Managing a Zoom meeting like a webinar

Sometimes, you may prefer to have a collaborative or organic feeling to an event or discussion while still keeping control of your Zoom session. A webinar may not fit your needs or simply is not available, but there are ways to setup and control your Zoom meeting similarly to a Zoom webinar

There are ways to manage your Zoom meeting like a webinar while also providing better security from your meeting getting overrun by unwanted attendees.  For more security recommendations, visit the Northwestern IT Zoombombing webpage and the Zoom Meeting Privacy Settings on how to secure your meetings.


Managing a Zoom meeting differs from a Zoom webinar in two key areas. 
  • Participant capacity
  • Meeting and Participant control

Participant Capacity - Expand with Facebook or YouTube

With the limit of 300 participants, Zoom meetings can use the Facebook or YouTube streaming option to expand to a larger audience, albeit as a one-way stream.

Follow these instructions provided by Zoom to stream via Facebook or via YouTube. These services are built-in to Zoom and we cannot provide support for them outside of what the Zoom documents provide. If there are issues launching the Facebook page, logging out and back into Facebook, restarting the browser, or using a private/incognito browsing session can help resolve the problem. 


How: In your Zoom meeting, click More in the Zoom control panel and select either option. 

Only 1 option can be selected, both services cannot be used at the same time.

Meeting Control - Limit Participant Interactions - Pre-Meeting

In your account profile (login to northwestern.zoom.us) and consider changing these settings:

Enable Waiting Room - enabling waiting room mimics the Webinar Practice Session (if necessary) by holding all that join your meeting in the waiting room while you prepare the meeting. If you have participants that need to join the meeting before the official start time, consider adding them as an alternative host to bypass the waiting room or monitor the waiting room to admit them individually. Once the meeting is ready to begin click on Participants then Admit all.

Annotation - disabling this setting does not allow any participants from interacting with any data that is being shared by a Host of Co-Host. This is important as it also prevents unwanted attendees from drawing or writing inappropriate things on your data.

File Share - disabling this setting prevents participants from posting inappropriate images into the Chat section, which can be very disruptive.

Hiding Profile Pictures - disabling profile pictures prevents participants for displaying potentially inappropriate or offensive images. You can also control this via the Security button on the toolbar (see next section.)

In-Meeting Security Settings

Overall participant controls can be found under the Security button on your toolbar. These settings are always accessible during your meeting for easy and quick changes. A brief explanation of each setting can be found below.





Lock Meeting - locks the meeting, keeping new participants from joining the meeting. 

Enable Waiting Room - enables the Waiting Room for incoming new participants or to move participants into the waiting room. 

Hide Profile Pictures - hide all profile pictures, including the host. Display names are shown instead. 

Share Screen - allows participants to share their screens. 

Chat - allows participants to use the chat. 

Rename Themselves - allows participants to rename themselves via the Participants panel or the three dots menu (···) on their video tile. 

Unmute Themselves - allows participants to unmute their audio without the host's permission. 

Start Video - allows participants to start their video in the meeting. 

Suspend Participant Activities - turn off all participant's video, audio, and ability to share their screen. This also locks the meeting to prevent new participants from joining. This applies to all participants in the meeting. 

Limit Participant Interactions - In-Meeting

The following settings are our recommendation for providing a webinar-like environment within a meeting. 

Mute All, uncheck Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves
When clicking Mute All, viewable when the Participants button is clicked on the Zoom toolbar, you can Mute all participants that are in the session and that will join the session at some point.

How: Click Participants on your Zoom toolbar,  then click Mute All in the participants window, then uncheck the Allow participants to unmute themselves, click Continue or uncheck via the Security button on the toolbar. 
- this checkbox is important as it prevents participants from unmuting at any time.


Facilitating the meeting with controlled participant audio
Co-Hosts can unmute themselves after the steps above and all Hosts can prompt participants that they would like to permit to speak in the meeting. Open the Participants window, hover over the specific user, and click Ask To Unmute.

Screen sharing for Host and Co-Hosts Only
This prevents participants from sharing their screen at any time during the meeting.  Only Hosts and Co-Hosts can share when this is enabled. This also prevents unwanted attendees from sharing inappropriate content.  

How: On the Zoom toolbar next to Share Screen, click the Up Arrow, click Advanced Sharing Options, and select Only Host for screen sharing or uncheck via the Security button on the toolbar. 

TIP: do not enable screen sharing for participants if you have a public event. If someone needs to screen share, promote them to Co-Host so they can share, then demote them to participant when they are done.  Enabling Screen Share for Participants opens the door anyone sharing in an uncontrolled environment. 

Set Chat to Host Only
The meeting chat can be used inappropriately by unwanted attendees to display foul and disrespectful language that would be visible to everyone. In a webinar, the Q&A portion is private and participant questions are only visible to the Hosts, Co-Hosts and Panelists.  Setting your Meeting chat setting to Host and Co-Hosts prevents all chat messages from being public thus mimicking the Webinar Q&A feature.  

How: Click on Chat in the Zoom toolbar, click the three dots (···) in the lower right corner of the chat window and select Host and co-hosts. You can also disable Chat completely via the Security button on the toolbar. 

Limitations on Video control

This is where the Zoom meeting has control limitations.  If video from participants needs to be managed, here are recommendations:
  • Clarify in the meeting invitations to participants that they should Mute their video
  • Set Participant Video to Off when scheduling a meeting
  • Announce in the meeting that everyone should turn their video off
Most importantly, you can remove participant's control to start their video. Click on the Security button on your toolbar and uncheck Start video

For large meetings, this can be a challenge, so having others to help manage participant video is recommended. 




Keywords:custom settings webinar-lite   Doc ID:101452
Owner:Michael C.Group:Northwestern
Created:2020-04-27 08:52 CSTUpdated:2022-02-10 13:37 CST
Sites:Northwestern
Feedback:  86   75