Zoom Lessons No. 3: On Security and Presenting

OK, listened to Erc Yuan, the CEO of Zoom do his webinar. Wow, it is always interesting to see CEOs in person. I had not realized he was part of the original WebEx team. And he is a true engineer in every sense. You can’t judge people by their cover, but he seemed earnest and very techie. So some important lessons:


  1. Follow the Zoom Blog to get the latest security updates.
  2. Do not use your Personal Meeting ID for, well, anything. The problem is that this id doesn’t change. You really want to generate a unique ID for every meeting and have a password too. Certainly, if the meeting involved “external” people you want to constantly rotate these ids. Of course, it is really convenient to have just a single URL for everything, but it is insecure.
  3. If you are really worried about this, make sure the little “E” is lit at the upper left, this says that you are receiving an encrypted signal. And you want to disable teleconferencing as well. Going over the public network is not good.
  4. He had some insight into why they are so much better in performance. The big ones are being “video first” that is the optimization is completely about video and the second is have a global footprint of servers. Just looking at the compression that Zoom is doing it is super impressive. Of course, the big guys like Microsoft Teams Videos are going to be catching up soon, but right now they’ve done a great job.
  5. Their attention tracking feature actually came from the Webex data as part of training processes, where companies wanted to be sure that the training was being attended. They have permanently removed this and it was never the default.
  6. The Facebook data leakage was from their not understand what the IOS package was doing. When they understood this, they disabled it.

Overall, this is a good example of being technical enough and open enough to be transparent at the CEO level. Impressive.

Presentations Tips

I just gave a presentation online for the first time and it is more tricky than you think. So here are some important tips:

  1. Have a cool background. It is a good icebreaker.
  2. Set your own view to have the presentation on one screen and then the Gallery view of everyone in another. You really want to that to be the main screen because that way you can look at each person’s face and see if they are paying attention. People unconsciously show their they are understanding and you have to know the queues (nod up and down in the west, nod side to side in India as an example of different cultural norms or of course the quizzical scowl)
  3. Make sure that you stop after every few slides and ask questions. The wait is going to seem really long and ackward if you are doing this real-time, but wait for it because it takes more time in a Zoom call for people to unmute and so forth.
  4. When you answer questions, you can Stop Share and then they will see your face again which is nice. In Screen share mode, you only see the screen which is boring 🙂
  5. Finally, when you are doing a presentation, don’t use the Zoom tools, they take over the mouse. Instead, the best thing is to put say Google Slides or PowerPoint into a full screen view on another monitor. Then when you share, just share that application so people don’t see your desktop etc.
  6. Google Slides has it’s own pointer feature. This is good for highlighting things and makes boring slides seem more interesting.
  7. Remember that with Zoom, not to make your font too small. It is compressing so alot of the time the share has a long latency like several seconds for everyone to see it and you can’t read small text. Make sure to click optimize for screen sharing when you do the share.
  8. And yes, you will need a bit of a studio. Ideally have a green screen and front facial lighting. Looking better will help! Also a good microphone so you sound good. I wear headphones because it just makes it easier to hear what is going on.

I’m Rich & Co.

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