Zoom features you might not know about

Jan 18, 2021

Zoom is so much more than a video call. Its features aren’t accidental add-ons; they’re designed with virtual meetings and events in mind. Zoom’s a great foundation for any virtual event, whatever style and however big your online audience.

If you’re a first-time user, you might not be familiar with what you can do beyond the mute button. Here are a few great tips including settings and keyboard shortcuts to make you a Zoom pro.

Make your Zoom events more organised

Keyboard shortcuts

Make your Zoom meeting or event easier to navigate. There are a couple of shortcuts you should know about. These will make more swifter transitions and a more orderly meeting.

  • To begin or stop sharing your screen: Command +Shift + S (Mac) Or Alt + S (Windows)
  • To mute or unmute your audio: Command + Shift + A (Mac) or Alt + A (Windows)
  • To start/stop video – Command + Shift + V (Mac) or Alt + V (Windows)

Create recurring meetings

Is this a meeting you host once a week or perhaps a series of six events? If so, don’t create a new meeting URL each time. When you schedule a regular meeting, tick the ‘Recurring meeting’ box. Your recurring meetings will have all the same default features and participants can use the same URL each time. This makes sending out calendar invites much easier too and saves people clicking on an expired meeting link.

Use attendance lists and registration forms

Keep track of all attendees with an attendance list. You can also require participants to fill out a registration form. This will prompt them to answer different questions or provide details. Registration forms are useful for meetings that are mandatory or advised. Choose the option to require a registration form in the main Meetings tab.

Make your Zoom event interactive

Screen, file and music sharing

This feature on Zoom allows you and active participants to share slides or documents. It also lets you share multimedia components such as videos. If you’re sharing something you’ve searched on the internet, the feature will share one window. This prevents you sharing other content, although it’s always a good idea to close down tabs you don’t need.

Within the screensharing features, there’s a whiteboard setting to write notes on a blank screen. You can also allow other participants to annotate on your shared screen.

If you're hosting a games night, share background music. Place the volume on a low setting from the host’s computer for all to enjoy. Make sure everyone’s on earphones or muted.

React with emojis

Great for when you want to respond without interrupting the speaker. Send the speaker and other attendees a thumbs up or clapping hands. Click the ‘Reactions’ tab at the bottom of the screen.

Explore Zoom’s integrations

Zoom’s integrations make for seriously impressive large events.


Livestream your event to Facebook or YouTube. This lets you stream to thousands of participants without needing to send out Zoom invites. In Account Management, go to Account Settings. Tick the relevant box(es) under ‘Allow live streaming the meetings’, sign into Facebook and follow Zoom’s instructions.


To give your attendees a seamless experience from the moment they hear about the event, link your Zoom meeting with your Eventbrite account. Eventbrite will automatically send registered guests the Zoom secure access link. You’ll need an Eventbrite account. Go to the ‘Online event’ page and select ‘Connect Zoom’.

As well as livestreaming and ticketing options, you’ll find lots of other app integrations under the Integration tab in your Zoom settings.

Make your meeting collaborative and inclusive

Gallery view

Zoom allows you to see up to 49 participants at one time so you can feel more involved and connected with everyone on the call. Where there are lots of participants, you can scroll to see everyone in attendance. Alternatively, you can set your call so you only see certain participants. If you want to remove attendees with cameras off, go to the main Settings menu and under ‘Video’, and select ‘Hide non video participants’.

Breakout sessions

Breakouts are great for larger meetings, training sessions and conferences. breaking into smaller groups, people may feel more comfortable sharing opinions. To split meetings into smaller rooms, enable breakout rooms in Account Management and ‘Meetings’.

Record your events

If you’re putting on a virtual event, you’ll want footage for trailing your next one – or you’ll want to make it available on-demand. If you’re running a virtual meeting or training session, using the record feature is an easy way to keep absent colleagues in the loop. Enable record in your Zoom settings and then press the record button at the start of the meeting. Once the meeting’s over, it’s best to wait for Zoom to convert your meeting to a recording before starting any big tasks on your laptop. Zoom can save your event as audio and video files making them easy to edit and share. As with all recordings, make sure you have the right permissions from participants to record and share footage.

Get feedback

Take polls

Polls are a great way to get feedback and keep people engaged without singling individuals out. First enable polling in Account Settings. Select your scheduled meeting under the Meetings tab and scroll to the bottom to add a poll and create questions. Once you’re in the meeting, you can launch your poll by selecting ‘Polling’ at the bottom of the meeting window.

Have fun with video settings

We could all use a laugh – especially in meetings. Play around with some of Zoom’s other fun features (if it’s appropriate, of course).

Change your background

Customised backgrounds don’t just cover up the mess in your dining room, they can brighten up your screen. Head to ‘Virtual Background’ in Settings and upload your own image. You can customise your own or use one of Zoom’s presets. If you’re not in a formal meeting, get creative with a day at the fair, a Christmas scene or head to the beach.

Touch up your appearance

Had a bad night’s sleep? Face looking a little worse for wear? There’s an easy fix in your video settings. In your Zoom app’s settings, go to your Video tab and tick ‘Touch up your appearance’. This won’t turn you into a model, but it will smooth over some of those lines and even out your skin tone.

Online events aren’t the same as real-life, but they have so many additional benefits that it’s worth taking the time to explore all their features. Virtual events help you reach a bigger audience, get more organised, take control of meetings and much, much more… all while staying in your joggers.

Get to know the details and you might just find a Zoom event suits you better!

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