Couchella Zoom Party? No Problem, Zoom 101 by Alexi Rabin

Alexi Rabin staff member of Sarah’s Backstage Pass, is ready for her Couchella Zoom Party!

Couchella Zoom Party? I’m Ready! Here’s How You Can Get Ready Too.

While the impacts of COVID-19 are extremely devastating and far-reaching, there is a silver lining: Zoom. While human interaction is now gone, Zoom has stepped in to save the day. Through Zoom, we can see, speak, and laugh with our coworkers, friends, and family from our respective couches.

Now that we’re spending much of our life on this application, we may as well get the most out of it. The following four tips expand upon the application’s uses, functionality, and entertaining features.

1. Versatility Galore!
My quarantine began on March 14th, and since then, I’ve utilized Zoom daily for a wide range of reasons:

• Business: The majority of businesses have felt the impact of coronavirus in one way or another. If you run a small business like me, you’ve likely had to change the way you execute your work. For my resume writing services, Zoom has allowed me to meet my clients face-to-face (through the screen). Additionally, Zoom has allowed large companies to conduct internal and external meetings, as well as maintain company culture. To spice things up, execute a company dress-up day and utilize Zoom to show off the results. Try a company-wide hat day to boost employee morale!

• Fitness: Without Zoom, I would’ve turned into a couch potato weeks ago, but Zoom has allowed me to join virtual fitness classes regularly. In fact, because I don’t have to leave the confines of my house, I actually work out more than I did pre-pandemic. Find an open area of your home and log into a Zoom yoga, Pilates, dance, or cardio class for a great escape!

• Social: If you haven’t scheduled a Zoom happy hour yet, I highly recommend it. At some points during these “gatherings,” I almost forget about reality and the current state of our world. It’s so refreshing to check in with family and catch up with friends, especially with a glass of wine in hand.

2. Lights, Camera, Green Screen Action!

“Woah, how did you do that?” is a question we all get once the green screen feature is activated. Achieve your dream background with the tips below:

• In the bottom left-hand corner of your screen, click the “^” arrow and then select “virtual background.” Once you choose your background, you will have the option to manually pick your wall color to give Zoom a better idea of where the image should appear. Once you click on your wall within the video, you’ll be transported!

• While the background options in Zoom are great, if you select the (+) sign in settings, you can upload your own image/video background. Personally, I like to hang out with Joe Exotic during my Zoom calls.

• To see the best results, position yourself in front of a solid-colored wall (green works best if you happen to stumble upon a green wall in your house).

• Do not wear clothing that blends in with your background.

3. Back to the Basics

There are a variety of settings and features that are available for both meeting hosts and participants. Depending on your role, you may want to consider the options below:

• Host: As a host, you’re able to make some key decisions when scheduling your meeting. Once you select the “Schedule” button, you’ll be able to decide the name of your meeting, date/time of your meeting, whether your meeting should be password protected, if participants should be muted upon entry and more. Once you finalize your meeting settings, you’ll have the option to “Copy Invitation.” Simply paste the invitation into an email and share it with your guests!

• Participant: As a participant, you’ll want to know first and foremost if your camera and/or audio is turned on. We’ve all experienced the accidental sound from a person who doesn’t know they’re unmuted. Whether you’re on your computer, tablet, or phone, the option to mute and turn the video on/off can be found in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

• Host and Participant: Zoom allows the option to decide how you would like to see the others in your meeting. If you only want to see the person speaking, select “Speaker View.” However, if you’d like to see all participants Brady Bunch-style, select “Gallery View.” These options can both be found in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

4. Look Good, Feel Good!

During quarantine, many people are skipping their daily routine, whether it be makeup, hair, or clothing. If you just rolled out of bed, but want to look more presentable on Zoom, keep reading:

• The “touch up my appearance” button has recently become my best friend. This soft-focus feature smooths your skin, covers blemishes, and gives you a bit of a glow.

• Avoid overhead light and positioning your back near a window. While sunlight behind you is not very flattering, facing a window is a simple trick that truly compliments your face.

• Lastly, if you want to present your best angle, avoid Zooming with your laptop on your lap. Placing your laptop on an elevated surface and tilting the screen down a bit can make a big difference.

Next time you hop on a Zoom call, test out these tips and tricks. Stay well and happy Zooming!

Alexi Rabin-Staff Writer Sarahs Backstage Pass® April 24, 2020©