How do you Zoom? Part 2

Brittany and I recently sat down with our favorite IT guru, Seth Levine, to pick his brain about some of the functions of Zoom and I thought I would share. I think you’ll find it interesting and helpful.

Here are some good vocabulary words before we get started:

  • Participant – in a meeting, everyone is considered a participant
  • Attendee – in a webinar, this is a passive viewer
  • Panelist – in a webinar, this is a person who has all the functions of a participant in a meeting; panelists can be assigned ahead of time or during the webinar


What is the difference between pinning and spotlighting?

Pinning is a function that allows you to see a specific user(s) video, regardless of who is talking, when you are in the speaker view mode. Both meeting hosts/co-hosts and participants are able to utilize this function, but be aware that this is a local function only. Meaning, only your screen will be affected by the pin. No one else will see the same view as you.

Spotlighting is a similar function, but can only be used by the host/co-host. Spotlighting allows the host to set specific people as the primary active speakers. This changes the view for all meeting participants; they will only see the people who are spotlighted. A meeting participant is able to change their own personal view by switching to gallery view, which will allow them to see all meeting participants.

A bit confused? – Give it a try the next time you’re in a meeting. If you’re a participant, look for the three little dots that appear in the upper right corner when you hover over someone’s video square, then click the pushpin icon (this will pin the person). If you’re the host, look for the flashlight icon that appears in the same place (this will spotlight the person).

Learn more from this Zoom support article or this blog from Creative Sandbox Solutions.


Next, I’ll share Seth’s answers to some of our questions about spotlighting.

How many people can you spotlight at one time?

You can spotlight nine squares at one time.


What do participants/attendees see when the host utilizes the spotlight function?

They will see the spotlighted individuals.

Meeting participants are able to change their view from speaker view (whomever is spotlighted) to gallery view (everyone in the meeting). Webinar attendees are not able to change their view.


During a webinar, how do you control what the attendee sees?

(I have taken this answer directly from this Zoom support article; check out the article for more information.)

The following controls can be set in the Participants panel under More or under the View menu in the upper right corner of the webinar display.

Attendee View: Set the video layout that the attendees see during the webinar. By default, they see the same view as the host (the host's default view is gallery view).

  • Follow Host's View: Attendees will see the same view that the host is using, whether active speaker view or gallery view. If the host is sharing their screen, the attendees will have side by side mode with the host's share and the active speaker's video. The attendees can adjust the share and video size.
  • Speaker: Speaker view switches between the active speakers in the webinar, with other video panelists above the active speaker when not speaking.
  • Gallery: Gallery view presents either 25 or 49 participants (if enabled in client Settings) on the screen in equal size. If there are more panelists than allowed to fit, multiple pages of gallery view will be created.


When livestreaming a webinar, who’s screen composition is livestreamed?

Seth says this is a hard question to answer. If you ask Zoom, they will tell you that the livestream will Follow Host’s View (see previous answer). However, Seth has personal testimony that the livestream can include either one speaker (if the host is in speaker view) or the gallery (if the host is in gallery view).


What happens when several speakers are spotlighted and then someone speaks who is not spotlighted?

Nothing will happen. Spotlighting overrides the “voice switch.” If spotlighting is utilized and someone speaks who is not spotlighted, you will hear their voice, but you won’t see their camera.


If you are utilizing the spotlight function, should you also turn off the videos of the individuals who don’t need to be seen on the screen at that moment?

This is not necessary. In a webinar, attendees will only see the spotlighted speakers. In a meeting, participants have the option to switch from speaker view to gallery view.


 Here are some bonus tips from Seth, not related to spotlighting:

  • When screen sharing you have multiple options. Seth recommends sharing the specific program or file instead of sharing Screen 1 or Screen 2.
  • Check out the Advanced screen sharing options where you can share just a portion of your screen, share just your computer audio (to play music, for example), or upload a video file to be shared more smoothly than sharing it as content, among other things.
  • What’s the best way to share a PowerPoint presentation when you only have one monitor? Seth suggests getting your PP ready and putting it into presentation mode before you share your screen. Then, use your Alt Tab (Cmd⌘ Tab on Mac) buttons to scroll through the different applications open on your computer to return to Zoom. Once you’re ready to share your screen your PP will be open and ready to go.
  • Should I share video content directly from YouTube? Seth says, No. You should download the video to your local computer (see the second bullet point). When it’s time to share your screen and play the video, you don’t need to make it full screen. Instead, just share the program (see the first bullet point). Zoom will automatically make it full screen for your viewers. Don’t forget to check the box to share sound!
  • When a meeting is being recorded and there are breakout rooms, do the breakout rooms get recorded? Breakout rooms do not get recorded automatically. You can assign co-hosts to each breakout room (they must be assigned as co-hosts in the main room, first) and they can start a “local recording.” This means the recording will be saved to their computer. You will need to collect these recordings from your co-hosts.


Like these tips or want more? Let us know! Send us an email at and feel free to share your great tips with us!