15 Advanced Zoom Tips for Better Video Meetings
Our team’s favorite Zoom tips and tricks.
As a remote team, we don’t have our meetings in a conference room, or at a coffee shop.
But even though we can’t meet up in person, we do see each other every single day.
It’s important for many reasons, but our daily video meeting rhythm helps us to stay productive, happy and close-knit.
Each day, we huddle together via video chat, and the best tool that we’ve found for this so far is Zoom.
We spend hundreds of hours per year in Zoom, so time-saving hacks, even if they just save a few seconds each time, can make a meaningful difference in how productive we are.
But even if you just use Zoom for the occasional meeting, the tips and tricks we’ve fallen in love with can still help you have a smoother, more pleasant experience.
Today, I’m sharing our favorite Zoom hacks, including keyboard shortcuts, non-obvious settings, integrations and general video chat tips.
- How we save hours each year with shortcuts (e.g., invite someone to a meeting in less than 2 seconds)
- Little-known integrations that can make scheduling meetings seamless
- How to actually look better in your video meetings
- And more…
Note: We use all of these, but we’ve highlighted our absolute favorites in yellow.
Zoom Keyboard Shortcuts
Use these shortcuts to save time on common tasks in Zoom.
1) Quick Invite
When you’re in a meeting, type ⌘ Cmd+I (PC: Alt+I) to open the Invite window.
Copy the URL, and send it to anyone who you want to invite to the meeting.
Note: See Tip #10 for an even faster way to invite others
2) Record Meeting
Recording is a tremendously useful feature in Zoom.
Want to keep records of key meetings employee one-on-one’s? Record them and send them to the employee so that they can refer back to them.
Doing an interview and don’t want to slow things down by taking notes? Record it and get it transcribed. We do this for all of our founder interviews.
Just type ⌘ Cmd+⇧ Shift+R (PC: Alt+R) to start recording any meeting.
Type ⌘ Cmd+⇧ Shift+P (PC: Alt+P) to pause/resume recording.
3) Share Screen
Screen sharing is one of the key features that Zoom does better than anything else we’ve tried.
As in, “Can you see my screen? No? Hold on…” is a frustration of the past.
To start a screen share, type ⌘ Cmd+⇧ Shift+S (PC: Alt+Shift+S).
To pause/resume a screen share, type ⌘ Cmd+⇧ Shift+T (PC: Alt+T).
4) Mute Audio
If you’re on a meeting and have Zoom running in the background while you’re looking at notes (or Twitter) in another window, and a wailing ambulance drives by, then you’re going to disrupt that meeting.
Clicking back into Zoom and finding the mute controls can take a while, but hitting a couple of keys takes less than a second.
Use ⌘ Cmd+⇧ Shift+A (PC: Alt+A) to mute/unmute your audio.
5) Turn Off Video
If you’ve never had to scramble to turn off video right after joining a meeting (due, for example, to a less-than-fully-clothed baby stampeding through the background), then you haven’t done enough video meetings.
To quickly turn video off/on, hit ⌘ Cmd+⇧ Shift+V (PC: Alt+V).
6) Mute Everyone
Our daily huddles now involve 15 people.
When someone is typing up a storm (“alright, who’s thunder-keys?”), you could go through the tedious process of trying to figure it out.
Or, the meeting host could just hit ⌘ Cmd+Ctrl+M (PC: Alt+M) to mute everyone else at once.
This trick has single-handedly shaved minutes each week off of our meetings.
If you fix these settings once, they’ll reward you with optimized Zoom meetings forever…
7) Always Mute Microphone
Are you often joining meetings from noisy cafes, or while walking through traffic?
Do your teammates a favor, go to Settings > Audio and make sure that “Always mute microphone when joining meeting” is checked.
The same setting exists (and as a rule, should always be used) on the mobile app.
8) Always Turn Video Off
When you’re on a global remote team, sometimes your time zone means that you’re joining a team meeting at odd hours.
If you’re still in your pajamas, this setting could save you a lot of embarrassment.
Go to Settings > Video and check “Turn off my video when joining meeting”.
9) Display Names
This is less important when you’re chatting with people you know well, but if you use Zoom to do a lot of sales calls, then this setting will ensure you never accidentally forget the name of the person you’re talking to.
Go to Settings > Video and check “Always display participant's name on their video”.
10) Auto-copy Invite URL When Starting a Meeting
The Invite keyboard shortcut is great, but this setting takes things a step further.
Found in General settings, this option makes it super easy to invite people to any meeting, without even having to go through the process of copying the invite URL.
11) Enable Shortcuts Outside of Zoom
This setting will double the power of all of the keyboard shortcuts above, and that’s not an exaggeration.
Do you often have other windows open while in Zoom meetings?
Well, with this setting, you can use your Zoom keyboard shortcuts even when you’re in another window.
To turn it on, go to Settings > Accessibility and select “Enable shortcuts even when the Zoom app is not in focus” at the bottom.
12) Meeting Reminder (Mobile)
When I’m on the go, I’m not staring at the time, so I don’t always know when a meeting is starting in a couple of minutes.
On my phone, calendar reminders often go ignored (there are so many of them that it’s just too noisy to keep up), so I set up Zoom reminders to ensure that I never miss an important scheduled meeting.
13) Touch Up My Appearance
This is more on the spectrum of “fun” than “useful,” but I love that it’s a feature.
In Settings > Video, check “Touch up my appearance,” and Zoom will soften the focus on your camera, theoretically minimizing any issues with your skin.
Zoom works seamlessly with other products you may already use.
We meet in Zoom, but we live in Slack.
Which is why the Zoom/Slack integration is so helpful. You can use it to start Zoom meetings right from Slack.
We also use Slack’s recurring reminder feature to remind our team when the daily huddle is about to start, both 5 minutes in advance and right as the meeting is starting.
To set this up, just type this into Slackbot:
/remind #roomname every weekday at 9:55am that Daily Huddle is starting in 5 minutes!
Zapier connects Zoom with hundreds of other apps, but perhaps the most useful integration of all is scheduling tools.
When you schedule a meeting with someone, whether using Calendly, ScheduleOnce or Google Calendar, rather than following up with that person to send them a Zoom meeting link, or manually updating the calendar invite with the link, you can have Zapier automatically add your Zoom link to the event, making meeting scheduling hands-free.
How to Apply This to Your Business
We love Zoom, and recommend it to anyone looking for a video meeting tool.
I hope that these tips help you get as much out of it as we do.
I’d love to know: which of these was most interesting to you? Most surprising? Most useful?
Leave a comment below and let me know.