There are so many Zoom meeting settings! But which ones will make you look, sound, and come across better in your next video call? In this video, Scott Friesen shows you 7 Zoom settings you should review so you can get the most out of your next video conference.
Love it or hate it, Zoom meetings are here to stay, so why not look and sound your very best? In this video, I'm going to show you seven settings that you're going to want to review right away. So, let's dive in. Now, one of the most embarrassing things that can happen to us is if our video or our audio turns on without us expecting it. So we want to double-check our default settings when first joining a meeting. First off, how do we get to our settings? Well, if you open up your Zoom client and come all the way up here to the top right-hand corner and click on Settings, that will open up the Settings dialogue. And we're going to start in our video settings. And right under Video, if we scroll down to this second section here, you can see that there is a checkbox that says turn off my video when joining a meeting. I want to be the one who decides when my video starts when I join any meeting whether I'm the host or whether I'm a participant. So that's why I have this check box selected. If you're okay with having your video starting immediately, you can leave this unchecked but you may want to double check this particular setting. Next, we're going to click on our audio settings and we're going to scroll all the way down to the bottom and you can see that the second option here says mute my microphone when joining a meeting. Now, I'm okay with my microphone being on as soon as I jump into a meeting, that's why mine is unchecked. But if you want to make sure that something is not distracting others in the background if you want to make sure that you are ready to go and you are the one to initiate when people can hear you or see you, you may want to select this checkbox as well. Now, the second group of settings we want to pay special attention to are also here under Audio, because if you don't sound great, you probably aren't coming across as your best self when it comes to your Zoom meetings. Now you're probably already familiar with coming in here and selecting the correct speaker or the correct microphone, but where we want to pay special attention to is our Audio Profile. Now, by default, this first option Zoom optimized audio is going to be selected, but it's the next two sections I want us to pay special attention to. First off, Zoom will do its best to automatically suppress background noises but everyone's situation is a little different. So for example, if you are in a noisy coffee shop, perhaps you want a high background noise suppression. If you have dogs in the background that are whimpering or growling or barking, again, you may also want high or medium. And sometimes auto is too much. So you may want to adjust this to a low profile as well. But there's one other setting which is going to allow you to have even better audio, especially if you have a good quality microphone. And that is original sound for musicians. Now, don't let this name fool you. If you are not a musician and if you are not playing any type of music through your input devices or your microphone, this still may be the correct setting for you. If you have a high quality microphone and if you don't want extra compression reducing the quality of your sound, this may be the option for you. I recommend that you experiment with this option to see if it's right for you, but make sure to try this setting out for yourself. By selecting it, it will disable the noise suppression and also remove high pass filtering and automatic gain control. So if you want the best quality audio, this might be the right selection for you. Now with our audio and microphones sounding great, let's jump back to our video settings to make sure that we look the best that we can. Under the My Video section, there are two settings we want to pay special attention to. The first one is mirror my video. Now, I find for most people it's most natural if it mirrors their video, very much like if you raise your left hand or your right hand, it's going to be appropriate to what you see on screen. However, if you tend to show things on screen, especially if you are an educator or a teacher, you may want to uncheck this box. Why? Well, if I hold up my water bottle here can you read the name or where this was made? No, because I have it on mirror my video. But if I uncheck that box, now you can read exactly what I am holding up in front of the camera. So this may come down to both personal preference, but also depending if you're ever needing to show things that people will need to see on camera. The next one here is touch up my appearance. And I want to warn you, be careful with this slider. If we slide this all the way over to the right, Zoom is going to try and touch up our appearances in particular our skin tone and skin color. But if you take this all the way to the right, it almost looks like I'm wearing a lot of foundation on my face. It's almost washed out much of my tones. And yes, it may have removed some of my wrinkles as well but I don't feel that it looks that natural. So I'd suggest that you'd start maybe somewhere in the middle. And in my case, I tend to bring it back to about maybe a quarter of the way along. It's going to smooth out a few of my lines on my face but not so much that I don't look authentic. Now, sticking with how we look on screen, let's jump down to background and effects. Now, Zoom gives us many options when it comes to selecting virtual backgrounds or even uploading backgrounds of our own. But what's become most popular recently is the blurred effect, which can be great if you want to mask any activity that's going on in the background, especially if you perhaps have a messy room in the background as well. But in a recent poll, it found that the majority of Zoom users actually prefer a natural background. As long as there's nothing distracting or moving too often in the background, a natural background is the preference. Why? If you choose a virtual background or a blurred background as you can see here, it's doing some funny things with my face. If you have a chair or a headrest, which is relatively high sometimes that will look funny as well. So my recommendation is try to create an environment where you can use your default natural webcam and don't feel that you have to default to that blurred effect just because you see it with others. Like I said, in a recent poll, most people actually prefer the natural background. Now, although using a virtual background can be very distracting, there is one situation where it may actually be enhanced and that's if you are sharing a PowerPoint slide. If I come down here within my Zoom meeting and select Share, be sure to select the Advanced tab and this will allow you to show and share a PowerPoint slide as a virtual background. I'm going to select that option and select Share. And then all I need to do is come in here and select the particular file. So I'm going to select this PowerPoint file and select Open. Now it's going to open up that PowerPoint to share, but if I start my video, it's going to add me directly on top of these slides themselves. So this can be a great way if you want to make sure that you stay visible as you share your slides. If I move to the next slide, in this particular instance, I can still be on screen and if I want, all I need to do is click on the image and I can reduce the size of my image on screen but I can also click and drag. So if I want to bring myself to a different portion of the screen, or if I want to make sure that I get out of the way of perhaps some of the text on screen, I can always do that as well. So if you want to make sure that you stay visible, especially for those participants who may be watching on a mobile device, using PowerPoint as a virtual background can be an engaging way to stay on top. Now, the next tip can be a great way to spice up your meetings and get away from the standard grid view here within Zoom. If we come up to the top right of any Zoom meeting and select View, you may be familiar with the speaker and the default gallery view. But if we select Immersive, we have an opportunity to put ourselves and all of our participants into a virtual immersive view. So, for example, I'm going to select this one here and then select Start. And I am placed at a seat in front of a table. So this would be great for any group of maybe three to six people. We get to see one another in a slightly different perspective and maybe that brings a different feel or a different energy to the meeting. Now, if we go back and click on View and select Change Immersive View, you can see that there is a number of different defaults that we can choose. I love to ski, so maybe this is the one that I'm going to select for my very next meeting. You can both have a lot of fun, but also see people in a different light by experimenting with an immersive view. Now, the last tip that I have for you today has to do with enabling captions for your Zoom meetings. There may be instances where people have to mute your Zoom meeting but they still want to be able to see what is being said. Or maybe there's someone who is just more comfortable seeing the words on screen as we speak. So if you come into your Zoom meetings and select More, you should see the option here for captions. If you don't, I recommend you click on this video where I walk you through the steps for enabling those captions. Once captions is enabled, you can select this option and say show captions and even change the speaking language. So I'm going to select Show Captions, and here you can see that it is recording everything that I say in real time, so others who are participating or who are involved in this meeting can follow along. The added bonus is that these captions are recorded. So if you would like a full transcript of your meeting, you can do that right here with Zoom closed captioning. And if you're looking for even more ways to get the most out of your Zoom meeting experience, be sure to click on this playlist next. Thank you so much for watching, and remember being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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