Here is what you need to know to join one of our online meetings — including some of the details that tend to trip up first time visitors.
Joining a Meeting
The link to our online meetings is included with the confirmation message displayed on screen, and also emailed to you, when you register as a guest.
Members can find the online meetings details here (password protected).
Because of Zoom’s updates to its security policies, the meeting link is no longer published on this page.
On your first visit, you will be prompted to download and install the Zoom software, if you do not already have it on your computer.
Once you’ve installed the software, it should launch you into the online meeting session.
There is also a “join with your browser” option that should allow you to join the meeting without installing software. This is particularly worth trying if you’re having trouble with the software download. Some fancy features may be missing from the browser-only version, but you won’t necessarily care about those on your first visit.
It is also possible to join via the Zoom Mobile apps for iOS and Android. Follow the same link from your mobile device, and you will be prompted to download the app.
Attending the meeting on your phone will allow you to visit, but for full participation in our meetings using a PC is better.
If you can’t figure out how to access the meeting, and you are really stuck, here are a few people you can contact for help. Just keep in mind that depending on our meeting role, we might be too busy to see your email or call you back. And like everyone else, there may be times when we are not attending and tied up with other business or personal obligations.
That said, here are a few tech support contacts:
David Carr, Past President (charter)
Lois Margolin, President
Those are U.S. phone numbers.
Audio and Video
Most laptops come equipped with a built-in webcam and microphone, allowing you to participate in one of our meetings.
However, we do recommend using a computer headset or taking some other precautions to prevent background noise and audio feedback from becoming a distraction. If you don’t have any special equipment, joining the meeting from a quiet place and using earbuds rather than your computer speakers (to prevent feedback) should be fine.
When a member is presenting, we generally recommend that you mute yourself (see below). Or the Toastmaster of the Day may mute everyone except for the speaker.
There are buttons in the lower left hand corner of the screen that allow yu to mute and unmute or turn your video on and off.
See also our tips on sharing your screen or slides.
You can communicate without speaking by using the chat function associated with the online meeting. Click the chat bubble icon, and a screen will pop up allowing you to send a message.
By default, your message goes to the whole group. You can also change the drop-down menu from “Everyone” to the name of another participant to send a private message.
We use private messages to vote on best speaker, for example.
Gallery vs. Active Speaker View
There are a couple of different video modes you can toggle between for seeing the other participants. A control in the upper right hand corner lets you switch between Active Speaker view, where you see the person who is speaking at that moment, and Gallery view, where you see everyone.
This is under the control of the individual attendee.
Try It Now
For a brief test only, try it now, using the link that we sent you. You should wind up in a “meeting” that includes only you — enough to see that the software works with your computer.
For further testing, speech-practicing, or meeting-hosting, get your own account (free and other levels) at Zoom.us
About Joining (Membership)