Meetings, whether online or face to face, are typically planned, scheduled, and hosted by the same person. You may or may not have noticed but it is usually a manager that takes care of this, however, with applications like Zoom, the role of a host can be far more versatile and you can even share or delegate different responsibilities.
This means that the stress of organizing a meeting no longer falls to one person, and instead, they can be easily helped, allowing them to focus more on their own work. Below, we have provided some information on the different hosting features available in Zoom.
Passing on the host controls
If you have been to more than a couple of meetings, chances are that you have been in at least one that has dragged on past the scheduled time. This is, unfortunately, fairly common if your team is perhaps stuck trying to solve a problem or brainstorm a troublesome idea.
But what do you do if the host has other commitments and needs to leave? Whether the meeting went on too long, or if something came up unexpectedly, sometimes people simply have to duck out.
Luckily, Zoom has a feature in place that allows you to seamlessly pass on the host controls to someone else present in the meeting. To do this simply follow the following instructions.
- Click ‘Manage Participants’ in the host control bar.
- Open the list and hover over the person you wish to choose before clicking on ‘More’.
- Click the ‘Make Host’ option.
- Confirm the change by clicking ‘Yes’ when prompted.
It really is that simple, however, there are a few things you should remember when it comes to free and licensed users transferring host controls to one another.
Firstly, hosts that are licensed, meaning they have paid for the service, can pass on the host controls to a free user and the meeting will still continue for an unlimited time.
The opposite is true for the reverse situation. A free user host can still pass on their hosting controls to a licensed user, but the meeting will still only run for the usually limited time of 40 minutes.
Adding in a co-host
Adding a co-host can be incredibly helpful if you are hosting a Zoom meeting with a high number of people attending, for example, a webinar. If the main host is speaking or giving a presentation, it is a good idea to have a secondary host around to make sure that the speaker is not interrupted by things like general tasks, technical issues, and interacting with participants.
Basically, a co-host is someone whose job it is to help out with the overall administrative part of the meeting, they will essentially help to manage everything and ensure that everything runs smoothly even if the main host is preoccupied. To add in a co-host in Zoom follow the below guide:
- Log into your Zoom account through their website.
- Click on ‘My Meeting Settings’.
- Head to the ‘Meeting’ tab.
- Click on the ‘Co-host’ option and enable it by toggling the switch to the ‘On’ position.
It is important to note that if you attempt to do this and the ‘Co-host’ option is greyed out, you are probably not the Zoom administrator and will have to contact your Zoom administrator instead.
Alternative host feature
Sometimes, life simply gets in the way of your plans and this is especially true with the current pandemic turning out lives upside down. If for whatever reason, you end up being unable to host the meeting that you worked so hard to organize, you can still set up an alternative host to take over for you.
This alternative host will be emailed and will receive any and all instructions on how to start the meeting in question. This alternative host can also be given scheduling privileges just in case they need to set up future appointments without the original host present.
To set up an alternative host, you will need to do the following:
- Log into the Zoom app on your computer.
- Click on the calendar icon to reach your schedule.
- Click ‘Advanced Options’.
- Type the name or email address of your chosen alternative in the ‘Alternative Host’ box.
- Click on ‘Schedule’ to apply the change.
It is after this is done that the alternative host will be emailed a notification that they have been set as the designated replacement.
Some more useful features
While hosting a Zoom meeting, you want to appear as professional as possible and you certainly want to avoid any distractions coming from your side of the call. One of the most useful features available to prevent these distractions is the ability to set custom backgrounds for Zoom meetings.
These backgrounds will automatically replace anything behind you, acting just like a green screen would without you having to actually buy a physical screen. These virtual backgrounds are practically a necessity for anyone attending a video conference call and especially so for the hosts.
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