PFLAG Princeton will be hosting virtual meetings for the time-being. We will be using the Zoom video conferencing service to host these meetings. Meetings are open to all and there is no charge and nothing to buy to use Zoom conferencing, however, you do have to have the free Zoom software installed on your computer or smartphone to join.
While Zoom defaults to video conferencing and we feel video provides the best experience for communication, allowing participants to see and express body language, you do have the option with the Zoom software to turn off your camera and participate by audio only.
Zoom also allows you to set your name and we encourage just the use of first names and that you use the name with which you are most comfortable.
Below are some instructions on getting started with the Zoom software.
If you would like to join our next meeting via Zoom conferencing, you must email us using our firstname.lastname@example.org address. Simply tell us the name you will be using in the Zoom software and we will email you the link to the meeting on the Sunday before the meeting. We must have your name to recognize you and admit you to the Zoom conference room.
Getting Started with Zoom Conferencing
If you already have the Zoom software installed/configured on your computer or smartphone, just click the link we send you at least a few minutes before the 7pm start of the meeting. Note that the Zoom software you previously installed (for work or personal use) is already configured with your name and by default will use that name again for this meeting. After you join the meeting you can change your name, as described below, or you can go into the Zoom software before you join the meeting and change your name.
If you haven’t installed or used Zoom before, we recommend that you get started 15 or 20 minutes before the 7pm start of the meeting to allow time to install the software.
You do not have to create an account. However, you do have to install the Zoom software. Zoom will prompt you to install the software automatically when you click on the Zoom link for the meeting. Follow the instructions provided by the software. An installer file will be downloaded by your web browser and then you will have to follow the instructions from there to run the installer. The installation can work even if you are using a work computer that limits your ability to install software. The installation just takes a couple of minutes.
As soon as the installation is done, the Zoom software will start and will join the meeting. First a dialog box will appear asking you to provide a name and it will offer a name based on your computer login. Please enter whatever name you choose here; there is no need for last names. You can uncheck the box that says “Remember my name…” if you like.
Next the software will show you a preview of your video camera and the Join With Video button will be highlighted. We believe that video will help us communicate best and encourage you to use it but if you do not wish to, choose the Join Without Video button.
Finally, you will be prompted to Join with Computer Audio. Below this button is a Test Speaker and Microphone button and we strongly suggest you click this button. Zoom will first play a tone and ask you to confirm you hear it (this verifies your speakers work). Then it will prompt you to speak while it records some audio and will then play that back to you once you stop speaking. Please do these tests to confirm your computer speakers and microphones work properly. Then choose the Join with Computer Audio button and you will be added to the meeting.
See the usage tips below for how to use the Zoom software while in the meeting.
You do not have to create an account. However, you do have to install the Zoom software from your phone’s software store. Search your software store for software from Zoom.us (not Zoom.com). The logo looks like this (in the Apple store):
We recommend you do this 15 or 20 minutes before the meeting.
Once the app is installed you may start the app and click the Join a Meeting button and then you will have to enter the meeting ID (and password) from the email we send you. There is also a space to enter your name – please enter whatever name you choose here; there is no need for last names. Click the Join button and the app will show you a video preview. Choosing the Join with Video button will use share your video when you join the meeting. You may choose to Join without Video at this point but we believe it provides a much better communication experience if you do share your video. Finally, the app will prompt you to connect your audio so click the Call using Internet Audio button. You will now be entered into the meeting.
Note: The Zoom app uses your smartphone’s data service for video and audio. If you are connected to WiFi, then Zoom will use that WiFi. If you are not connected to WiFi, Zoom will use your smartphone’s data plan for video and audio and the video can use a large amount of data. We recommend you only use video if you are connected to WiFi.
Usage Tips For Zoom
- Headphones: Whether you are using a computer or smartphone, consider whether you want or need to use headphones to provide privacy for our discussion.
- On the computer: The controls are visible when your cursor is in the Zoom window. In the upper right corner is a control that lets you switch between Gallery View (all participants in equally sized windows with a highlight around the current speaker) or Speaker View (the speaker in a larger centered window with the participants in a strip of smaller windows). You can resize the Zoom window and it will rearrange the individual windows as necessary. Across the bottom are the controls for muting your microphone/camera and displaying the participant and chat panels.
- On the smartphone: Tap the screen to display the controls or hide the controls. To change between Gallery View and Speaker View, swipe left or right. Across the bottom are the controls for muting your microphone/camera and displaying the participant list.
- Changing your displayed name:
- On the computer: Click the Participants icon at the bottom of the Zoom window – the Participants panel will appear on the right side of the screen. Your name will be at the top of the list and when you position your cursor over your name, a blue MORE button will appear. Click the MORE button and a RENAME option will appear. Select RENAME and enter the name you would like to use.
- On the smartphone: When the controls are displayed (tap the screen to see the controls if you don’t see them), click the Participant list icon (the second icon from the right) to view the Participant list. Tap your name and at the bottom of the screen choose RENAME to change your name.
- Muting your microphone/video:
- On the computer: When the controls are displayed, there is a microphone icon in the lower left corner of the window. If this icon has a red slash through it, you are muted. Clicking this icon will toggle between muted and unmuted (no red slash). If the Participant panel is visible, you can also mute and unmute yourself by clicking on the button at the bottom of the panel or the button that appears when you place your cursor over your name in the participant list.
- On the smartphone: When the controls are displayed (tap the screen to see the controls if you don’t see them), a microphone icon is visible in the lower left corner of the screen. If this icon has a red slash through it, you are muted. Clicking this icon will toggle between muted and unmuted (no red slash).
- Raising your hand: You can use the RAISE HAND feature to turn on a hand icon that indicates that you want to talk.
- On the computer: Click the Participants icon at the bottom of the Zoom window and the Participants panel will appear on the right side of the screen. At the bottom of the panel is a RAISE HAND button. When you click this button, a blue hand appears next to your name in the Participants list and in the corner of your video window. When your hand is raised, the button changes to LOWER HAND and clicking the button again removes the blue hand symbol.
- On the smartphone: When the controls are displayed (tap the screen to see the controls if you don’t see them), 3 dots with the word MORE underneath are visible in the lower right corner of the screen. Tap this icon and a list of options will appear, one of which is Raise Hand (or Lower Hand if your hand is raised). You won’t see a change on the main screen but if you display the Participant list (the second icon from the right when the controls are displayed) you will see a blue hand next to your name when your hand is raised.
- Keeping one participant on-screen: When you have the Zoom software in speaker view mode, the person speaking will be larger than everyone else (on the computer), or full screen (on a smartphone). If you are the current speaker, you will be shown the last active speaker. If you are having a back-and-forth discussion, this works well, but if you want to look at another participant while you are talking, you can “pin” their window to stay full screen (smartphone) or featured (computer) while you talk, regardless of other participants talking:
- On the computer: In either gallery or speaker view, hover your cursor over the window you want to pin, click on the 3 dots button, and select PIN VIDEO from the menu. The Zoom software will switch to speaker view and that window will stay featured regardless of who is talking. To unpin the video, hover over the pinned video window and click the UNPIN VIDEO button.
- On the smartphone: switch to gallery view (swipe left) and double tap the window in gallery view that you want to pin. To unpin, double tap the pinned video window again.