How to set up your group on Zoom
Getting started on Zoom might feel scary but below we share the steps you need to take, along with links to videos to take you through the details.
1. Setting up a Zoom account
Getting registered on Zoom is easy.
- You’ll need an email address before you register. As noted above, make sure you create a new email just for the group’s use to keep your personal emails separate from the group’s. You might use Gmail or Yahoo for this. Both are free.
- Visit Zoom and ‘Sign Up’ for the Basic package. This is free. It’s best to start your group with this option and you can always upgrade later as the group develops.
- Follow all the directions. You might be asked to ‘verify your email’ to check your email address is correct. This might mean adding a code on the Zoom login which is sent via email.
- You now have a Zoom account. Each time you now visit Zoom, you can click ‘Sign In’ and use your chosen email and password.
2. Creating a meeting
Now you have a Zoom account, you can set up a meeting.
- ‘Sign in’ to your Zoom account and explore. There are lots of options within Zoom. On the left side of the screen is the main menu. Your Profile contains your details connected with the account. Meetings is the main one you’ll be using.
- A practice meeting is a good idea. Where you can invite a friend or family member (You’ll need their email address in advance). This means you can practise, before the first one with the group.
- Security for the group is important. You might be talking about sensitive things and it’s important that only kinship carers attend. Zoom has some features to help you with the safety of your group. Watch this video about Zoom security features.
- To set up a meeting, click ‘Meetings’ on the left side of the screen. Then click the button ‘Schedule a Meeting’.
- Add your meeting details. This includes the meeting title, date and time of your meeting (if it will be a regular meeting, you can select ‘Recurring meeting’) and video options (if you want cameras on for you as the ‘host’ and all ‘participants’). Under ‘Security’ the ‘Waiting Room’ option will already be selected. This means you have to accept people into the meeting when it starts. It’s a good thing to use for added security for your group. There are some additional options too. Click ‘Save’ to complete it. You can always go back and edit too.
- Your meeting is ready to go. Click on ‘Meetings’ on the left menu. Your meeting will now show in your ‘Upcoming meetings’.
3. Inviting people to the meeting
Now you have scheduled a meeting, it’s time to invite people to it. Everyone joining the meeting will need an invitation.
- Find the invitation link for your meeting. In Zoom, click on ‘Meetings’ on the left menu. Your meeting will now show in your ‘Upcoming meetings’. Click on your meeting and click ‘Copy invitation’. The meeting details will be copied and you can paste them into an email or WhatsApp message. This includes a link to access the meeting and a passcode (if you added this option).
- Send out your invites. It’s also worth sending a reminder of the meeting a day before it takes place. Sometimes people can lose the first message you sent. People attending might not have used Zoom before. When you send their meeting invites, you could also attach a link to this video by Zoom to show them what they need to do: How to join a Zoom meeting
This video shows you how to invite people to your Zoom meeting.
4. Hosting the meeting
The meeting is ready to go. Now discover how to host the meeting.
- Login to your Zoom account to start the meeting. You cannot use the meeting link you shared to group members. You need to ‘Sign In’ to your Zoom account and start the meeting. Click on ‘Meetings’ on the left menu. Your meeting will now show in your ‘Upcoming meetings’. Select your meeting and click ‘Start’ button.
- Launching your meeting. When you start the meeting, you will have a menu along the bottom screen. This has options for your sound, video, the list of participants and chat settings.
- Use your practice to have a play. There are lots of features that can help you host a meeting, we’ll explore some of these below. We suggest keeping things simple to begin with. It’s important that sound and video are working well for you and others.
- Members in the waiting room. Anyone joining the meeting will not join the meeting straight away. You will need to let them in. This allows you to check everyone there is expected.
It can get noisy if everyone talks at once. As host, make sure you give time for everyone to talk. If someone would like to talk, they could use the ‘Reactions’ options on the bottom tool bar to ‘Raise Hand’ or raise their hand on their video.
This video shows you some of the options to help you host a Zoom meeting.
Other Zoom features
There are lots of features available on Zoom. Here are some details for you to explore when you feel ready. Get to grips with the basics and then discover other tools.
- Using breakout rooms. These can be really helpful for a larger group. It allows you to split the group into smaller groups for chunks of the meeting. Find out more on how to use breakout rooms in Zoom.
- Meeting chat and reactions. The chat function in a meeting is really helpful for the group to share tips, website links and comments. The group can also share reactions too, such as a “thumbs up” or “love heart”. These can be used to show support to someone without interrupting. Find out more about using chat reactions in Zoom.
There are a few different steps to setting up a Zoom meeting for your group, but it will get easier each time.
If you get stuck with anything, then do a Google search and there are lots of other videos and support to help.