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Web Conferencing Tips & Techniques for Everyone
Conferencing Tips & Techniques for Attendees and Presenters
- Follow the directions for logging into the conference tools.
- Complete a system and web browser check at least 24-48 hours before the web conference. This will give time to make any necessary changes (with the help of the IT department, if necessary). For troubleshooting help, review the following resources depending on web conferencing tool you'll be using:
- Be on-time. It can take time to get logged in and setup for a web conference, so plan to login a little early (~5 minutes prior to the start of the conference).
- Audio Considerations:
- If also using the teleconference for audio in Blackboard Collaborate Classic, be sure to make note of the phone number and passcode.
- If using VoIP for audio, use a USB headset/microphone or something similar. It provides better sound quality, and helps reduce background noises.
- If using teleconference for audio, always have the phone muted when not speaking to minimize background noise-- every noise that is made, including paper shuffling, pencil tapping, typing, coughing, and chatting with others, will be heard by everyone else in the conference.
Participate from a quiet location. Post a note on your door to let people know not to be disruptive, or notify staff or family and discourage them from interrupting. Ensure that there will be a strong and stable internet connection when joining a web conference. Particularly when presenting, any dropped connections from the web conferencing system can be very disruptive to a meeting. Close all other applications on the computer that are not necessary for the presentation. This will help the software operate more efficiently, and will help to conserve the individual network bandwidth. Follow the expectations and etiquette established by the conference presenter. For example, the presenter may ask to be interrupted with questions or comments on audio at any time, or he/she may want questions to be asked at an appointed time. Everyone should identify himself/herself by name and location when asking a question or making a comment.
Additional Tips for Presenters & Moderators
In addition to using all of the tips and techniques above, when presenting or moderating a web or audio conference, also take note of the following:
- When appropriate, send the conference invitations in a timely fashion in advance of a scheduled meeting. Encourage attendees to perform a system check and verify their web browser and enter the web conference early.
- Note: This is not usually necessary for scheduled course web conferences or the ad-hoc MeetNow rooms since they are used throughout the course.
Establish expectations and etiquette for the participants, and share them with the audience at the beginning of the conference. For example, should they interrupt with questions or comments at any time, or should the hold questions until an appointed time? Make a "Welcome" slide for the start of the conference and a "Thank You" slide for the end. Be sure the welcome includes the name and date of the meeting to identify the conference for attendees. The thank you slide can contain contact information so participants know how to get more information or how to contact the presenter. This will help signal the beginning and the end of the presentation. Practice, practice, practice. Make sure you understand the capabilities of the particular web conferencing software so you can effectively moderate the web conference session. Make sure to pre-check any documents or slides within the conference room to verify that they all look acceptable and display correctly. It will help you be more confident with the application, and concentrate on the content during the web conference.