Best Practices For Successful Video Conferencing from Staff Council (April 2019)

This KB article is based off document from Staff Council from April 2019. It includes links and information from other resources around the University.

Video conferences allow teams to collaborate and work together efficiently regardless of distance.  Here are a few tips to make then effective and enjoyable for everyone involved. 

Prior to the start of the meeting/event: 

  • Make connections and test all equipment early, including extra equipment the presenter may have requested. 
  • If the presenter plans to switch between video view and a presentation, test the switching. 
  • If adjustments to the camera or volume settings are expected, assign someone, or if possible, make arrangements for someone not participating in the meeting to make the adjustments. 
  • Strategically seat the presenter so they can be clearly seen and heard. 

Audio tips - if you have many participants together at one site, there could potentially be a lot of background noise coming through their microphone, which can be very distracting for everyone. Even the inevitable whispered side-bar conversations and use of keyboards are audible through the microphone, therefore using the mute feature when not speaking is critical. The host of a video conference meeting can start the meeting with all sites on mute. 

Video tips – if you have video capability it is best to use it. It’s helpful to see faces rather than names. When many sites are participating, it is recommended to set the meeting in Speaker View. 

Meeting materials – be prepared with presentation materials; send materials to all participants the day prior (if possible) to the meeting. 

Starting the meeting/event:  

Greet and introduce all participants - just like any meeting, there will be a few participants who arrive on time and a few who arrive 1-2 minutes late. It’s advisable to wait until everyone has joined so you can greet each participant as they join the meeting. This also gives you the chance to introduce participants to each other who have not previously met. Ask your participants to identify themselves before speaking and asking a question. This is especially important when the meeting includes participants who have not previously met. 

Additional tips: 

  • If you have a meeting with audience participation, be sure to provide a hand-held microphone so the distant sites can hear the questions. Ask the audience to hold their questions until the microphone has reached them. 
  • If you are logged into an instant messaging services on your computer, it is advisable to log out completely or set your status to “do not disturb”. Your participants could potentially see any instant messages you receive during the meeting, which could contain private data. 
  • Be courteous to other participants 
  • Speak clearly 
  • Keep body movements minimal 
  • Maintain eye contact by looking into the camera 
  • Dress appropriately 
  • Don’t interrupt other speakers 
  • Don’t carry on side conversations 
  • Don’t wear ‘noisy’ jewellery 
  • Don’t cover the microphone – use the mute feature 
  • Know your audience 
  • Put your cell phone away 
  • Avoid distracting behaviors that are within your control 
  • Don’t eat during the meeting 

Details

Article ID: 1599
Created
Wed 3/18/20 6:56 PM
Modified
Thu 3/19/20 8:38 AM