Top Tips for Zoom Meetings Settings

Here Joe Houghton shares some top tips for changing the default settings for your Zoom video-conference meetings


  • Review the Zoom online tutorials
    • 1 minute how-to videos are at
    • Well worth investing a few minutes watching these!
  • Change your Zoom background
    • In the desktop app, choose the Home tab & click on the Settings cog Click on “Virtual Background”
    • Click on any of the photos to replace your room with that image… or
    • Upload your own images by clicking on the + icon on the right – like I did above with my shot from the river at Glendalough in Co. Wicklow
  • Change some of the Basic Settings
    • Turn on “Join before host” so people don’t have to wait for you to start the meeting
    • Mute participants on entry so ambient noise is minimised from everyone’s surroundings
    • Auto-save chats – great for keeping a record of the chat discussions


  • Turn on as many of the collaboration tools as possible to vary modes of interaction
    • Chat, polling, nonverbal feedback
  • Start the webinar 10 minutes early
    • People need a few minutes to get connected and settled
  • Set meeting recording to Cloud
    • If it’s appropriate to record the meeting…
    • This allows you to also get automated transcripts of the whole meeting
  • Turn on “Allow Host to put attendee on hold”
    • We’re increasingly seeing gatecrashers entering non-passworded Zoom meetings. This setting will let you throw them out…
  • Don’t share your PMI publicly
    • Your Personal Meeting ID is effectively an always open Zoom meeting you and others can join at any time
    • Only share your PMI code with trusted contacts
  • Learn some of the useful keyboard shortcuts
    • These are accessed from the app settings
    • Space bar unmutes you to talk while it’s held down
    • Cmd/Ctrl + L toggles portrait and landscape view
  • You can set up a 2nd camera…
    • … and switch to it using Shift + Cmd/Ctrl + N
  • Turn Recording on/off
    • Shift + Cmd/Ctrl + R



Joe Houghton is an Assistant Professor & Programme Director teaching Project Management at the UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business in Dublin, Ireland.
He also consults, coaches and trains companies and non-profits, as well as delivering photography tuition and talks all over the world. Connect on LinkedIn