To keep guests focused on the person talking, Zoom is adding a feature called Focus Mode that lets presenters hide the video feeds of all attendees, making it so only the presenter and a highlighted participant are visible.
How to Enable Zoom’s New Focus Mode
You can turn Focus Mode on and off during a call as needed, which is a clever implementation. Rather than being forced to choose at the start of a call, you can simply slip the switch and turn it on during parts of a meeting that require absolute focus and then turn it off when the meeting is more casual.
To use it, you’ll need to enable it on your account. To do so, go to “Account Management” followed by “Account Settings.” Next, click on the “Meeting” tab, then go to “In Meeting (Advanced).” In there, you’ll see a “Focus Mode” toggle that you can enable or disable. When you turn it on, a dialog will display, and you’ll need to confirm that you want to enable the feature.
Once you’re actually in a meeting, click the “More” button. From there, simply click “Start Focus Mode” and then click “Start” to confirm. If you don’t want to click “Start” each time, you can click “Don’t ask me again” to prevent Zoom from requesting confirmation. All participants in the call are notified that Focus Mode is underway.
Is This Really Useful?
With the school year right around the corner and many places unsure whether in-person education will happen, this feature couldn’t have launched at a better time. It will allow teachers to disable all other cameras except theirs, which should help prevent students from distracting each other during important lectures.
Of course, the feature doesn’t just apply to school. For business, the host of a meeting can use it to keep everyone paying attention to them instead of eyeballing what their coworkers are doing.
The list of useful applications for this new Zoom feature goes on and on. Anytime someone needs to present to a group, Focus mode will be a welcomed addition to Zoom’s offerings.