Technology Corner

Tips for participating in Zoom Meeting

by Beth Clark, Advocate Editor

(January 2021) Connecting with others via Zoom meetings has become a way of life for us now. Here are a few tips to enhance your experience.

Tips for using video and audio

Your meeting host specifies that participant video and audio will be off or on when coming into the meeting. If audio and video are set to on and you don’t want them to be, just say no when Zoom asks you as you are joining. You also have control over these functions when you are in the meeting. If, for example, you are having a “bad hair day” or you don’t want your picture showing on a recorded video, just turn your video off and only your name will show. Webinars are a little different; usually the webinar host has set up the meeting for no video and audio except for the speakers. There won’t be any video or audio controls available to you.

Tips for viewing meeting attendees

Gallery view shows your fellow meeting participants spread across the whole screen. The number you can see depends on your device; on Windows there can be up to 49 participants on a single screen. Speaker view puts the person speaking in a large window and other participants will be small, in a ribbon. Gallery view is good when you want to have a conversation between participants. Speaker view is good when you have someone giving a program. The way to change the view is different on different devices. On a PC the View choice list is in the upper right corner. On tablets you swipe to get the view options. You can search on Google for the method for your device.

Tips for looking your best when you’re on the Zoom call

It makes a difference where you are located in relation to the camera on your device.

  • Don’t sit with your back to a window or your background will be washed out and you will appear as a silhouette. Facing a window gives you soft, people-pleasing light. In the evening, one steady lamp directly by your face gives even, steady lighting
  • Stay back a bit from your screen. The closer you are to the camera, the more distorted you will look.
  • Pay attention to the height of your device. If your device’s camera is too high, your head is cut off. If the camera is too low, people will be looking up your nostrils. You can put boxes or books under your computer to raise it up.
  • If you want an air-brushed (softer) look, you can set the “Touch up my appearance” option in your Zoom settings. To get to your Zoom settings while in Zoom, click on an icon similar to this. This is what it looks like on a PC.
  • If you’re having a “bad hair” day, just turn off your camera!

Tips for suppressing background noise

Arg! You’re in a Zoom meeting and all of a sudden you hear someone’s dog barking, the TV, or someone’s kids. You can’t see the speaker anymore because somebody else’s picture becomes the big window. This problem happens when the person making the noise has their audio on (audio is not muted). Don’t be that person who disrupts the meeting! In most cases it is best to mute yourself until you have something to say. Click on the Mute/Audio icon to mute and unmute yourself. (Your host might mute everyone to prevent these noise distractions.)

Tips for engaging with your audience

You normally look someone in the eyes when you’re talking with them in person. You want to do the same thing when you are on Zoom so that you engage with your audience. To look them the eye on Zoom you must look directly at your camera. It’s easy to forget to do this. If you are reading from notes, place the notes in front of you and look up frequently so you can stay mostly focused on the camera.

Need more tips?

Check out this YouTube video released December 8, 2020, “All the Top New Features in Zoom,” at


Tips for those new to Zoom

(December 2020) For many of us, learning how to use new technology seems quite daunting. It’s a lot more comfortable to stick with what we know. However, during this pandemic we need to adapt to continue to enjoy activities. Zoom is actually easier to use than you might think. Some short videos on YouTube do an excellent job describing the basics of Zoom. They show the Zoom interface icons you might use to ask questions, turn your microphone on and off, and more.

Essentially all that you need to do to use Zoom is:

1. Download Zoom onto your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
2. A few minutes before a meeting, click the link in the email that the meeting host sent you.

Videos about Using Zoom


“How to Join a Zoom meeting For the First Time”

It tells you how to download the Zoom application so that you can use Zoom.
“How to Join A Zoom Meeting for the First Time (Zoom: The Basics)”

It includes more background information.
“Zoom Virtual Meeting Guide”
Downloading and Practicing Using Zoom
It’s best to download Zoom onto your computer, iPad, or smartphone before your meeting and practice.
Download Zoom onto a Windows or a Mac computer.
Download Zoom onto a tablet or smartphone.(Go to the App store and download Zoom Cloud meetings.)
Practice using Zoom

If you think you would like to have some one-on-one help via the telephone, please contact our Webmaster, Teresa Cheung here.

Beth Clark, 2021 Advocate Editor

Big Goals, Many Tasks: Our Tech Team is Off and Running

(October 2020) This year, our President Chris Ritter and Webmaster Teresa Cheung are leading a Tech Team to upgrade and update our branch information and communication through our website, social media, and other branch-related technology (

Our Team consists of 6 board members (Chris Ritter, Teresa Cheung, Deborah Wechsler, Isabel Lau, Linda Jimerson, and Joanne Quijano) and we have big goals of embracing technology for our branch to accomplish our AAUW goals. Since the formation of our Tech Team in August, we have had three Zoom meetings already to discuss current needs, formulate solutions and set priorities on our tasks. For more details of our Tech Team, goals and specific tasks, please visit

Teresa Cheung, Webmaster

Please Explore Our Newly Upgraded Website

(September 2020)  This year 2020 has become a historic pandemic year and many of our activities are limited. On the bright side, we have more time for various projects! Our President Chris Ritter learned a new skill of website editing. Together with our webmaster Teresa Cheung, we are renovating our branch website entirely. Our aim is to use our website to be our central hub of communication. We want to keep every page current and informative. Roam around our website to find the latest activites, contact any of our board members, and get active to accomplish our AAUW mission and be in touch with friends.

This month, we want to highlight 3 webpages at our website:
1. Contact Us at where anyone can send an email, share your thoughts, sign up for activites, etc. to any member of our Branch board members simply and quickly. No need to look up anyone’s email address.

2. Digital Media at where we are tallying all our current digital asset of our DAW AAUW Branch. We need help from our membership of previous accounts like Instagram, etc. Please Contact Us and tell Chris and Teresa.

3. Submittal at This year, we want to streamline all our branch digital media (website, newsletter, Facebook, etc.) content submission in one central location. We are encouraging all board members and membership to send us content and information using this page. No need to look up someone’s email and get your email lost in cyberspace.