Using Zoom at a Conference

These tips are for using Zoom when attending a conference (a group meeting with many participants) like our Coffee Exchange, Kennet U3A Talks or our AGM.  These sorts of meetings are different to small group Zoom sessions.

In these meetings, after everyone joins and the opening announcements are made, the main speaker will begin, often sharing a presentation for all to see.  There can be up to 100 people joining, so some subtle changes can help you a great deal.

We’ve prepared a helpful video to demonstrate these Zoom tips.  It’s just a few minutes long so please watch.  All the the tips are described below as well, including how to connect to the audio by using your phone.

Those with the capability to use Zoom fully:

  • A smartphone or tablet (either Android or Apple)
  • Or, a newish laptop (most have built in cameras)
  • Or a desktop computer with a webcam


Please learn how to mute your microphone and only turn it back on when it’s your turn to speak.

This will cut down on background noises and distractions, as well as preventing the image from jumping someone who may just have coughed.

Having your microphone muted is the recommended setting.  The host has the capability to mute your microphone if you forget.

Picture – options:

  1. Sharing the video of yourself:

    If you don’t care to be seen by others you can turn your camera off.  When your camera is off you’ll still be able to watch the presentation (and see others) you just won’t been seen.  This is the same as what happens for users that don’t have a camera.

  2. Different ways to see others also attending the conference:

    1. Gallery View
      Like in a museum of gallery, when using Gallery View, you’ll see a grid of many small videos, one for each of the conference participants.  You may need to scroll to see everyone.
      Using Gallery view is a personal preference.  For many reasons, some may prefer this, while others may not.  You decide.

    2. Speaker View
      The person speaking is shown in the centre of your screen (in a large window) with a few of the others showing in small windows (either at the top, or along to side).  Again, it’s a personal choice.

      In the top right corner of your Zoom meeting you’ll find a toggle to switch between Gallery and Speaker Views.  Note, the toggle may be behind another window, just drag it away to find the toggle.

    3. Other options
      When using Speaker View, there is a control allows you to:
      1. See just the person sharing / presenting and not be distracted by all the others watching
      2. See only a few others (in small windows at the top or along the side)
      3. Or, even see none of the other participants at all, just the main speaker – no distractions at all!

        Full instructions on how to control who you see in Speaker View can be found here:

Again, to remind you all, you don’t need to share your video.  If you turn your camera off, no one will see you, but you’ll still be able to watch and listen, and even pose questions.  No one needs to be shy (or worried about a bad hair day) to use Zoom.

Even if you have the simplest equipment without a camera you can still join in and view the meeting.  All you need is a reliable internet connection and your internet browser to be a part of the Zoom conference.

If your system doesn’t have sound (speakers), you can still listen via your phone.

You’ll be able to see the speaker and their presentation on your computer using Zoom, while hearing what is being said using your phone.

Dial: 0203 481 5240

Once connected, follow the voice prompts:

  • Enter Meeting ID: xxx xxxx xxxx followed by #
  • When system asks for your ID just enter #
  • Lastly, when asked, enter the password: xxxxxx followed by #

When you join the call, your microphone will be muted.  If you want to speak, you can key *6 on your phone to unmute it and *6 again to mute it.

The call will be charged as a national rate call.  Many people have a phone tariff/packages that include these calls at no additional cost.  However, typically they are only free if the call lasts less than 60 minutes.  If this applies to you, you should hang up after 59 minutes and simply call in again.  That way, you won’t be charged for the call.

If watching videos on a computer doesn’t suit, or you don’t even have a computer, you can still listen in!

We understand that some struggle (or don’t care for) looking at screens or viewing presentations on a computer.  If you want, we can send you the presentation materials in advance.  That way, you can skip using Zoom for the video conference on a computer, but still see presentation and just listen in using your phone.