Just one year ago, had someone mentioned that they would call you over Zoom, you would have been forgiven for asking what they meant by that. After all, video calls were something which you only did every now and then, and usually over one of Facebook’s social networking platforms (such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Instagram). The idea of sitting down at a PC, or installing a secondary, corporate communications app on your phone, just so you could hold video calls, was probably not something you thought you’d ever have to do. Maybe it brought to mind Skype, which had become something of an outdated platform.
Fast-forward a year, through an ongoing global pandemic that rocked the world and confined the vast majority of us to our homes, depriving us of contact with our friends and family, and Zoom – the US communications technology company, which provides video calling and online chat services through its cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform – has become something of a household name. Like Google, it has monopolized its particular market niche, and become synonymous with the verb ‘to videocall’. Nowadays, we say ‘Do you want to Zoom?’ with all the ease with which we might once have said ‘Do you want to Facetime?’
And more importantly than just for personal use, Zoom has been instrumental in the preservation of education and previously office-based companies, in the sense that through the Zoom app, teachers are still able to give lectures, and host seminars; and bosses are able to host meetings, and colleagues able to discuss mutual projects, as easily as they once could in a physical environment.
But have you ever been on a Zoom call with more than, say, just two or three other people? Have you ever been talked right over, or felt too nervous to speak up and interject? Certainly, I’m sure you’ve experienced a poor Wifi connection or low bandwidth, meaning that you seem to be lagging behind in the conversation. Perhaps there are simply too many people on the call to have an orderly conversation. Well, thankfully there is something you can do, to ensure that you get your deserved, fair chance to speak. Something we all learned to do in class as children, but which those of us new to Zoom might need a quick tutorial on raising your hand.
To raise your hand in a Zoom meeting, whether on a PC or on the mobile app, just follow the following instructions:
- From your PC’s Start Menu or Desktop, navigate to the Zoom app either by finding it in your list of apps, or by clicking the Desktop Icon which you created when you installed the app. (If you’ve yet to install the app, navigate to https://zoom.us/signin and sign-in, or create an account, and download the PC app from there).
- Now it’s time to join a meeting (or start one). Let’s assume that you have one to hand, or are able to run a test Zoom call with a friend, for example.
- When in the meeting, and you want to ’raise your hand’, first click Participants from the toolbar along the bottom (below the participants’ videos)
- This will open a sidebar with a list of all the call’s participants. At the bottom of this sidebar, locate and click on Raise Hand (next to ‘Invite’ and ‘Mute me/Unmute me’)
- Your virtual hand is now ‘raised’. This alerts both the host and others in the call to the fact that you have something you want to say. The host can choose to override this, by lowering people’s hands once they feel they have effectively answered your question, or allowed you time to speak. Alternatively, once you feel that you no longer require attention or time to speak, you can Lower your hand by returning to the Participants sidebar and clicking Lower Hand
- From your Home screen, navigate to the Zoom app (or to your app store and download it, if you haven’t before). You may be prompted to sign-in to your Zoom account, do so if necessary
- Now it’s time to join a meeting (or start one). Let’s assume that you have one to hand, or are able to run a test Zoom call with a friend, for example
- When in the meeting, and you want to ‘raise your hand’, tap on the screen to bring up the various hidden options
- Tap the three grey dots in the bottom right-hand corner, which is the More icon
- Now tap the Raise Hand option
- Your virtual hand is now ‘raised’. This alerts both the host and others in the call to the fact that you have something you want to say. The host can choose to override this, by lowering people’s hands once they feel they have effectively answered your question, or allowed you time to speak. Alternatively, once you feel that you no longer require attention or time to speak, you can Lower your hand by returning to the More icon and clicking Lower Hand
Note: If you are the host of a Zoom meeting in which one or more of your participants have ‘raised their hands’, you will be able to see this, as a hand icon with the name(s) of the relevant participant(s) will appear on your screen, or in the thumbnail of the relevant participant(s). To address them, you need only speak to them. To lower one or more of these raised hands, simply click on the relevant hand icon(s) and select Lower Hand or Lower All Hands.
And there you have it! In today’s fast-paced world of constant video calls, it will stand you in good stead to have learned how to quickly and efficiently attract the attention of your teacher, boss, coworker, friend, or family member, simply by ‘raising your hand’ in Zoom. To do so, you just have to follow our simple steps.