How to Participate in a Zoom Meeting

Millions of people are using Zoom, the popular video chat and teleconferencing app, to join work-from-home meetings, participate in online classes and talk to family and friends. During the current COVID-19 pandemic which has caused many countries to abolish physical public gatherings, Zoom has experienced a huge spike in popularity; the company said that downloads for the app rose 1,270% between February 22 and March 22.

This week on Friday 3rd April 2020 at 4pm, the ICT Teachers Association of Uganda is joining the WordPress Community Uganda for an online event to be conducted through Zoom. Many members are hearing about Zoom for the first time and are asking how they will participate. In this article, we share about what you need and how to use Zoom as a participant.

How to join a Zoom meeting:

What are the requirements?

  • An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE). Minimum bandwidth is 600kbps (up/down) and recommended is 1.5 Mbps (up/down). Check your Internet bandwidth using Speedtest (Links to an external site.).
  • A webcam – one which is built-in to your computer or one that connects to your computer via USB.
  • A microphone – built-in to your computer or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth.
  • Built-in headset jack from laptop or desktop. Even if your laptop or desktop has speakers, you may plug in a headset so that the sound from the speakers does not cause an echo in the Zoom meeting. Any headset with a 3.5mm plug will plug in. 

To join a Zoom meeting, a host first has to schedule / create a meeting and share the invite URL or meeting ID. You do not need a Zoom login to join a meeting, all you need is that meeting URL or ID. 

Once the host
starts the meeting, participants can join unless the host enabled the option
allowing participants to join before the host arrives. 

as we note below, you can sign up for Zoom with your contact info, and then
your fellow Zoom users can use those details to ‘call’ you without an invite

How to join a Zoom
meeting on desktop by downloading the app

  1. Download the Zoom desktop app on your Mac or PC.
  2. Open the Zoom app.
  3. Click join a meeting.
  4. Enter the meeting ID and your name,
    and set audio/video permissions.
  1. Click on the meeting invite URL that
    the host shared via email or text. 
  2. Open the Zoom app. 
  3. Approve the request for permission to
    use your computer’s audio and camera.

Depending on
the meeting’s set-up, you may enter the meeting right away, you may need to
wait for the host to arrive first or you may be placed into a waiting room that
the host controls.

How to join a Zoom
meeting on mobile (iPhone, Android)

  1. Download the Zoom app for iOS or
    for Android on
    Google Play
    , and set it up using your contact information — which
    the host can use to “call” you. Then, either 
  2. Your app will ring when the host
    “calls” you (Accept the call)
  3. Open the mobile app.
  4. Tap on “Join a
  5. Enter the meeting ID and your name
    and set audio/video permissions.
  6. Tap on the meeting invite URL that the
    host shared via email or text, which will open the Zoom app. The app
    may ask for permission to use your phone’s camera.

Again, depending on the meeting’s set-up, you may enter the meeting
right away, you may need to wait for the host to arrive first or you may be
placed into a waiting room that the host controls.

Using the “Attendee Controls”

When you join a Zoom meeting hosted by another user, you are considered an attendee. The user who scheduled the meeting or was selected as the alternative host (if the host is unable to join) will have  host controls, including muting audio, using video, sharing your screen and more.

Mute/Unmute & Audio Settings

You can mute and unmute your microphone. The host also
has the ability to mute you. If you
click on the arrow next to the mute button, you will have additional options for audio settings. You can change your microphone, leave the computer audio or access the audio options.

Start/Stop Video & Video Settings

You can turn
your camera on
off with the Start/Stop Video button. By clicking on the arrow
to the start/stop video button, you can change webcams, access your Zoom video settings, or select a virtual background (if enabled).

 Invite other participants

Click on the invite button to invite other participants to the meeting.

  • Invite by email: This will open up the selected email application with a copy of the meeting invitation
  • Invite by Contacts: Invite users from your contacts list
  • Invite Zoom Rooms: Invite Zoom Rooms listed on your account
  • Invite by PhoneAvailable if the host has this option available.
  • Invite by a Room System: If the host has cloud recording connector available for this meeting.


If you click on Participants, you can see who is currently in the meeting. The participants list
also gives you the option to raise your hand or
rename yourself.

  • Raise Hand – notifies host and shows a prompt to simulate hand raise
  • Rename – hover over your name to change it as it is seen in the participants list and video window

Share Screen

If the host
allows, you can
share your screen in the meeting. The host will have the ability to
your screen share.


Chat with individuals or everyone in
the meeting. Click Chat to open up the chat window and
chat with
other participants or view
chat messages. Select the drop down next to To: to
who you are chatting with.

Record(if host has given permission)

The host will need to give you permission to record the meeting. If you try to click on
this before the host has given permission, you will receive
the following message.

Note: the host is not notified that you have requested recording permission. You will need to ask them through the chat or audio to give you recording permission
(available in their Manage

Choose video layout

At the upper right of the Zoom window, you
switch between active speaker view and

gallery view. You
can also switch between a shared screen and the video by clicking on a button available in this location during a screen share.

Enter/Exit Full Screen

At the top right of the Zoom window, you
can enter or exit
screen mode. You can also exit
screen by clicking

Pin video

Pin video makes a user the primary speaker for you, instead of switching between the active
speaker video. You can pin a video by right-clicking on the video of
the person
you want to pin or double click on their video window.

Co-annotate on screen share

If the host
allows, you can
annotate on their shared screen or share whiteboard. To
this, click on View Options at the top of your screen and choose Annotate.

How to change your
Zoom background on the desktop app

  1. Download the Zoom app for Mac or Windows
  2. Open the app and sign in. 
  3. Click your profile picture, then click on Settings.
  4. In the left menu bar, click on the Virtual Background tab
    (if you don’t see this tab, log in to the Zoom website, go to Settings and toggle on Virtual
  5. In the Virtual Background tab, select one of Zoom’s
    defaults or upload your own image.
  6. If you have a green screen set-up, you can select that
  7. To add your own image or video, click the + icon to upload
    from your computer.

How to change your
Zoom background on the mobile app

  1. Download the Zoom app for iOS to your iPhone or iPad
  2. Open the app, sign in and join a meeting.
  3. Tap the three dots at the bottom right to open the More
  4. Tap Virtual Background.
  5. Select one of Zoom’s defaults or upload your own. 

Where can I find
Zoom backgrounds to upload?

If you don’t have any images of
your own to upload as a Zoom background, check out which
offers 30-plus free backgrounds.

Leave Meeting

You can leave the meeting at any time by clicking on the Leave Meeting option at the lower
right corner of the Zoom window.

Find more Information, on the Zoom Help Center website.

Zoom User Tips

These are some following tips to help make sure you have
the best experience. It is within your best interests to follow these
recommendations to ensure a good quality class/interview/meeting.

  1. Obtain a high
    quality web camera if you are using a desktop
    . For laptops, if your computer is less than 3 years old, the built-in
    camera (if it has one) should be adequate.
  2. Obtain a
    computer headset
    . This will greatly
    reduce the chance for feedback and improve your voice quality for those who are
    communicating with you on the other side. Headsets that connect via USB are the
    best choice.
  3. When possible,
    connect to the Internet with a physical cable connection, not just Wi-Fi.
    This will give you much greater speed and service.
  4. A laptop or
    desktop is preferred over a Smartphone or tablet.
  5. Don’t be
    . Wind and background noise
    makes your device’s microphone adjust and your voice may sound muffled.
  6. Don’t have
    several programs running while using Zoom. Close all unnecessary applications
    during your call so all processing power can be used to maximize the quality of
    your Zoom session.
  7. Pay attention to
    your background. Too much light behind you and you appear to be only a dark
    figure. !lso, don’t have anything behind you that may be distracting to those
    who are on the other side.
  8. To counteract
    back lighting, make sure you have a good source of light in front of you and
    behind the camera that you are using with your computer.
  9. Pay attention to
    your attire. Don’t wear stripes or anything too bright. Solid colors are best.
  10. Avoid moving your
    head too much or “talking with your hands.” Video via Skype is a little
    different than television, and too much movement can cause the video to
    pixelate and degrade.

About our Upcoming Zoom Webinar

In the wake of Coronavirus, a pandemic ravaging global cities, more companies are asking employees to work from home to reduce human contact which is key for the virus’ spread. The WordPress Community Team has also strongly recommended that physical events be postponed, and instead online events be adapted.

And it’s realistic to assume that shifting to the ‘home office’ will become the new normal for many of us for a while. Many of us will be working from home for the first time, which means figuring out how to stay on task in a new environment that may not lend itself to productivity. But there are ways to deliver results and avoid going stir-crazy, from setting up a good workspace to the way you talk to your team and clients.

Charlotte has been working from home since 2009 when she arrived in Uganda and she recently shared some tips through her blog: (which she manages using WordPress). She will be sharing more with our community during this webinar.

Also, during this period, many people are spending a lot of time online than before. During this period, we have noticed a high volume of spam and fake news posted in our community forums, especially WhatsApp chat groups. Many members are living in fear and boredom and keep forwarding chain spam posts ignorantly.
Cyber Security issues such as Spam, online scams and frauds, identity theft and issues related to online purchases are a serious issue in the online world. Navigating the Web while avoiding these threats can be a challenging task.

The ICT Teachers Association of Uganda has several WhatsApp groups with thousands of members. We shall be creating more awareness about cyber security and also give tips on how to handle the spam problem without necessarily removing the much desired community members from the chat groups and forums.

We shall be using Zoom Video Conferencing software for this meetup. Members are encouraged to install the zoom application on their laptops and phones before the start of the meeting.

You can install the application through this link before joining the Meeting, ID: 756 404 349.

Members are also encouraged to watch the how-to videos on usage and features of the zoom listed on this page: so that they are comfortable using the technology.

Here are some more informative articles to read ahead of the meeting:

See you online! RSVP here