Tech Tips: Spotlight on ZOOM

Welcome back and Happy New Year! We have a new column, we will be starting this month called “Tech Tips.” In this column we highlight a new feature or user tip for the enterprise-wide solutions Library IT supports. We start this column off with featuring a Zoom tip — How do I Spotlight a Speaker.

How Do I Spotlight A Speaker?

When you are in a video conferencing meeting with several participants, a host or cohost can select to “Spotlight a Speaker” a feature in the Zoom meeting interface that highlights the primary active speaker for all participants in the meeting. The “Spotlight” feature requires a minimum of three participants in a Zoom meeting, and it can only be used by the host or cohost.

The Spotlight feature is useful for meetings where you and a colleague are presenting separate topics during a Zoom meeting. Highlighting the presenter of each topic is less distracting for the viewing participants in the meeting, especially if it is a very large meeting with an expansive gallery of participants. Each colleague could be spotlighted by the host as you present your own topic and answer questions from other participants.


The host or cohost can designate a participant as a “Spotlight” in two ways.

When using Zoom you can right click on the video frame you can enable Spotlight Video
During a Zoom meeting right-click on the video frame to enable Spotlight Video.

The first method is to right-click on the video image of the participant you want to make Spotlight Speaker. You can do this directly in the Gallery View.  As the illustration depicts, when you right-click on the image you will see a menu that enables you to select “Spotlight Video.” The host can also toggle to cancel the Spotlight feature in the same manner.

The second method is for the host or cohost to launch the Participants Panel by selecting “Manage Participants” at the bottom of the Zoom meeting menu bar. From within the Participants Panel you can select the member you would like to Spotlight by right clicking on their name.

Using Zoom to manage your particpants
You can select Manage Participants to launch the Participants Panel. Also in the far left corner next to Video is the Video Options arrow where you can set the Host to be Spotlighted every time they speak.
Using Zoom to Spotlight speakers directly from the Participants Panel
Using Zoom to Spotlight speakers directly from the Participants Panel


Additionally, the host can chose to be the Spotlight Speaker whenever they speak during the meeting. To do so, the host can go into their settings menu from the gear settings icon on the Zoom Desktop App and select the Video options from the General Settings menu. At the bottom of the Video settings dialog box is a checkbox to enable “Spotlight my video when I speak.” Another quicker method to enable the same feature is to select the arrow next to Video from the bottom Zoom menu bar and go directly to Video Settings; again select the checkbox for “Spotlight my video when I speak.”

We hope this will help you navigate the many useful features Zoom has to offer to meeting participants and hosts. If you have any ideas for a future Tech Tip please send your requests or tips to Lise Gazzillo at


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