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Running Free Zoom Word Cloud in 5 minutes (Seriously!)

Running Free Zoom Word Cloud in 5 minutes (Seriously!)


Lawrence Haywood 19 Dec 2022 5 min read

A few facts have emerged since Zoom took over the virtual worlds of work and school. Here are two: you can’t trust a bored Zoom attendee with a self-made background, and a bit of interctivity goes a long, long way.

The Zoom word cloud is one of the most efficient two-way tools to get your audience truly listening to what you have to say. It gets them engaged and it sets your virtual event apart from those drawling Zoom monologues we’ve all come to loathe.

Here are 4 steps to setting up your own live word cloud generator on Zoom in under 5 minutes.

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What is a Zoom Word Cloud?

Simply put, a Zoom word cloud is an interactive word cloud that’s shared over Zoom (or any other video-calling software) usually during a virtual meeting, webinar or online lesson.

We’ve specified interactive here because it’s important to note that this is not just a static word cloud full a pre-filled words. This is a live, collaborative word cloud in which all of your Zoom buddies get to submit their own responses and watch them fly around on screen. The more an answer is submitted by your participants, the larger and more centrally it will appear in the word cloud.

Something a bit like this 👇

A world cloud updating with repsonses submitted by an unseen audience.
A timelapse of words being submitted to a word cloud – Zoom Polls Tutorials

To the Cloud

Usually, a Zoom word cloud needs nothing more than a laptop for the presenter (that’s you!), a free account on word cloud software like AhaSlides and for each Zoom attendee to have their own phone.

Here’s how to get one set up in 5 minutes…

Can’t Spare 5 minutes?

Follow the steps in this 2-minute video, then share your word cloud on Zoom with your audience!

How to Run a Zoom World Cloud for Free!

Your Zoom attendees deserve a kick of interactive fun. Give it to them in 4 quick steps!

Step #1: Create a free word cloud

Sign up to AhaSlides for free and create a new presentation. On the presentation editor, you can select ‘word cloud’ as your slide type.

Once you’ve done this, all you have to do to create your Zoom word cloud is to enter the question you want to ask you audience. Here’s an example 👇

Setting up a word cloud on AhaSlides.

After that, you can change the settings of your cloud to your liking. Some things you can change are…

  1. Choose how many times a participant can answer.
  2. Reveal the word entries once everyone’s answered.
  3. Block out profanities submitted by your audience.
  4. Apply a time limit for answering.

👊 Bonus: You can fully customise how your word cloud looks when you’re presenting it on Zoom. In the ‘customise’ tab, you can change the theme, colours and background image, or, you can learn more about how to create a word cloud with images along with the Zoom feature!

Customising the appearance of a word cloud on AhaSlides

Step #2: Test it

Just like that, your Zoom word cloud is fully set up. To see how it’s all going to work for your virtual event, you can submit a test response using ‘participant view’ (or just watch our 2-minute video).

Click the ‘Participant view’ button under your slide. When the on-screen phone pops up, type in your response and hit ‘submit’. There’s the first entry into your word cloud. (Don’t worry, it’s a lot less underwhelming when you get more responses!)

Testing out a word cloud with AhaSlides

💡 Remember: You’ll have to erase this response from your word cloud before you use it over Zoom. To do this, simply click on ‘Results’ in the navigation bar, then select ‘clear audience responses’.

Step #3: Run your Zoom Meeting

So your word cloud is completed and is awaiting responses from your audience. Time to go get them!

Start your Zoom meeting and run through it as you normally would. When you want to run your word cloud, here’s what to do…

  1. Open up your presentation on the AhaSlides editor.
  2. Press ‘share screen‘ and choose the window containing AhaSlides.
  3. On the AhaSlides editor, press the blue ‘Present’ button in the top-right corner.
  4. Tell your participants to take out their phones and type the URL into their phone’s browser.

👊 Bonus: You can click the top of your word cloud to reveal a QR code. Participants can see this through screen share, so they just have to scan it with their phones to join immediately.

Share screen in Zoom Word Cloud

Step #4: Host your Zoom Word Cloud

By now, everyone should have joined your word cloud and should be ready to input their answers to your question. All they have to do is type out their answer using their phone and press ‘submit’.

Once a participant has submitted their answer, that answer will appear on the word cloud, just like in your test.

A complted Zoom word cloud with responses and people in Zoom boxes to the side.

And that’s it! You can get your word cloud up and engaging in no time at all, completely for free. Sign up to AhaSlides to get started!

Extra Features on AhaSlides Zoom Word Cloud

  1. Add an image prompt – Ask a question based on an image. You can add an image prompt to your word cloud, which shows on your device and your audience’s phones while they’re answering. Try a question like ‘Describe this image in one word’.
  2. Delete submissions – Like we mentioned, you can block profanities in the settings, but if there are other words you’d rather not have showing, you can delete them by simply clicking on them once they appear.
  3. Add audio – This is a feature that you just won’t find on other collaborative word clouds. You can add an audio track that plays both from your device and your audience’s phones while you’re presenting your word cloud.
  4. Export your responses – Take away the results of your Zoom word cloud either in an Excel sheet containing all of the responses, or in a set of JPG images so you can check back at a later date.
  5. Add more slides – AhaSlides has way more to offer than just a live word cloud. Just like the cloud, there are slides to help you create interactive polls, brainstorming sessions, Q&As, live quizzes and event powerpoint word cloud.
  6. More games with AhaSlides, check out more zoom games, or more Tools for Educators now!

Use this reference code when you checkout: AHAXMAS21

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