4 Creative Ways to Use Zoom for Meetings (Actual Hacks!)

We at Wild SF never settle for normal. One of our core values is a “sense of wonder.” That’s why we wanted to bring you these creative use cases for Zoom features that will foster creativity, storytelling and fresh interactions in your team!

These are tricks we figured out while developing our infamous Virtual Vacation, a jam-packed remote team builder that uses Zoom to launch teams through a roller coaster of fun challenges and stories.

We researched Zoom for hours and hours, and found some truly unique applications that can be achieved by anyone!

Sadly, there weren’t any other articles detailing these cool applications, just  “Zoom hacks” that are technical how-to’s, like using hotkeys, or integrating with Google Calendar.

So, we’re super eager to show you some of these silly, and fantastically engaging, tricks to Zoom that can bring your next virtual gathering a lot more life!

Cycle Through Zoom Backgrounds

Stories and presentations can really come to life with custom backdrops! And it’s so easy to set up with Zoom: you can upload any photo to use as your virtual background.

This is a great alternative to screen sharing a slideshow, as it keeps you visible on-screen.

We find it much more entertaining to watch a person with slides behind them — it’s more like you’re watching the Daily Show!

How to Set Up

Click the arrow next to the “Stop Video” button in the lower left
Then click “Choose Virtual Background”
Click the plus sign to add an image (or even a video!)
Tip: Number your images so they’re in order before uploading to Zoom, and voila! You have your story or presentation ready to go

To Use

Have everyone put on Speaker View (so they can see you in full-screen)
Keep the Virtual Backgrounds window open during your presentation for easy access
Use your arrow keys to toggle through backgrounds – they load fast in real time!

Applications

Slideshow presentations
Storytelling with compelling visuals

Effect

Makes for a much more lively presentation
You can point to things

Last Words

Use a photo editing program to create 16:9 ratio slides, so you know everything will fit perfectly
Move important stuff out of the center (or else you’ll be right in front of it!)
Try uploading a video as a background!

Whiteboard Party on Zoom

Most of us are familiar with the “whiteboard” on Zoom, where anyone can screen-share and draw on a virtual whiteboard.
Of course in a real conference room, everyone could draw on the whiteboard. While not widely known, in Zoom you can too!

How to Set Up

1 person clicks Share Screen > Whiteboard
Everyone else clicks View Options > Annotate
Now everyone can participate on the same Whiteboard!
Applications
Brainstorming session
Draw a collaborative mural
Play “reverse pictionary”
This is a fun game we made up, where the whole team takes turns giving instructions to one person, who draws an image without knowing what it is they’re drawing. The object is for them to guess it as quickly as possible.
For example: if you wanted them to draw a smiley face, people could give clues like “First, draw a big circle” “Now draw two smaller, egg-shaped circles inside the big circle, at the top” and so on.

Last Words

This is a great way to reduce Zoom fatigue from staring at faces, and to start interacting in a fresh way!

“In addition to the multiple screen-sharing options, Zoom includes a built-in whiteboard that can be used for interactive on-the-fly activities, much like you would have in a conference room. The host can allow all users to mark up the board as well as use the ‘annotate’ feature so everyone’s ideas can be shared virtually. And when the brainstorming is done, you also have the option to save the whiteboard so you can use it again later in the meeting or for reference afterwards.”

Let Participants Choose Their Own Adventure

(Well, Their Own Breakout Groups)

At conferences, multiple sessions are happening simultaneously, and conference guests choose which one they want to attend. You can re-create that experience on Zoom with this workaround.

Say you have three presentations, and want your team to jump onto whichever they like.

What you’ll want to do is make everyone a co-host, which will allow them to roam freely between breakout sessions (they can join one session, then hop into another, all without you needing to do anything!).

How to Set Up

Host
First, put everyone into breakout rooms, making sure that each Presenter is their own separate room. (You can arbitrarily distribute everyone else, since they’ll be moving themselves shortly.)
Click on Participants
Next to each person’s name, click More > Make Co-Host

How to Move Yourself (as Co-Host)
Down in the Toolbar, click ‘Breakout Rooms’ and, voila, all the breakout rooms are available!

Using Snapcam with Zoom

This one isn’t a hack, but it is a fun add-on! Download Snapcam’s desktop app to access all the fun face filters from Snapcam, through Zoom.

Once you download, you’ll need to restart your computer for it to work.

When opening Zoom, instead of your default webcam, choose Snap Camera, and open the app. You can search through the filters and play around!