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Tips on How to Use Zoom for your next Baha'i Holy Day Event or 19 Day Feast

In this unprecedented time of Covid-19, more and more Baha'is are hosting events, holy day celebrations and even their 19-Day Baha'i Feast via online video conferencing tools. While there are a multitude of great platforms, here are our tips on how to guarantee a great event using Zoom:

Internet Speed is Vital

If you are hosting an event and plan to show videos or share music, make sure the one hosting has excellent and consistent internet speed. You can't control the speed of the other users and how they will receive the content but you can make sure that what is being shared is at optimal quality.

Turn on Sound

This might sound obvious but when sharing your screen to share a video during a session, the automatic setting for Zoom is to not share sound. When you click play, you will hear the sound but the other particiants won't with you none-the-wiser. Remember to tick this option BEFORE you click share or you will be the only person fully enjoying the video.

Mute Everyone

Ambient or background noise can often get in the way of having a fantastic event. The host can hit ⌘Cmd+Ctrl+M (PC: Alt+M) to mute everyone on the call at once. This one short-cut may be our favorite. Check out more Hot Keys and Keyboard Shortcuts for Zoom.

Share the Hosting

Juggling all the admin work, organising the event, making sure all the sharescreens are working and being the MC can be nearly impossible. The co-host feature allows the host to share hosting privileges with another user, allowing the co-host to manage the administrative side of the meeting, such as managing participants or starting/stopping the recording. The host must assign a co-host. There is no limitation on the number of co-hosts you can have in a meeting or webinar.

Disable Private Chat

Zoom has in-meeting chat for participants so that they can message each other privately. Restrict participants' ability to chat amongst one another while your event is going on and cut back any distractions. This is especially important to prevent anyone from getting unwanted or inappropriate messages during the meeting. If organisers need to message each other, encourage them to talk through another private platform.

Enable Waiting Room

One of the best ways to use Zoom for public events is to enable the waiting room feature. Just like it sounds, the waiting room is a virtual staging area that stops your guests from joining until you're ready for them. This also gives you control over who can enter when you start.

Meeting hosts can customize Waiting Room settings for additional control, and you can even personalize the message people see when they hit the Waiting Room so they know they’re in the right spot. This message is really a great spot to post any rules/guidelines for your event, like who it’s intended for.

Manage Screen Sharing

To prevent unwanted participants from screen sharing during a call it's important to manage your screen sharing. Using the host controls at the bottom, click the arrow next to Share Screen and then Advanced Sharing Options. Under “Who can share?” choose “Only Host” and close the window. You can also lock the Screen Share by default for all your meetings in your web settings.

Lock the Meeting

It's always smart to lock your front door, even when you're inside the house. When you lock a Zoom meeting that's already started, no new participants can join, even if they have the meeting ID and password. In the meeting, click Participants at the bottom of your Zoom window. In the Participants pop-up, click the button that says Lock Meeting.

Turn Off Annotation

You and your attendees can doodle and mark up content together using annotations during screen share. You can disable the annotation feature in your Zoom settings to prevent people from writing all over the screens.

Remove Disruptive Participants

Remove unwanted to disruptive participants using the participants menu. You can mouse over a participant's name and several options will appear, including "remove". Click that to kick someone out of the meeting.

Turn Off File Transfer

In-meeting file transfer allows people to share files through the in=meeting chat. Toggle this off to keep the chat from getting bombarded with unsolicited or inappropriate photos, GIFs, memes and other content.



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