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How to use Zoom Breakout Rooms + 3 tips for your Virtual Brainstorm

The worst way to do a Zoom brainstorm: Alright everyone, let’s just start throwing out ideas. NO! Let me tell you why.

First, here’s how to use breakout rooms. Already know? Skip to the 3 tips for your virtual brainstorm.

How to Setup Zoom Breakout Rooms

  • Before your session starts, make sure you have the right settings in the web portal
    • You can’t change these once the meeting starts, so check ahead of time!
  • On the left-hand corner, click on ‘Settings
  • Make sure you are in the ‘Meeting’ Section


Then enable Breakout room


During the Session!

  1. On your Navigation Bar, click ‘... More’ (all the way to the right).
  2. Click ‘Breakout Rooms’.


  1. A new window will appear
    1. Create the number of breakout rooms you need
    2. Assign automatically (can always switch people later)

  1. Click ‘Create’.
  2. A new window will appear


  1. If needed, you can Move or Exchange people
    1. Just hover over the participants’ name and select either ‘Move to’ or ‘Exchange’, then select their new breakout room.


  1. Click ‘Options’ in the bottom-left corner and set them like this:

  1. Make sure to change the Countdown timer to 30 seconds!
  2. When ready to send participants, click ‘Open All Rooms’.
  3. Find out more at Zoom’s help center


3 Tips to use Breakout Rooms in your Virtual Brainstorm

  1. THINK PAIR SHARE: Give everyone a prompt, then put people into pairs in separate breakout rooms (maybe one group of 3). Then come back and share with the larger group. 
    1. THEMED ROOMS: Give each room a different theme, and let participants choose their room based on their interest. 
  • Make sure you click the gear icon in the bottom right of the breakout room windowthen check this box:

  1. COMPETITION: Create breakout rooms of 3-5 people and give them a task that they must compete on. After 10-15 minutes they come back to the main room, present to their colleagues, then everyone votes in chat

We don’t have a relationship with Zoom — we just use it a lot and like to share the tips and tricks we've learned. Need help facilitating your next virtual brainstorm? Funmentum Labs is here to help!