How do I see all of my participants in zoom? 

Really great question. You want to be able to see everybody in gallery, view fit into those boxes.

I’m chad and in 60 seconds, I’m going to tell you how to do that. Super quick. And if you stick around for this video, because it’s my job to help people organizations and universities make connection and engagement easy, I’m also going to share 2 virtual meeting best practices to help your participants feel seen. Because even if you can see all of them, I would argue that it’s actually more important that they feel seen.  

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Welcome, you’re in Zoom. Here we are and you want to be able to see everybody. There’s probably more than just me on the call with you. You might have somewhere between 4 and 40 to 400 people on a Zoom call and you want to see everyone. As promised, here’s the 60-second tech tutorial way to do that.

When you’re on Zoom, in near the stop video button, there’s this little setting. And that or that little arrow. And then under that little arrow, you can open up video settings. And when you do that, you get all these options. And right here, you can display up to 49 participants per screen in gallery view. Now, this is a little bit of a trick because if you have 50 people on the call, there’s going to be one person that you can’t see. I found that if depending on what screen size, even if you have that button checked, it still isn’t actually going to pack 49 people in there. Just as an fyi, and as you think about planning your group sizes, for me, a virtual meeting tip is to cap your meetings at under 49 people if you definitely want to see people on one screen. If you go above that, little arrows will show up on the side of your screen here and here as pages. You can scroll through pages of people on gallery view. Now, one other thing that if you’re in a larger meeting that I really like to turn on is hide non-video participants.  

I was recently facilitating a workshop for the University of California, San Diego and there were 175 people on Zoom. Realistically, in 90  minutes, I’m not going to be seeing individually every single person. I’d rather for the group engagement’s sake, I’d rather just focus in on a handful of people on one screen. Knowing that in every call, you’re going to have some people who are on video, some people who are not on video. Just checking this to hide online video participants is sometimes a really nice way to give you a cleaner view so that you’re not staring at black boxes with names in them but you’re only really able to connect with people. There you go. That’s the setting. 

Unfortunately, you can’t see more than that. I hope that is useful. If you are choosing to stick around, I’m going to unpack 2 virtual meeting best practices to increase engagement and allow your participants to feel seen which I would argue is actually more important than you seeing them. It’s more important that they feel seen heard and understood. In fact, I would actually argue that even if you’re connected on a call, that real connection only happens when people are seen, heard, and understood for who they are and who they are not. 2 best practices to help people see.

Name Calling

We used to learn not to call people names. But  when you’re facilitating virtually, I invite you to name call. What I mean by that is call out people’s actual names. We have a gift on Zoom. We can see and in most video platforms, we can actually see people’s names right there. And due to the cocktail party effect, if you’re familiar with the psychological phenomenon. It’s the idea that when you’re at a party with a whole bunch of other people that if you hear your name, your head whips around and it’s almost like your brain is just subtly listening through all of the chatter until somebody says your name. Names are like an on switch for engagement. When we hear a name, we turn up. It’s a similar effect to like when you were in class and you were goofing off and… Or at least I guess this was my experience in class.  

Goofing off and the teacher would walk up and kind of stand next to me. It was like this attention-getter or if the teacher were to call out someone’s name. Now,I don’t use it as a way to call out people or pick on people. But just to be able to acknowledge when you come back from a breakout session and zoom to be able to say, “Sarah, I love the background that you have there. Where did that art come from?” Right? To actually be curious and just notice and see and acknowledge those people by also using their name. That’s the first technique, name-calling.

Best Friend Technique

The second technique to help people feel seen over video is I invite people to think of the camera or the little round bubble that you can see people through as the friend of your best friend.I call this the friend of your best friend technique. The idea is that if you were hanging out with your best friend, you’d be totally tuned in to them just staring right at the camera. To be honest, when you’re on Zoom or you’re facilitating, that’s a little creepy to just be totally zoomed in. I invite people to think of the camera as the friend of your best friend. Think about if you’re hanging out with your best friend, you might be glued into them. Every once in a while, you’re going to make eye contact with the friend of your best friend because you want them to feel included. That’s the way I want you to think about your etiquette, I guess with camera. Like, if you want to see everybody in gallery view, awesome. Like, look down. Pay attention to those non-verbals, have people raising their hands giving a thumbs up and Zoom. See that engagement. It’s really important to invite that nonverbal feedback especially when everybody’s on mute. And every once in a while, make sure to look right into your camera so that people feel seen especially if you’re going to call out somebody’s name. Say their name and look right into the camera. It’s amazing how eye contact can translate through the screen so much more than if you’re kind of the whole time presenting down here looking in gallery view wondering if people are liking this, or if they’re sleeping, or if they’re disengaged, or if they’re engaged, whatever. 

Those are 2 virtual meeting best practices. There are tons more at Even though I get to do this work for some of the smartest organizations and people and universities on the planet, I get to help them make virtual connection and engagement easy. I also believe that information should be free. That’s why I put a whole ton of effort and time and money into creating these videos is so that you can ruthlessly steal and adapt these ideas to make your own virtual meetings and experiences better for people. 

Because… Oh, my goodness, the world does not need more virtual meetings where people are falling asleep, disengaged and disenchanted and burnt out. 


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