Getting started with Zoom
Zoom allows you to offer fun and interactive sessions whilst remaining professional and safeguarding your attendees.
Zoom offers free and premium membership; however, the free version only allows you to host classes up to 40 minutes long and so for longer sessions you will need to upgrade to the premium version is c. £14 per month. With small children at home, you may not have a 100% captive audience so a slightly shorter session than normal may be preferable and will save you the membership fee.
Once you've signed up, we recommend choosing your settings, having a trial run, and practicing with the different features before your first class. This will allow you to troubleshoot without an audience!
How will my class look?
Zoom has a number of different 'views' that you can select. We recommend that you use 'Gallery view' which lets you see all of your participants on screen at once. You can select 'Gallery view' on the top right hand of the screen.
NB - Our booking emails also asks parents to keep their cameras on during the class and also to add their children's names to the screen (blanked out below) so that you can interact directly with them during the session. Many kids are used to speaking to grandparents through technology, and they love hearing their names and respond well when you talk to them and let them know that you can see them. This is where the value of a live class really comes into it's own - it's so much better than watching something on YouTube!
Photo by kind courtesy of Little Folk Nursery Rhymes
For parents, it will look more like this:
Photo by kind courtesy of Little Folk Nursery Rhymes
How do I control what the families hear?
During the class, it's then really important that you use the MUTE ALL button that can be found in the 'Participants' window.
Your customers will not be able to hear you clearly unless you do this - but do encourage your customers to unmute themselves in between songs and get involved!
Top Tip - You can also increase the volume of yourself vs. the other participants in the room. Click on the up arrow " ^ " shown next to the mute button in the bottom left hand corner, and choose 'Audio Settings...'
Untick the 'Automatically adjust microphone settings' box, increase your 'input volume', and then tick 'Automatically adjust microphone settings' again. This will ensure that your volume is generally louder than everyone else - whilst also automatically adjusting so that you don't accidentally deafen anyone.
It's also great to have this setting, as you can then have the occasional song where everyone unmutes and joins in together. Zoom does a nifty thing of jumping around to display whoever is singing loudest, making for a lovely interactive session!
Equipment and setting up your space
You don’t really need much equipment to get started with your online classes if you have a device with a microphone and camera! However, your biggest challenge with this is going to be having a consistent internet connection, so if you are using a computer DO get a physical wire to plug into your internet, instead of relying on WiFi.
Also, having other members of the house streaming Netflix, having their own video calls whilst you’re broadcasting a class is a definite no no!
Setting up your space to make it look good makes it feel a bit more special for your customers and sets you apart from the other participants. Display your logo and have some bright coloured props! Put up a backdrop if you can and make it look unique to you.
On sound – test it out with someone friendly, but generally there is no need to sing through a speaker if you’re in a quiet space and have got a reasonable microphone (and turn up your settings as above). You don't need usually need special lighting either - Zoom generally adjusts the lighting quite well automatically for you.
Keeping your business and customers safe on Zoom
We strongly recommend that you use the password and waiting room features on Happity see here for more details.
Running your first class - a step by step guide
Once everything is set up you will be able to find the links to your classes on your dashboard and we also send them out to you before the class is due to begin, so it is readily available. This email will also include your register for the bookings taken through Happity.
Click on the Zoom link before the class is due to start (remember the 40 minute limit if you are using the free version).
IMPORTANT - Log in as the host using your Zoom login details by clicking on the small text highlighted by the arrow below.
Each time a new attendee joins the session, the participants window will tell you who is waiting.
Once you get to the class start time and most participants are there/it's time to start admit those in the waiting room (only those who have paid of course!).
TIP: If you are on a free Zoom account, don't start your class too early - wait until the start time. The 40 minute countdown will start from when you let the first person in to the room, and you will see a 10 minute warning towards the end.
Introduce yourself, let them know where to find their mute button usually bottom or top left hand side of the screen.
Remind them that during the class you will keep everyone on mute - but they can unmute when participating between songs or if they want to talk to you! Bear in mind that when they speak, it will jump to broadcasting their microphone rather than yours. They will need to mute themselves again - or you can do this on their behalf in the "manage participants" panel.
Switch yourself to 'Gallery View' so that you can see everyone in the class on your screen at once - and remind everyone to keep their cameras on
Remember to call out the names and interact with the children throughout the class - this is especially important for parents to feel they are getting something different from watching a pre-recorded video on YouTube!
If you need to hear someone speak, you can unmute the individual from the 'participants' panel - try not to have everyone unmuted all at once unless you're doing a singalong!
When finished, hit "end meeting" on the bottom right of the screen.
Then congratulate yourself on doing a fab job!
The Happity booking system will automatically follow up with your customers in the evening, and prompt them to book in for another class with you soon.
Share your class with us!
We love to see you in action and so during the class, please do take a photo or screenshot and tag us on your social media posts. We will then repost as many as we can on our Instagram stories. Alternatively you can send your photos and a few lines about how it went to [email protected] and we will share these where possible.
Also remember to put any good reviews in the testimonials section of your page!