Zoom window and click “Start Video.” Your video should appear.
- The program defaults to mute. If you are in a meeting, hover your mouse over the bottom left corner of the window and unclick where it says “Mute.” For webinars or workshops, please keep the mute function on.
- To end the Zoom call, simply exit out of the program.
Here at the Family Estate Planning Law Group, we will be using Zoom to stay in touch with our clients and will continue to meet “as usual” for as long as needed. Now, more than ever, we want to make sure our clients have what they need to take care of their families and loved ones, and Zoom is just one of the tools we will be using to help make sure that happens. We will be accessible for questions and planning as always, and we look forward to connecting with you in this way.