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Zoom Meeting and Webinar Guide

Host a Zoom Meeting or Webinar Quick Start Guide

All Gratz College faculty, staff, and students can use Zoom to host online meetings and webinars. This guide walks you through the steps of hosting a meeting or webinar. If you have difficulty downloading and installing Zoom, please contact the IT Helpdesk at If you have an upcoming event, please give yourself ample time to test your meetings or webinars before you go live and so we have ample time to assist you. 

If you would like to make an appointment to practice using Zoom, contact the Helpdesk staff.

Equipment Needed:

  • A computer with an internet connection (wired connection or wi-fi)
  • Microphone (built-in or USB plug-in)
  • Webcam (built-in or USB plug-in)

Download the Zoom Desktop App:
You must download and install the Zoom desktop application to host meetings and webinars. To download the Zoom app on your phone or mobile device, visit the App Store for Apple iOS or Google Play for Android and search for Zoom.

  • Go to 
  • Click the Download button for Zoom Client for Meetings. 
  • Follow the prompts to download and install Zoom on your computer.

Sign In to the Zoom Desktop Application
We recommend you sign in using Google, with your Gratz email. If you are a guest or Con Ed/ AJL student you may use a personal email.

Zoom sign in page


Basic Recommended Settings

The following settings are in the desktop application that you MAY want to adjust prior to hosting a meeting or webinar. There are many other adjustments that involve audio and visual which the IT staff does not recommend without our guidance. There are personal settings as well which are a matter of personal preference and entirely your choice.

Click Settings (small grey gear icon) in the upper right of the Zoom desktop application to open the Settings dialog box. This is where you will find all the different options you have to control your settings in Zoom. 


Automatically Mute Your Microphone
Ensure your microphone is always muted so you don’t accidently broadcast your audio when you start a meeting.

  • In the Settings dialog, click the Audio option on the left.
  • Check the Mute my microphone when joining a meeting checkbox.
  • Use the Test Speaker and Test Mic buttons to test your computer speakers and microphone, if desired.


Enable Host Tools in the Zoom Web Portal
The options you enable on the Meeting Settings page in the Zoom Web Portal determines which tools are available to you in all your meetings and webinars. Be sure to review and enable the tools you may want to use, such as alternative hosts, co-hosts, polls, nonverbal feedback icons, etc. before starting your session. Any tools or features that are disabled on this page will not be available to you in any of your meetings or webinars.



Host a Meeting 

Start a Meeting/ Getting Started

While there are multiple ways of starting a meeting, it is recommended that you start your session using the Zoom desktop application. This ensures that you are the host of your meeting. We recommend that you start your meeting 5 to 10 minutes before the start time so your guests are not waiting.

You can also start/ join a Zoom meeting through a desktop alert or a calendar invite.
Zoom option to join a meeting


Mute/Unmute Audio and Adjust Audio Options
  • To unmute yourself and begin talking, click the Unmute button (microphone) in the bottom-left corner of the meeting window.
  • To mute yourself, click the Mute button (microphone). A red slash will appear over the microphone icon indicating that your audio is now off.
  • To test your computer microphone and speakers or to change your audio input device, click the arrow on the microphone icon and select Test Speaker & Microphone.
  • To switch from computer audio to phone audio, click the arrow on the microphone button and select Switch to Phone Audio. A dialog box will appear with a phone number, the Meeting ID, and your Participant ID. After dialing the phone number, you will be prompted to enter the Meeting ID and Participant ID using your phone's keypad
Start/Stop Video and Adjust Video Options
  • Click the Start Video button in the menu bar at the bottom to begin your video.
  • Click the Stop Video button to stop sharing your video stream.
  • To choose a different webcam or adjust your video settings, click the arrow to the right of the Video icon and select Video Settings.

NOTE: If you choose not to turn on your webcam in the meeting and video has been activated, your video window will contain either your name, initials, or a photo, depending on how your profile is set up

Manage Participant Audio and Video
  • Hosts can control participant audio and video using the tools in the Participants panel.
  • The Participants panel allows you to easily see who has audio and video connected, which is helpful information when troubleshooting participant audio issues.
  • The host can mute all participants in a meeting, but does not have the option to unmute all participants.
  • If the meeting settings allow it, participants can unmute themselves using the Zoom toolbar at the bottom of the window.
To mute all participants:
  • Click the Participants button in the Zoom toolbar at the bottom of the meeting window to open the Participants panel.
  • Click the Mute All button at the bottom of the Participants panel.
  • The Mute All pop up displays asking you to confirm that you want to mute all current and new participants. Deselect the Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves checkbox to prevent participants from unmuting themselves during the meeting.
  • Click Yes to mute all participants.
  • To mute or unmute an individual participant, hover over the person's name in the Participants panel and click Mute or Unmute.

***Hosts cannot turn on a participant's video. However, hosts can turn off a participant's video or request that a participant turns on their video.

To manage participant video:

  • Click the Participants button in the Zoom toolbar at the bottom of the Zoom meeting window.
  • Hover your mouse over a person's name.
  • Click More.
  • Select Ask to Start Video to send the participant a request to start their video or select Stop Video to turn off that participant's video feed.
Send Messages with Chat
  • Click the Chat icon in the menu bar to open the Zoom Group Chat window.
  • Type your message in the Text box at the bottom of the window.
  • Press Enter to send.
  • To send a message to a single participant, click the down arrow in the To: field and select the participant's name.
  • Enter your message in the Text box and press Enter to send your message to the selected participant.
  • Click the down arrow again and switch back to Everyone (in Meeting) in order to communicate with the entire group.

NOTE: When you receive a chat message while screen sharing, the menu bar displays and the More button blinks. Click the More button and select Chat from the list to display the Chat panel.

Share Your Screen or a Whiteboard
In a Zoom meeting, both the host and participants can share their computer screen, the screen from an external device such as an iPhone or iPad, or open a whiteboard for all users to add content. Users can choose to share any specific application window they have open or select Screen to share all currently open windows. The whiteboard option opens a blank screen where all participants can draw, add text, highlight items or add other annotations using the tools in the toolbar that displays.

Additional tools, such as Chat, Breakout Rooms, and Record are moved under the More button on the right side of the menu bar.

  • Click the Share Screen button on the menu bar.
  • Select the specific application window you would like to share or select Screen to be able share any open window on your computer.
  • Select Whiteboard to share a whiteboard.
  • Click the Share button at the bottom of the window.
  • If you receive a chat message while you are screen sharing, the More button in the toolbar will blink. To view the chat message, click the More button and select Chat from the list.
  • To annotate in a screen share, click the Annotate button to open the annotation menu. Use the draw tools (arrows, shapes) to direct participants' attention to an area of your screen or use the text tool to type notes on the screen.
  • To close the annotation menu, click the X in the upper right of the annotation menu.
  • Click the More icon to view additional host tools, such as breakout rooms, Record, and end the meeting.
  • Click Stop Share in the small menu bar to stop sharing your screen.

NOTE: Participants can share their screens in the meeting if the host is not actively sharing. To disable screen sharing for participants, click the up arrow to the right of the Share Screen button in the Zoom toolbar and select Advanced Sharing.

Breakout Rooms

Breakout rooms allow you to split your Zoom meeting in up to 50 separate sessions. The meeting host or co-host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into these separate sessions automatically or manually, or they can allow participants to select and enter breakout sessions as they please. The host or co-host can switch between sessions at any time. 

  • Click Breakout Rooms icon from menu 
  • Select the number of rooms you would like to create, and how you would like to assign your participants to those rooms:
  • Automatically: Let Zoom split your participants up evenly into each of the rooms  
  • Manually: Choose which participants you would like in each room.
  • Let participants choose room: Participants can select and enter rooms on their own. 
  • Click Create Breakout Rooms.
  • Your rooms will be created, but will not start automatically. You can manage the rooms prior to starting them by following the instructions below.

NOTE: You can also pre-assign participants to breakout rooms when you schedule the meeting instead of managing them during the meeting.

Collect Feedback with Nonverbal Feedback Icons
Nonverbal feedback icons allow the host to quickly collect feedback and responses from participants without using chat. Nonverbal feedback icons include wave hand, yes, no, like, dislike, need a break, away, etc. The Nonverbal feedback feature must be enabled in the host's meeting settings in the Zoom Web Portal prior to the meeting.

  • Click Participants in the Zoom toolbar at the bottom of the Zoom meeting window.
  • Ask participants to use the available icons to respond to questions or to indicate a need, such as go slower or request a break.
  • Click the Clear All icon to remove the icons from the Participants panel, if necessary.
End a Meeting
  • Click the End button on the right side of the menu bar to the close the meeting. If you are currently sharing your screen, click the More button in the sharing toolbar and select End from the drop-down.
  • Click End Meeting for All to end the meeting and begin the rendering process for the session recording and reports.

NOTE: If you recorded the meeting locally, a dialog box will appear indicating the recording is being rendered and allows you to select where you would like to save the video.

Host a Webinar

Start a Webinar/ Getting Started

The steps to start, end, and record a webinar, connect audio and video, and share your screen are the same as for a Zoom meeting. Please see the Zoom meeting quick start guide above for more information.


The host of the webinar is the user who the webinar is scheduled under. They have full permissions to manage the webinar, panelists, and attendees. There can only be one host of a webinar. The host can do things like stop and start the webinar, mute panelists, stop panelists' video, remove attendees from the webinar, and more.

Co-hosts share many of the controls that hosts have, allowing the co-host to manage the administrative side of the webinar, such as managing attendees or starting/stopping the recording. The host must assign a co-host. Co-hosts cannot start a webinar. If a host needs someone else to be able to start the webinar, they can assign an alternative host.

Panelists are full participants in a webinar. They can view and send video, screen share, annotate, etc. You must be assigned panelist permissions by the webinar host. The host can also disable some features for panelists, including starting video, sharing your screen, and recording. 

Interact with Webinar Participants/ Attendees
In a Zoom webinar, participants have limited options to interact with hosts, co-hosts, and panelists. Participants can raise their hand, type in chat, or type in Q&A if you have allowed those options in your webinar.

Zoom provides a Raise Hand icon, chat, and Q&A options for interacting with participants.

  • Click the Participants icon in the menu bar to open the list of participants.
  • Participant list displayed with viewers tab visible

If a participant has raised their hand, a hand icon will be visible beside their name.

  • Click the Lower All Hands button to remove all raised hand icons or select Lower Hand from the More menu for an individual participant.

NOTE: Rolling over an individual’s name in the list will display options. For example, if you would like them to speak, you can promote them to panelist by rolling over their name and selecting Promote to Panelist.

Communicate with Chat
If you are not sharing your screen, click the Chat icon in the menu bar to open the Chat panel. If you are sharing your screen, click the More button and select Chat from the drop-down menu.

  • Type your message in the Text box at the bottom of the window.
  • Press Enter to send.
  • To send a message only to the panelists, click the down arrow in the To: field and select All Panelists.

NOTE: You can disable chat for viewers by clicking the More menu in the chat panel.

NOTE: If you receive a chat message while you are sharing your screen, the menu bar displays and the More button blinks. Click the More button and select Chat from the drop-down menu.

Communicate with Q&A
The Q&A feature allows participants to ask questions in the webinar. These questions are only visible to hosts, co-hosts, and panelists, who can either answer the question privately or send the question and answer to the entire group.

After sending the answer, the question and answer will appear on the Answered tab. You can then either add to the answer, or dismiss the question and answer from the Answered tab. Once a question is dismissed, it disappears from the Answered tab and cannot be retrieved.