For virtual meetings, events and talks, Berkshire FHS uses Zoom.  Zoom is one of the easiest webconferencing tools to use.

We’ve put together a few text-based guides on how we use Zoom, which follow this video tutorial.

Install Zoom app on your computer

We recommend that you install the Zoom app.  It’s a one-time step that will improve your experience during webinar sessions.


You can do this at the beginning of your first webinar but you should allow extra time to complete this task in case you encounter difficulties.  Webinars will start promptly at the scheduled time and the meeting will be opened before the due time to allow you to join but if you want to do it now, go to the zoom download site and look for this item at the top of the list:


You need to join using your computer to be able to view presentations.  Some meetings are discussion groups only, in which case there is maybe an option to join by phone.  Meetings open their virtual doors approximately 15 minutes before the meeting start time to allow participants to join.


For the best user experience, we recommend you join using a laptop or desktop computer.  If you use a tablet that has no physical keyboard, you will have fewer participant controls.


Join by computer

You will be provided with a link to the meeting.  All you need do is click it.



  1. This screen will display.
    1. If you haven’t already downloaded the Zoom app, it will happen automatically now. 
  2. Look out for a system prompt (1) and click the Open Zoom button. 
    1. If the system prompt doesn’t appear you can try to download it manually (2)
    2. If all else fails you can run the meeting directly from your browser (3) although you won’t have all the participant tools that are available in the app.
  3. You will need to enter a 6 number meeting password to access the meeting.
    1. This will have been provided to you in a separate email from the meeting invitation, for security purposes.
  4. Once you have entered your password you enter the meeting's waiting room.
    1. When the host has verified your identity you will be admitted to the meeting.


Join by phone

The meeting invitation will contain a list of dial-in numbers to call and a meeting number. All you have to do is:

  1. Dial the number
  2. Follow the voice prompt and enter the meeting number on your phone's keypad

Please try to avoid using your phone's speaker option, to minimise distortion on the line.

To get the best out of the webinar, please follow these guidelines.  There is also a video tutorial if you would prefer.


Background noise


Background noise from multiple participants on open microphone is something we need to avoid, using simple steps:

  1. Choose a quiet environment so that if you need to speak, you can be heard by all participants without background noise.  A room with soft furnishings is better than one with hard surfaces such as kitchen or conservatory.
  2. On entry to a meeting, your microphone may be muted.  The space bar on your computer keyboard acts as a push-to-talk button.  Hold it down to speak and release it when you’re done talking.
  3. If you have one, please use a headset. It increases the quality of the audio for everyone and reduces audio feedback.
  4. If joining by phone please don't use the speaker setting.


Don’t talk over each other


In a face-to-face meeting, multiple conversations can take place simultaneously and we can tune in to the one we want to follow.  That’s not possible in a webinar.  Please leave space for others to talk.


Raise your hand

Question?  You can draw the presenter’s attention silently by 'raising your hand.'



Open a chat


You can chat publicly to everyone on the webinar or privately to another person.  Do not click on or post any links in the chat window unless instructed to do so by the Host or Presenter.



Joining by Phone?

When dialling in, your meeting control options are limited.


Phone controls for participants

The following commands can be entered  using your phone's dial pad:

  • *6 - Toggle mute/unmute
  • *9 - Raise hand

  1. Leave meeting can be found bottom right of the screen.  You probably won't need it, unless you need to leave early, because the Host will end the meeting for everyone
  2. Unmute lets you toggle your mic on/off.
    1. A permanently open mic will introduce background noise so please don’t use this function.
    2. Use the Push-to-talk function (spacebar) instead.  Hold it down to talk and release it when you are done.
    3. The up arrow to the right lets you adjust your audio settings
  3. Start Video lets you toggle your webcam on/off.
    1. There’s rarely a need for video and, as it consumes a lot of bandwidth it’s best to leave it off unless asked.
    2. The up arrow to the right lets you adjust your video settings
  4. Invite lets you invite others to join the call.
    1. If there is a need to add someone to the call, tell the Host and let them care for it.
  5. This allows you to share your screen with the audience
    1. If someone else is sharing they will have to stop sharing first
    2. You will need to choose which monitor to share (if applicable)
    3. Sharing won’t start until you press the confirmation button
  6. Recording a session will require the permission of the Host.
    1. If you’re watching a paid-for or copyrighted event, permission won’t be given

Possible reasons

You are in the waiting room

While you are held in the waiting room you cannot participate.  The host will allow you in when you have been identified as an expected participant. Look out for any chat messages from the host.


Your speakers are turned down or muted

Check the speaker controls on your keyboard.  On a laptop they may be on the top row of function keys F1 ... F12, and you may need to hold down a function key (labelled Fn) to access them:

The position of the audio controls along the top row varies from laptop to laptop.


There's something wrong with your computer's audio settings


The more complicated version of the audio settings will appear if you have multiple audio devices on your computer, in which case try one of the other options.  A safe bet is usually to select Same as System.


The Host has muted all the participants

When a meeting is a talk, the Host may mute all mics to prevent background noise disturbing the meeting.  Depending on how the mute has been set up you may or may not be able to unmute yourself Using the mic icon in the bottom left corner of by holding down the spacebar (push to talk.)


For talks or presentations, your video is not essential.  But for discussion groups and meetings it enhances the social aspects.


Possible reasons

Your camera may be "muted"

Look for the video control in the bottom right of your screen:



Just like the audio (see above) you can adjust the video settings here


Your camera still doesn't work?

Most cameras come with a camera configuration/management app.  If you have that app open it may disable broadcasting from your camera.  Make sure any camera management app is closed.



A presenter will normally be supported by a Host, who takes care of the logistics of the meeting (starting it, monitoring the audience, muting and unmuting, monitoring chat sessions, ending it, and recording [if appropriate]).


Initially the Host role will be performed by Paul Barrett or Dave Osborne but others will be trained.


A separate Host is important for online events.  For simple meetings, the host can be whoever called the meeting or another participant and the host and presenter roles can be performed by the same person.

  1. Please read the Participant Guide
  2. If you are going to display any personal information about living people, make sure you have their permission or you anonymise the data.
    1. Note: If your session is being recorded so that it may be published on our website, we can blur out anything that’s inadvertently shown, during editing.
  3. Make sure you have permission to use any copyrighted content

The audience will have a variety of screen resolutions and physical sizes from 13 in notebooks to 30 in desktop monitors.  Our content needs to legible for everyone, especially when you consider our demographic.


The preferred screen resolution for all presenters is 1920 x 108o pixels (full HD).   Please note, screen size and screen resolution are not the same. Resolution refers to the number of individual picture elements (pixels) on the Display, but HD resolution screens can be any physical size - they just have smaller or larger pixels.

  1. Resolutions greater than HD must be avoided because they will produce hard-to-see content on smaller screens.
  2. Resolutions slightly lower than 1920 x 1080 will probably work but they may appear blurry to the majority of users.

To discover your screen resolution (on Windows 10):

  1. Press the Windows key
  2. Type Display
  3. Choose Display Settings
  4. Scroll Down to the section Scale and Layout
  5. Look for the Display Resolution box

  1. Prepare your introductory screen – the one you want users to see when you start the share.
    1. If it’s PowerPoint, make sure it’s in presentation mode before you share
    2. Make sure that any private information e.g. your email inbox is not on view
  2. See the Participant Guide for how to join, then share your screen

Raised Hand

If a participant raises their hand a notification will appear on your screen:




If a participant sends you a chat message the chat box in the toolbar will be highlighted.  If you open the chat window, this will only be visible to you even if you are sharing your screen (this is true of all pop-up windows such as the participant list.)



Please make sure you’re familiar with the Participant and Presenter Guides

Only one session can be in progress at a time.  To ensure there are no overlaps we need you to observe the following rules:

  1. Check Zoom availability before committing a meeting date / time
  2. All meetings must be scheduled.
    1. Do NOT use the instant meeting option
  3. If your meeting changes or is cancelled, remember to edit / delete the scheduled meeting in Zoom.
  4. Don’t book a meeting to follow on immediately after someone else’s.
    1. You need leave room for
      1. potential overrun of the earlier meeting
      2. time before your meeting for the audience to join.
    2. A minimum of 1 hour should be allowed between meetings

Go to and sign in.  The credentials are available from the webmasters on request.  Then follow these menu options in the top right of your screen:



The scheduling options are straightforward and need no description.  For security reasons minimum meeting settings have been established by the webmasters and may not be altered.  These are:


1. Passwords

a) All meetings require a password
b) One-click meeting links that include the encrypted password are not permitted
c) Meeting invitations must include the meeting number only.  The meeting info copied from the Zoom meeting page is compliant
d) The Meeting password must never be included in the same communication as the Meeting Number or link (be careful not to "reply to all" or "forward" a meeting invitation - it needs to be a completely separate email)

2. Authentication

Zoom contains an option to allow only authenticated users to enter a meeting.  Do not use this oprion - it adds no siginficant benefit

3. Waiting Room

a) All external meetings will start with attendees being placed into the waiting room
b) The host will then admit those attendees who are recognised.  To this end, meeting organisers must ensure their nominated host is provided with the final list of attendees no less than 1 hour prior to the meeting - please ensure this list is sorted in alphabetic order by first name and that people who booked multiple tickets are highlighted so the host can check the right number of attendees are present at each location.
c) Once all expected attendees are admitted to the meeting, please don't lock the meeting because if people drop during the meeting they may have difficulty rejoining.

4. Chat

a) For now, the chat facility remains in place
b) The ability to share files via chat has been disabled
c) Attendees should be advised to NOT click on any links that appear in the chat window unless asked to do so by the Host or Presenter
d) Attendees should be advised to NOT paste any links into the chat window unless asked to do so by the Host or Presenter


Please make sure your meeting's title and description are suitable for an external audience and make clear who the actual host is.


Sending Invitations

Whoever sends the meeting invitations will need to include the Zoom meeting information. You can access that here:






Recording Meetings

Meetings may not be recorded without the advance agreement of those present and the presenter in respect of any copyright issues.

Meetings should be opened for participants to join 15 minutes before the scheduled meeting start time so that joiners can be assured they have completed the process properly and so you can assist anyone who’s having issues.  This way, the meeting proper can start on time.

  1. Login as above
  2. Find your meeting in the list

Press the start button (1)



Please refer to the previous section for details about the use of the Waiting Room to validate the participants.

The Hosts’ responsibilities are to support the presenter by managing the audience:

  1. Start the Meeting 15 minutes before the scheduled meeting time.  For large audiences, it may be necessary to open the meeting 30 minutes early to allow for the inevitable connection issues.
  2. Display the Copyright slide that is available here (please do NOT download it or create your own copy - by using this link the audience will always see the latest version.)
  3. Monitor participants in the Waiting Room and admit only approved attendees
  4. Do a technical intro about how to:
    1. Raise hand
    2. Use chat
    3. Where to find video and audio controls
    4. To disable sleep mode to prevent being dropped if your PC sleeps during, for example, an interval
  5. Mute/unmute everyone/individuals when needed. This includes monitoring open mic sessions and temporarily muting individuals who are causing background noise
  6. Monitor raised hands
  7. Monitor and respond to chat
  8. Validate that the number of people on the end of each video node agrees with the number of people booked and deal with any non-compliant people.
  9. End the meeting
  10. Save the recording (if any)