Whether you are new to Zoom or looking for a refresher, this document will walk you through setting up a Zoom account, scheduling and preparing a meeting, and provides details on conducting an effective Zoom phone bank.   

What Is Zoom?

Zoom allows users to create and join virtual meetings where they can communicate, share experiences, and work together using video and audio.   


Why Are We Using Zoom?

We find Zoom easy to set up and use, and it also provides the option to engage with your group in a virtual setting. We all enjoy being together in person but that is not always possible due to distance, schedules, and other limitations.   


Setting up Zoom

Create an Account 

  • You can sign in to your Zoom account on the web at any time, at
  • Once you’re logged in, use the panel on the left side to navigate the Zoom web portal. 
    • You can update your profile, schedule a meeting, edit your settings, and more.  
  • You will receive an email from Zoom (
    • In this email, click activate account.
  • We recommend using a paid Zoom account if at all possible, as free accounts have a 40-minute limit on the length of a session.
    • If you must use a free account, you can build in a stretch break at the 40-minute mark, end the Zoom session, and restart for another 40 minutes.   
  • Your callers will need to rejoin the Zoom session.


Customize Account Settings

  • Log in to your Zoom account on the Zoom web portal.
  • Navigate to the “settings” or “account settings” section. 
  • Customize your profile information, including your name, profile picture, and any other relevant details. 
  • See additional details on how to update your Zoom profile here: Update your profile.


Familiarize Yourself With Zoom Features 


How To Schedule a Meeting

Test Meeting

  • Zoom has a feature to allow you to “join” a test meeting prior to your first Zoom phone bank to familiarize yourself with Zoom and to test your settings including audio and video.
  • Here are the instructions for accessing a test Zoom meeting: Join a test Zoom meeting.


Schedule Your Zoom Meetings

  • As the meeting host, there are several ways you can start your meeting. This link walks you through the details on how to schedule your Zoom meetings.
    • Your upcoming meetings will be listed in the meetings tab of your Zoom desktop client or mobile app. 
    • You can click start by the meeting name. You can also start your meetings from the Zoom web portal.
    • Waiting room: We recommend you make use of the waiting room feature. This allows you to control when callers join your Zoom main room and gives you time to prepare
  • You will need to ensure the enable waiting room feature is checked when you are setting up your meeting.
  • You need to add your Zoom link to your phone bank Mobilize event
  • See the Mobilize 101 Instructions for details on how to set up your Mobilize event: MOBILIZE 101.


How To Start Your Zoom Session

  • You can start your Zoom session using your Zoom desktop client, by accessing Zoom in your web browser, or by using the Zoom app on a tablet.
  • This web page provides details on how to start your meeting from a variety of devices and platforms:


Best Practices for Hosting Your Zoom Phone Bank

Arrive Early to Practice and Double-Check Your Zoom Settings!

  • This gives you time to set and check all of your settings and to ensure your phone bank materials are available.
  • This is the time to set up your breakout rooms if you are using them for training, tech support, etc.  
  • See the Zoom security link for additional details on setting up the correct security controls, including how to set up your breakout rooms: ZOOM SECURITY SETTINGS.   


Have a Co-Host/Assistant!

  • Extra pairs of hands help ensure you have a smooth phone bank and are able to support all of your callers.
  • To make the assistants co-hosts in Zoom: 
    • Open participants 
    • Find the person in the list you want to make co-host
    • Hover by their name and click on the “more” by their name 
    • Select make co-host
  • This provides that person with access to unmute callers, manage breakout rooms, and perform other host functions.


Open Waiting Room at the Zoom Phone Bank Start Time

  • Greet your callers and answer questions.
  • Review Zoom logistics, chat, etc.
  • Review information on the day’s calls, including posting links to any resource documents.   
  • Be Patient — and enthusiastic! It can be tough to build a community virtually, but with enthusiasm you can keep folks engaged.


Screen Sharing 101

You will need to share your device (preferably a laptop/desktop computer) so the participants can follow along with your instructions.

  • Click the green share screen icon at the bottom of your Zoom screen and then select the presentation you want to share.
  • To see other Zoom options while you are screen sharing, hover your cursor at the top of your screen and the Zoom toolbar will appear.
  • Here is a detailed tutorial on all of the options on how to share your screen and materials: SHARE YOUR DESKTOP & MATERIALS ON ZOOM.
  • Our Host Checklist provides details on how to prepare and run your Zoom phone banks: ZOOM HOST CHECKLIST.

Chat Management

  • Encourage your attendees to be active in the chat, with introductions, questions, and more. The chat is a great place to meet each other without interrupting the larger meeting.
  • TIP: As host, you can save the chat for reference. Click on the three dots “…” at the bottom of the chat window and select save. This can help you refer back after the meeting to see any common questions that came up!


Zoom Security Settings

  • It is recommended you utilize Zoom security features for your zoom phone banks.   
    • Even with a small group, you want to guard against trolls and other disruptive behavior.
  • This Zoom security document outlines the features and processes we suggest you use:   ZOOM SECURITY SETTINGS.   
    • Included are tips for managing the Zoom chat, audio, participant settings, and more.   

Check out our virtual phone bank model agenda to help plan your event!