How do I use the chat, reactions and polls? | Zoom

During a meeting there are different ways to communicate without using your microphone. For example, you can chat, raise your hand or have participants respond to a poll.

Use the chat
Use the chat while screen sharing
Set up who can use the chat
Raise your hand in a meeting
Give reactions
Use a poll

Use the chat

  1. Click Chat.
  2. Choose who you want to send the message to. This can either be all participants or an individual participant.
  3. Type your message.

Participants will now see an icon indicating there is a new message at the bottom of their screen.

Use the chat while screen sharing

  1. Click More at the top of the menu.
  2. Click Chat.
  3. A new window will open where you can chat while sharing your screen.

This it what it will look like for participants:

Setting up who can use the chat

As host you can choose whether participants can send messages in the chat, and to whom.

  • Open the chat window.
  • Click on the three dot icon in the message window.
  • Allow attendees to chat with: determine who the participants can chat with. In this example it says Participant Can Chat With because there is only one participant.
    • No One: participants cannot send messages.
    • Host Only: The host is the only one who can send messages to everyone. Participants can send private messages to the host.
    • Everyone publicly: Participants can send messages to all participants. Participants can also send private messages to the host. 
    • Everyone publicly and privately: Participants can send messages to all participants. Participants can also send private messages to the host and other individual participants.

Save chat

You can give students the option to save the chat. If you want to turn this feature off, you can do so on the Zoom website.

  • Click the three-dot icon at the bottom of the chat.
  • Click Save Chat in the menu that appears.

A new folder will now be created in your computer's Document folder. Saved chats will be saved here.

Turn off save chat

  1. Navigate to the tab In Meeting (Basic)
  2. Select Prevent participants from saving chat.
  3. Click Save.

Share files via Chat

To share files via chat you first have to activate this feature on the Zoom website.

  1. Go to the tab In Meeting (Basic).
  2. By clicking the dot icon behind File Transfer you turn on the feature that allows the host and participants to share files via the chat.
  • By clicking File you can now share the files from your computer in the chat.
  • Zoom will now open your computer's file folder.

The maximum file size supported is 512MB.

Raise your hand in a meeting

Participants can raise a virtual hand in meetings. This way that can show they want to ask the host a question.

As host you might want to explain what people can use raise hand for when the meeting starts. For example to ask whether the host can unmute the participant, so they can speak.

As participant:

  1. Click Participants.
  2. Click Raise hand.

You can also use a shortcut to raise or lower your hand:

Windows: Alt+Y

Mac: Option+Y

There will be two spots where the host sees that the participant raises their hand. The host can then let the participant speak:

Give reactions

Durning a meeting participants or the host can use the feature Reactions to give a quick reaction without speaking.

Reactions can only be used in the desktop client version of Zoom.

You will find the Reactions feature in the Zoom menu bar:

  1. Click Reactions.
  2. Choose your reaction: you can choose between Clap or Thumbs up.

The reaction will remain on screen for five seconds:

Use a poll

When you create a meeting you can choose to add a poll to your session. This way you can quickly provide a question of statement to your students during a session.

Only students who are joining with the Zoom Desktop Client can respond to polls and see the shared results. 

Use the browser to navigate to the Meetings tab and then go to the planned meeting.

Click Ad behind You have not created any poll yet at the bottom of the page.

  1. Name the poll.
  2. Choose whether participants are allowed to answer anonymously.
  3. Type the question you want to ask your participantts.
  4. Select whether there are multiple right answers (Multiple Choice) or just one (Single Choice).
  5. Enter the questions the students can choose from.

Next, you start the session. Please read the manual How do I start and plan a session? for more information.

  • Click Polls.
poll (2) - Word
  • Select the question you want to ask and click Launch Polling. The participants will now see the poll on their screen.
poll (2) - Word
  • As host you will be able to see how the participants respond. Click End Polling to close the poll for the participants, they can no longer react.
poll (2) - Word
  1. Click Share/Stop Share Results to share the results of the poll with the participants or to stop sharing.
  2. Click Re-launch Polling to ask the question again; the previously given answers will disappear and participants can answer the question again.