Below are guidelines to keep in mind when videoconferencing.
Feel free to print out this document and review prior to your event.
-Establish ground rules for participation during your conference to make your meeting smoother and more effective.
-Make sure all participating sites can see and hear you. Speak up. Ask other participants to speak up if necessary.
-Allow participants a brief "practice session" to familiarize themselves with the equipment and set-up.
-Restrict movement as much as possible. Excessive movements are disruptive to viewers at the far site.
-Be polite and turn off beepers, watch alarms and cell phones.
-Wear conservative colored clothing such as blue or black and avoid wearing white, red, or patterns such as plaids or stripes.
-Participants should be quiet unless called upon. Microphones pick up every noise including side conversations, rustling papers, moving chairs, etc. Your noise may override the audio. Remember you are always on camera!
-Talk slowly and clearly in order to be understood. Wait for the other site to finish talking before replying.
-Direct your voice toward the microphones. The audio is received better at the far end.
-Have a back up plan for your meeting or class in the event of connection failures or equipment problems.
-In a multi-site call, mute the local microphone when other sites are presenting or speaking for a period of time.
-When creating presentation materials such as agendas, charts, Power Point presentations, etc. use large fonts 15pt. plus for best results. Fonts that are smaller than 14pt Courier can be difficult to see.
-If you already have presentation material prepared which might not be legible on the far end you can always email a copy to remote participants before the meeting. Sending the presentation materials ahead of time is in itself a good idea.
-Appoint a meeting facilitator. Just like a "live" meeting, a videoconference meeting can get out of control unless somebody takes the job of traffic cop. The facilitator can also take responsibility for muting and un-muting the microphone and adjusting the camera. For collaborative computing (data conferencing), it is especially important that everyone knows who has control of the presentation.
-Set clear objectives regarding what will be accomplished in the session and communicate them to participants.