Love it, like it, or hate it, Zoom is here to stay. Zoom’s versatility has made it the go-to virtual platform, and so long as remote depositions continue to help the legal world keep moving, Zoom will be a part of our lives.
SPCC’s in-house legal videography company, McCloskey & Associates, has been active in remote deposition work for almost two years now. Our videographers have seen it all. Since the switch to remote proceedings in 2020, our we have participated in a combined 600+ remote depositions. We have dealt with everything from bad audio connections to dropped participants to curious household pets.
However, our videographers haven’t just seen it all — we’ve learned it all. Zoom has so many available features, but not much in the way of tutorials. So if you don’t know a feature exists, you can’t take advantage of it. Going forward, we’d like to help with that by offering Zoom tips from our videographers based on what we’ve seen and learned. So stay tuned! You never know when our next tip will be something you’ve never seen before!
And if you want a change of pace for your next Zoom/hybrid deposition, hearing, or mediation, come to SPCC and let us take care of the technology for you. Come yourself for a quiet room, or send your witness so that they have a reliable internet connection.
ZOOM TIP #1
Selecting a Speaker and a Microphone
If you have multiple audio devices plugged into your computer, you may find that Zoom has the wrong device selected. Maybe you want to use your USB speaker, but your colleagues’ voices are coming out of your computer tower, and what’s worse, they can’t hear you at all. Switching devices in Zoom is incredibly easy:
Click the caret symbol next to the microphone icon in the bottom left corner of your screen. You should see a list of all speaker and microphone options that Zoom can find on your computer. Just select your preferences from the list, and you’re good to go!
If you’re not computer savvy, or don’t know what the correct devices are named, you can let Zoom auto-find them for you. It takes 10 seconds or less and really takes the stress out of setting up for your meeting. Again, click the caret symbol next to the mic icon, but this time, click Test Speaker & Microphone.
Zoom will take you through a simple two-step test. First, it tests your speakers by playing a short melody. If the sound comes out of the speaker you want, just click Yes. If it’s not correct, click No, Try Another Speaker, and Zoom will play the song out of other speaker-capable devices until you are happy with the choice and click Yes.
To test your microphone, Zoom will prompt you to speak. As videographers whose backgrounds are in TV and theatre, we suggest the timeless classic “Check one-two”. Pause for a moment, and Zoom will play the audio clip back. If you can hear it, click Yes and the test is over. If you can’t, click No, Try Another Microphone and speak again. Just like the speaker test, repeat the process until you can hear yourself and then click Yes.
You’re all done! Zoom is now set to the proper speakers and microphone so you can both see and hear.
And remember…it’s Zoom etiquette to mute yourself if you’re not going to speak for an extended length of time! Your court reporter will thank you!