IMA online networking: how to connect


As we bring our networking online, the IMA is scheduling a series of events including a regular #IMAVirtualCoffeeBreak for its membership via Zoom. We’ve gathered together some tips and tricks to help you use this service. 


Join a meeting:

Once you've signed up to an #IMAVirtualCoffeeBreak, you will receive an invitation by email. 

Joining a meeting can be as simple as clicking on the URL link in this invitation to open it in your browser and be connected through. If the invitation contains a password, you will be prompted to enter this.

The host of the meeting may have enabled a ‘waiting room’ in which case, they will see a notification that you are waiting to join and admit you.

You can also opt to open Zoom in your browser, select a plan (the free tier may be sufficient for your needs) and follow the instructions to create an account. You can then join a meeting via your web browser or the application if you have downloaded this to your desktop: open your account and click on ‘Join a Meeting’ from your profile page using the Meeting ID sent to you in the email invitation.


Once you’ve joined the meeting:

There are some functions you may want to use once you have joined the meeting. These appear when you move your mouse over the screen.

In the top right-hand side of your screen, you will find:

Speaker or Gallery view: Hovering over your screen, in the top right hand corner you can choose an option on how you view a meeting. ‘Speaker view’ will show the person talking in a larger screen and ‘Gallery view’ will show all participants in a grid layout.

In the menu that appear on the bottom of the screen, you will find:

Mute/Unmute: In the lower left hand corner, you will see a microphone icon. The host may have selected that all participants be muted on entry to the meeting so you will need to click on this to change it to unmute before speaking. It is preferable to switch to mute again when others are speaking. 

Share Screen. You can share your screen with others by selecting this and opening the document you wish them to see. Under the advanced features, you can share a portion of your screen, sound or video.

Chat. When you select this, a menu appears on the side of the page. You can select whether to send to everyone or to one person only (note that these may appear as a transcript if the meeting if being recorded).

Reactions: Allows you to signal agreement or approval by displaying an ‘thumbs up’ or ‘clap’ icon on your screen, viewable by all participants.

Leave meeting: Click on this to leave the meeting.


Best practice and etiquette:

  • Join the meeting from a quiet and well-lit area.
  • Position your webcam properly
  • Check your audio and video as you join the meeting
  • Mute your microphone when not speaking


Zoom has a good resource page with live demos, webinars, and more that you can sign up to if you want to learn more about how to use this service. There are also a number of guides readily available online to help you with scheduling or hosting a meeting yourself and more advanced features.