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Running a social Zoom call protocol

This page describes protocol, or, how to do things with QueerCare. You should check how to read protocol well if you're new to QueerCare.
Note regarding COVID: This page is not specifically relating to the COVID-19 pandemic pandemic, but includes information that will be useful for dealing with the pandemic.

This is a guide to running and attending a social zoom call. This is specifically for social calls. If you want to run a Zoom meeting you should see Running a Zoom Meeting Protocol

When to run a social zoom call

You should run a social zoom when a 'social group' has been formed (see Setting up Zoom social groups protocol) and are wanting to 'meet'. An in person meet up may not be possible or safe. Social zoom calls will allow people to maintain some social contact while self-isolating.

During the COVID-19 pandemic you should meet via zoom, so as to avoid face-to-face contact. Please see Policy for doing support work in the covid 19 pandemic.

What to do before running a social zoom call

If a date and time has not already been set, you should send a message to all members of the social group and find a date and time that is most convenient for as many of the group as possible - you could do this by setting up a Doodle poll, or similar.

If you do not already have access to a zoom account, you can create a free account at https://zoom.us/signup This will allow you to have calls for up to 40 minutes with 3 or more participants (there’s unlimited time for calls with less than 3 people).

You, as the facilitator, should come up with a few questions (some relating to the group’s shared interest) so you are prepared to get a discussion going.

How to do Schedule a Zoom call and make a link

You can schedule, run and join Zoom meetings from a browser, a desktop app or a phone app. Once you have confirmed a date and time for your meeting you need to schedule it to create a link so that other people will be able to join.

If you are using a browser go to https://zoom.us/meeting/schedule and sign in to the Zoom account. You should then see a page with boxes to enter information about the meeting you want to run.

  • In 'Topic' you should write the name of the meeting.
  • You can add additional information in 'Description (Optional)'.
  • You must enter the date and time your meeting is planned for in 'When'.
  • You must enter the planned length of your meeting in 'Duration'.
  • You should make sure the time zone is correct in 'Time Zone'.
  • If you want to schedule a meeting that happens regularly (eg. the same time and day every week) and which uses the same link every time you should tick the box next to 'Recurring meeting' and then fill in the details.
  • In 'Meeting ID' you should select 'Generate Automatically'.
  • If you want to add a password so that only people with the password, as well as the link, can join the meeting, you should do this by selecting 'Require meeting password' in 'Meeting Password'.
  • If you do this you must make sure everyone who is planning to come to the meeting knows the password.
  • If you don't want to add a password you must make sure the box next to 'Require meeting password' is not checked.
  • You can change the rest of the settings based on your preferences.
  • You should select 'Both' in 'Audio' so that people can join using Wifi or phone signal.

When you have filled out this page click 'Save'. You will then be taken to a page with information about the Zoom you have scheduled. Next to 'Join URL' there will be a short link. You must copy this link and send it to the people who are planning to come to the meeting (such as by pasting it in the relevant Slack channel or Signal/Whatsapp group).

If you are using the app, open the app and then select 'Schedule', which is a blue box with a calendar emoji in it.

  • In the box at the top you should write the name of the meeting.
  • In 'Date' you must select the date your meeting is planned to be on.
  • In 'From' you must select the time your meeting is planned to start.
  • In 'To' you must select the time your meeting is planned to end.
  • In 'Time Zone' you should check the time zone is correct.
  • If you want to schedule a meeting that happens regularly (eg. the same time and day every week) and which uses the same link every time you should change this setting in 'Repeat'. If you want to add a password so that only people with the password, as well as the link, can join the meeting, you should do this by selecting the box in 'Meeting Password' so that it is filled in. In 'Password' you should enter the password you want to you and you must then make sure everyone who wants to come to the meeting is sent the password. If you don't want to add a password you must make sure the box in 'Meeting Password' is not selected.
  • You can change the other options depending on your preferences.

When you have filled this out select 'Done'. You will then be taken to a page with information about the meeting you have scheduled. Select 'Add Invitees' and then select 'Copy'/'Copy to clipboard' to copy the information people will need to join. You must share this with the people who are planning to come to the meeting (such as by pasting it in the relevant Slack channel or Signal/Whatsapp group).

How to start a zoom call

To start the meeting log in to the Zoom account on browser or open the app.

On browser, select 'My Account' select 'Meetings' on the sidebar on the left to see a list of the meetings scheduled on the account. Click 'Start' next to the meeting you want to start.

On the app select 'Meetings' at the bottom of the page to see a list of the meetings scheduled on the account. Click 'Start' next to the meeting you want to start.

This will activate the link and people who click the link that has been sent in advance will be able to join the meeting.

How to join a zoom call

When the meeting is planned to happen, click the link that has been shared in advance. When a host starts the meeting you will be taken into a screen that has a box for everyone who is in the meeting.

How to use zoom during a call

If you are on a computer or a phone select 'Audio' in the bottom left hand corner and 'Join using computer audio' so that you can hear what others are saying.

On a browser or in the Zoom desktop app, hover over the screen and a bar with different options will appear the the bottom of the screen. Starting from the bottom left:

  • 'Mute'/'Unmute' to mute yourself (so that others can't hear you) or unmute yourself (so others can hear you speak).
  • 'Start Video'/'End Video' to start your video (so that the others in the meeting can see you) or end your video (so that what the others see for you is a blank square).
  • 'Share Screen' if you want the others in the meeting to be able to view another webpage you have open - this is useful if you want to share something you're working on or show how to use something (for example, if you are running a webinar on how to use Slack).
  • 'Chat' to get up a the chat in a sidebar on the right of the screen - in the chat you can type messages that can be seen by anyone, or send messages to a specific person individually. At the bottom of the chat bar it says 'To:' and has a name next to it. Select 'Everyone' if you want your message to be seen by everyone in the meeting or the name of the person you want to message if you just want to message one person.
  • 'Record' if you want to record the meeting so that you can play it back later. If you want to record the meeting you must check this with the other people in the meeting first, especially if the meeting is discussing sensitive, secure or confidential information.

On a smartphone, tap the screen and bar with different options will appear the the bottom of the screen. Starting from the bottom left:

  • 'Mute'/'Unmute' to mute yourself (so that others can't hear you) or unmute yourself (so others can hear you speak).
  • 'Start Video'/'End Video' to start your video (so that the others in the meeting can see you) or end your video (so that what the others see for you is a blank square).
  • 'Share' if you want to share something with the others in the meeting, such as sharing your screen, sharing a web URL, sharing a photo or sharing a document.
  • 'Participants' to see a list of the other participants in the meeting. If you want to get up the chat, tap 'Participants' and then tap 'Chats', which is in the bottom left hand corner. Next to 'Send to' you can change who you want to send a message to ('Everyone' to send in a general chat that everyone in the meeting can see, or someone's name to send it just to them).

If you are hosting a Zoom meeting from your phone tap 'Participants' to manage participants (such as muting/unmuting people).

What to do in a zoom meeting

You should wait a few minutes for people to join late.

You should check that everyone understands how to get up the chat, mute/unmute themselves and turn their video on/off and explain this at the start of the meeting if anyone is unsure.

The facilitator can start the conversation, if needed, with one of the preprepared questions. Below are also some games you may want to play.

Everyone who wants to speak should be given the opportunity to; all participants should take it in turns to speak and leave gaps between speaking, so as to enable everyone to contribute. The facilitator should ensure that no one is being prevented from speaking. If a lot of people are wanting to say some, the facilitator may choose to suggest that anyone who wants to speak should write 'hand' in the chat or turn your camera on and put your hand up, and the facilitator should call on you in turn.

For people who can't use their mic or speak, you must wait after they've said hand for them to type up things.

Game suggestions

Pictionary

  1. The facilitator should use the 'share screen' option and select the 'whiteboard' option
  2. Everyone selects the drawing option on their screen:
    • On a computer: click 'view options' at the top right of your screen and then click annotate. You will then be able to draw.
    • On a phone: A pencil icon will appear bottom right of your screen. Click this and you will then be able to draw.
  3. One person should draw a picture of anything they chose.
  4. Everyone else should try to guess what the image is of.
  5. Once someone has guessed the board can be cleared - there's an 'eraser' option you can select at top of your screen (on computer) or bottom of your screen (on phone).
  6. Someone else can then have a go at drawing.
  7. Repeat until everyone who wants to has had a go at drawing, or until you want to do something else


Charades

  1. The player who goes first uses www.getcharadesideas.com to get a charades phrase.
  2. This player acts it out, whilst others try to guess what it is.
  3. The person who guesses can go next (if they want).
  4. This repeats for as long as you wish to play


Psych

  1. Everyone will need to install the 'Psych' app on their phone.
  2. The app will explain how to play.
  3. You can choose from a variety of fun categories in which each player makes up fake answers to real trivia questions. You then try to figure out which is the real answer.


Scrabble

  1. There are quite a few Scrabble apps you can download from the app store. There are websites online, although many you do need to sign up for.

What to do if there is a disagreement or problem with attendees

If you (as a facilitator) notices that someone may be upset or there may be an issue, message this person privately using the private (direct messaging) chat feature on Zoom. Check in with this person, check if they are okay, and whether you can do anything.

The person may wish to leave the call. If this happens, you should not share any confidential information with other participants on the call. You may say that “[NAME OF PARTICIPANT] has had to leave”, but do not share why, unless they have explicitly asked you to.

After the call you should follow up with the participant and check whether they need any support.

If the problem was with another attendee, the participant may wish to move to a different social group.

What to do after running a social call

After running a social call you can do a debreif

The facilitator should set up a poll or communicate with everyone from the group to arrange a time for the next meeting. You may have already agreed a time when setting up your zoom social groups; if so, send a message to remind people of that time.

The time of the next meeting should be set up soon after the call so that everyone is aware of the time in advance and also so there is some certainty in what comes next.