Zoom meetings. How to vote and use the ‘raise hand’ option?

A video explaining how to use Zoom voting and ‘raise hand’ functionality and how to run meetings using these options.

In this post, I’m explaining how to use Zoom voting, and the ‘raise hand’ functionality, and how to run meetings using these options.

To use the vote or raise hands we need to go to the bottom menu,
click on participants, and use action icons or emojis that are in the participants’ sidebar.

When you get into Zoom Meeting Room, you probably won’t be able to see participants or chat sidebar because these panels by default are not shown.
Watch this video to learn how you can find and use these options.

When you get into Zoom Meeting Room, you probably won’t be able to see participants or chat sidebar because these pannels by default are not shown.

Nonverbal communication on ZOOM

To access them, you need to use the menu at the bottom of the screen. If you don’t see these menu options, you need to mouse over to the bottom of the screen, and they should appear. If you don’t see all the emoji icons, it means that your host have not activated the function for nonverbal communication on ZOOM settings.

When you are on your phone, you need to tap your screen to see the menu. The menu option we’ll be using here is the ‘participants’. If you click on the participants’ icon, it should open a sidebar with the list of all the participants attending the meeting. If you are a host or co-host you will also see people who are in the waiting room.

This sidebar menu is handy if you want to run meetings smoothly. It lets participants o express some basic moods or requests, even if they are on mute. And this is done with a few action buttons available at the bottom of that sidebar. If participants are muted, and we want to allow some kind of discussion and let people express their opinion, we can do that by using ‘raise hand’ emoji. Now here I’m logged in as a host, so I can’t see the actual raise hand button. But if you’re a participant, you should be able to see it as the first icon on the left-hand side – like here.

So if you are a participant, and you want to voice your opinion, simply click the Raise Hand emoji, and you will be placed in the queue.

The Raise Hand icon will appear next to your name in the participants’ list – this is how the host and everyone else knows who wants to speak. The ‘raise hand’ icons also appear within the person’s profile in the gallery view.

Once there are people in the queue the host can decide to;
  • unmute the person and allow them to speak
  • lowered hand
  • use a few other additional options – I am not going to go into any details here.
What is a cool thing about that ‘raise hand’ function is that Zoom manages the queue for us.

If you are a host or you participate in a meeting, and several people want to speak – the system manages the queue automatically. If there are already people in the queue, the next person raising hand will be added at the end of the waiting list.

Voting in ZOOM

And what if you changed your mind and you don’t wish to speak any more? Simply click on the ‘hand icon’ again, and you should be removed from the queue.

Okay, so let’s jump to the voting functionality.

So, imagine we have 50 participants, and everyone is on mute. A question is raised, and we need to agree on something without letting every single person speak because that would take time! To have a quick vote on something, we can use ‘yes’ and ‘no’ buttons.

The host can ask a question and participants are requested to post their answer – yes or no. That’s it!

We don’t even need to count votes – zoom does it for us. Every person that votes has a tick or a cross appearing next to their name. We can also see the total sum of all the votes at the bottom.

To have another vote, everyone would need to untick their current choice. Thre is another option where the host clears everything on the list using ‘clear all’ option but if you are a host, keep in mind that this will also remove hand icon and clear all people waiting to speak!

And now I’m going to show you how the same thing looks on a couple of other systems.

So if you’re on the Mac, it’s the same bottom menu, where you click on the participants. The difference is that the sidebar looks slightly different – it is more like a pop-up box. If you can’t see it, check if it’s not hidden, or minimised.

And finally, we are going to look how you can get participants list on your phone. So if you’re on your phone, you can’t see that participants menu – even if you swipe through all other screens.

To see the bottom menu on your phone, you need to TAP on the screen. It doesn’t have to be a specific spot – tap anywhere, and the bottom menu will pop up. Here you need to click on the participants’ icon, and your sidebar is displayed. It looks similar to all the other devices. So you have your Raise hand’, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ votes, and more options with few additional icons – you might need them if the meeting is long and you want to grab for coffee or something.


So once again – to use the vote or raise hands we need to go to the bottom menu, click on participants and use action icons or emojis that are in the participants’ sidebar.

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