Hey and welcome to Zoom. How do you change your name in Zoom? That’s what we’re going to explore today. But beyond that… Because that’s really quick and easy.  I’m actually going to share that with you on both desktop and mobile device in really less than a minute or so. The rest of the video, I want to dive a little bit more deeply in how to use this feature on Zoom to ramp up engagement and create more meaningful gatherings. Without further ado, here we go.  

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Alright, let’s get technical. It’s actually  really easy. Right now I’m on a zoom meeting by myself as you can see. If you’re in gallery view, you can actually hover over your own face and 3 little dots will appear in the corner of the screen here. And when you click down an option to rename yourself shows up. That’s the way I usually guide people toward if we’re on a group call, if I’m actually inviting people to change their names.  

You might be watching this video though because you just want to change your name from like Mom’s iPhone to something else. And if that’s the case, you can also go down to the participant window right down here. Click that open. You’ll see a list of everybody including yourself. Although depending on your… If your host or co-host, you might see different things here. Either way, you’ll see yourself and you can come over here and click more and rename yourself here. That’s it.

Changing Your Name on an iPad

Let’s jump over to the iPad to share how to do that in a mobile setting and then we’ll pop back over here. Alright. Hello. Let’s jump over to the iPad to unpack how to change your name on the iPad. It’s super simple. All you have to do is click open participants, click on yourself, rename and that’s it. That’s all you need to do. If you want to drop down to just your first name, you can. And what I’m going to do right now is unpack 3 really cool concrete ways that you can use the ability to rename yourself and Zoom to create really phenomenal experiences and moments for people in your meetings. Let’s get into it. Because my job is aside from recording YouTube videos about how to change your name and Zoom, really 99.9% percent of my job is actually helping some of the top organizations and  universities on the planet make virtual connection and engagement really easy. And a part of that is helping to make this otherwise 2d experience feel 3 dimensional. And so dad pun there. 

One of the 3 of the ways that I invite people to change their name is designed to add depth to people. Because otherwise in gallery view, you just get a black box filled with names. Or if they have their video on, you just see this random little tiny box of pixels in this little context.  

Okay, wait a second. We need to shake these glasses off. Alright, let’s take these glasses off. There we go, that’s better. The 3 times that I invite people to change their names on Zoom… And I don’t use all 3 of these at the same time or in the same session. But in the beginning of the session, I’ll invite people to change their name. Sometime in the middle, I’ll invite people to change their name and zoom and sometime at the end. Because there’s something really cool about being able to change your name. You know, when you walk into a room in person and you get one of those classic Hello-my-name-is name tags and you put it on your shirt, you can’t change it.

Virtually, it’s dynamic. It costs nothing and it uses no paper and no ink and no marker to change your name regularly. What I would invite you to do is have people change their name to align with the purpose of why they’re there. As a little bit of connection before content and to add depth to who that person is, so at the very beginning, you may want to have people jump up and change their name to keep their first name but change their last name or their family name to… And you get to fill in the blank. This is where you get to add depth and context. You could you have people change their name to represent one word that describes why they showed up. They might just want some inspiration. They might be curious what’s going to happen.

They might have to show up because their boss told them to. Either way as the host of that Zomo meeting when everybody’s name changes, you then get to see and interact with that context. I’ve had people change their name in the beginning,  change their last name to one of their favorite foods to one of their hobbies, to a question they have. Now, when I say question they have, a topic about a question. Because you never want to have people change their name more than 2 or three words max, otherwise it gets cut off in Zoom gallery view and you can’t see it anyway.

But inviting people to change their name adds a really beautiful layer of context. The second time I might have people change their name is right in the middle. I have a mentor, Matt Church who often says that state matters more than script. And I think that this is even more true in virtual gatherings and online. Right in the middle of the meeting, I’ll invite people to change their name to their  current state of mind. Just a quick check in, everybody full stop. Find the way to rename yourself and just change your last name to the current brain state that you are in right now. And if you see a bunch of energized, excited, fueled, curious, etc; that gives you a lot of good data about the meeting. Now, it also, if you see a bunch of bored, lame, blah, blah, blah, also change the meeting. Now, could you just have people type this in the chat? Absolutely.

And I do that sometimes. The reason I might have people type it in their name is to be able to… When you have people rename themselves in Zoom, it invites people to put a face to the name. To put a face to the context, in the chat, it’s just a random name, you don’t know who that is. You’re not really going to find them  whereas in the chat, I can then kind of interact with that person differently.

If I see somebody’s state of mind is  exploding, I can say, “Hey, Marsha, I see your state of mind right now is exploding. What’s going on with that?” And I can kind of check in with her in that moment. I could do that in the chat but it’s just not quite the same as when you’re able to see someone in the context that they’ve shared. And when you use the rename tool or kind of misuse it not a way that Zoom designed t to be used, but when you use it like this  to temporarily share little bits of information, it’s a really really phenomenal way to all speak at the exact same time and change the depth, change the filter or the backdrop that people are consuming that meeting in. Because when you change that gallery view, it changes the mindset for everybody else. Now, third time that I invite people to change their name is at the very end as a takeaway. You could use it as extend the idea of state matters more than script. You could say, “Hey, at the beginning of this meeting, we all started out probably a little bit stressed, overwhelmed, jumping from 5 other zoom meetings. Now,  how are we feeling?” And to just check in right there, do a full pause and say, “Can you change your name to the state that you are leaving this  meeting? Can you change your name to one takeaway that you have walking out of this meeting?” It’s a really remarkable way to end on a more memorable note and on a high note. Because typically, people will change their name, they’ll… Even if they have some critiques for what was going on, they’ll change their name to something that they’ll cherry-pick something positive generally to associate with themselves.

There are very few people in the world who love to be associated with being negative. There might be lots of negative people but there’s very few people who love to be associated with being negative. Thats the way to offset that dynamic. Hope this is really useful. You should keep your own name but  change your name in zoom to add a little bit of 3 dimension depth. If you liked this video and you got more than what you expected in it, you’ll love these videos. Have an awesome day.


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