How To Use Zoom Like A Pro: 13 Video Chat Hacks To Try At Your Next Meeting

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The [/news/what-your-zoom-background-says-about-you/ Zoom video meeting] and chat app has become the [ wildly popular] host to millions of people [/news/how-to-stay-sane-and-productive-when-working-from-home/ working] and [/news/distance-learning-online-education-classes-for-every-age-and-grade/ studying] from home during the [ coronavirus] pandemic. While the video chat service's rapid growth has led to the reveal of a [/news/zoom-every-security-issue-uncovered-in-the-video-chat-app/ number of privacy and security issues], there are ways to [/news/prevent-zoombombing-change-these-4-zoom-settings-now-for-secure-video-chat/ protect your account and your chats from Zoombombing] and other privacy flaws. 
Whether you've been using Zoom for years or have only just signed up, there are a number of helpful and fun tips, tricks and hidden features you can find to upgrade your video chatting experience and [/news/make-your-video-meetings-less-weird-5-tips-from-a-google-pro/ make your video meetings a little less weird].

Here are 13 ways to become a Zoom master.

Read more: [/news/ultimate-webcam-tips-how-to-look-sound-great-online/ Ultimate webcam tips: How to look and sound great online] 
1. Change your background 
Change your Zoom background to space, or a custom photo.

Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET

Virtually transport yourself to the beach, outer space or anywhere else you can imagine by customizing your background while on Zoom calls -- everyone's doing it these days. You can read our [/news/how-to-change-your-zoom-background-just-like-everyone-else-is-doing-right-now/ step-by-step guide to changing your Zoom background] on the desktop and mobile app, but basically you go to Settings > Virtual Background and select or upload the image you want from there. However, you do have to make sure that your system [ meets all of the requirements] to do so. 

Read more: [/news/10-free-zoom-alternative-apps-for-video-chats/ 10 free Zoom alternative apps for video chats]




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2. Mute your audio and turn off your camera by default
Diving for the mute audio and camera buttons as soon as you enter a meeting can get old. Keep your coworkers from seeing your bedhead or www.abarrelfull.co.uk hearing your cat screeching by turning those off by default. To do it, go to Settings > Audio > Mute microphone when joining a meeting, and then Settings > Video > Turn off my video when joining a meeting. 
3. Mute and unmute with the space bar
When you are called on to speak, stop scrambling to click the microphone button. You can press and hold the spacebar to quickly mute and unmute your mic, right from your keyboard. 

Read more: [/news/zoom-skype-facetime-11-tips-for-your-video-chat-apps/ Zoom, Skype, FaceTime: 11 tips for your video chat apps]
4. React with emoji on screen 
If you're muted in a meeting, you can still let the hosts know your thoughts with emoji reactions. Send a thumbs up or a clapping emoji to communicate without interrupting the meeting (by default, those reactions have a yellow skin tone, but you can customize that on the Zoom desktop app). 

To react during a meeting, click the Reactions tab at the bottom of the meeting screen (it's in the same panel as mute audio and video, to the right) and choose the one you want. Emoji will disappear after 5 seconds. 

If the meeting organizer enables the nonverbal feedback feature, participants can place an icon such as a raised hand next to their name to communicate. Every participant will be able to see each other's feedback.