Decorative Blue Wheat

Using Zoom for Webinars

Zoom is a video conferencing tool that is often used as a virtual meeting space, working in concert with, or taking the place of, face-to-face meetings and gatherings in a variety of settings. One way Zoom can be utilized is in a webinar-style format for webinars, conferences, or presentations. While Zoom Webinars and Zoom Meetings are two different products, this training will discuss how to create your Zoom Meeting effectively to approximate the webinar experience.

Step 1 – Scheduling Your Meeting

When scheduling the meeting, it is recommended that the Registration option be unchecked as the default registration form is not customizable. If you prefer using a registration form for your webinar, consider using an alternative program, such as Qualtrics.

Next, ensure that your Meeting ID is set to generate automatically, and that the Password option is checked.

You can set the Video option for the Host to “On” and for Participants to “Off”.

Audio should be set to “Telephone and Computer Audio” as well.

Choose the calendar option you would like to use; Outlook is often the best option.

Under the Advanced Options, be sure to select “Mute Participants on entry” so that when participants join the webinar, their audio does not interrupt the speaker. You may also choose to use the “Automatically record meeting on the local computer” option if recording is desired;

and the “Enable waiting room” option—especially if using a co-host/moderator—as it allows you to only let in people when you are ready.

Lastly, if you are using a co-host/moderator, be sure to add their email address(es) to give them access to the needed tools and features in the webinar.

Step 2 — Before the Meeting

To include more interactive elements to your webinar, consider the use of Polling Questions which should be set up in advance of the meeting through the web portal.

It is also highly recommended that PowerPoint slides be created for conveying any Webinar or “housekeeping” information, even if no other PowerPoint slides will be used.

Do not forget to Send Participants the Calendar Invite language—including the link, code, phone numbers, and time/date. While other information in the Zoom invite may be changed as needed, it is crucial that the link, passcode, and telephone numbers not be edited.

Lastly, if your event is open to the public, arrange for Closed Captioning Service for your webinar. For assistance with this process, contact the Media Resources Center.

Step 3 — During the Meeting

On the day of your webinar, it is recommended that you join/begin your meeting a few minutes ahead of schedule to Set Up and Pre-load your “housekeeping” and/or information slides for participants to view as they enter the meeting.

Consider including information on the following: Submitting questions for Q&A via the chat; Viewing the Session in “Active Speaker” view; Hiding non-video participants; Using the “Raise Hand” feature and other reactions such as, “Yes,” “No,” and “Slower”; and any other prudent information for participants to have prior to the session starting.

If your webinar contains 2 or more participants, you can also use the Spotlight feature on the main presenter’s video or on other participants that you want to ensure stay “up front and center” during the webinar, such as an interpreter or co-presenter. Currently, Zoom allows you to Spotlight up to 9 users in the meeting.

Consider utilizing Focus Mode which enables only the host to see participants’ videos or profile pictures when the video is off. Only hosts can view participant screen sharing, switch between multiple shared screens, and allow participants to view others’ shared screens.

It is also recommended that you enlist a co-host or moderator in the meeting with you to manage participants’ audio, video, waiting room, etc., as well as to monitor and respond to the chat. This allows the presenter to focus on their content and field questions and comments only as needed.

If you are using a moderator, it is recommended that you Change the Moderator’s name to “Q&A” (if you plan to have a Q&A), and then modify your Chat settings so that participants can only chat with Host.

Remember to also Set your Screen Sharing Options to “Only Host” and “Only one participant can share at a time”. This will ensure that no participants accidentally share their screens during the presentation.

All mics should also be set to muted, except the main presenter.

Lastly, it is essential that you double check your Security settings prior to your webinar to ensure the session runs smoothly.

  • Make sure that the “Allow participants to unmute themselves” option is unchecked so that only those you want to speak in the session can do so.
  • The “Start Video” option listed under “Allow participants to:”, should also remain unchecked to avoid participants sharing video without authorization.
  • From the security settings area, you can also Check the Hide Profile Pictures option and Uncheck the “Rename Themselves” option as well.
  • Finally, if you need someone else to speak on camera, you can click the “More” icon next to their name in the participants window and click on “Ask to start video” which will enable the user to share.