Before the videoconference
To prepare for a videoconferencing session, you must confirm those participating in the meeting and choose a president from the main site, as well as a person-in-charge for each additional site. You must also distribute the meeting documents of each participant. Don’t forget to include the following elements:
- Clearly defined objectives.
- A list of priorities (in case the meeting lasts longer than you had initially planned).
- Visual illustrations and useful graphs.
- Nametags for identifying the participants and locations – these can be purchased in any office supply store.
Environment It is important to create a suitable videoconferencing environment. Before taking part in a videoconference, you should carry out the following actions:
- Close the blinds.
- Make sure that ceiling lights and reflectors are not in the camera’s field of view.
- Switch the microphone on mute and place at the centre of the conference table.
- Ensure that your institution’s banner (if you have one) is in place.
- Don’t forget to focus the camera on the participant(s) once the videoconference starts.
Beginning of the videoconference
Proceed as follows to ensure the smooth running of the session:
1. Introduce yourself.
2. Clearly state the objectives of the meeting and the agenda.
3. Perform a roll call for each location.
4. Go around the table.
5. Relax and be yourself:
- Imagine that the participants in the meeting are sitting directly in front of you.
- Speak clearly and naturally. There is no need to speak loudly.
Keep the following tips in mind during the videoconference:
- There is a slight delay between the time a person speaks and the time you hear what he or she is saying. So you should let the speaker finish his or her sentence before answering. Conversely, when you have finished talking, you should pause to allow others to comment.
- Keep your system on mute unless you have to intervene. Using the mute button prevents the sites from switching unnecessarily during a voice switching videoconference. Don’t forget to switch on your microphone before speaking.
- Be careful when your microphone is switched on. Avoid:
- shuffling paper;
- tapping fingers;
- using your pen;
- holding side conversations.
- If you are using visual aids (MS-Power Point presentation), don’t forget to reactivate the camera function or to deactivate it when you resume the discussion.
- Encourage participation by asking questions.
Once the videoconference is over, participants should
- Leave the room as they found it upon arrival.
- Ensure that the system is on standby mode and ready for the next meeting.