Video Conference Helpful Hints
1. Reserve enough time for your meeting. Once your scheduled meeting is over, there will probably be another meeting scheduled after yours, prohibiting your running over the allotted time.
2. Encourage participants to be on time. Videoconferences involve time and in some cases distance-sensitive costs, similar to those of a long distance telephone call. If participants are late, the costs are still incurred. Not only that but your meeting room has a schedule which needs to be adhered to.
3. Encourage participants to be on time. Videoconferences between more than two locations (called "multi-point" conferences) may involve the use of a video bridging service in addition to long distance charges. Bridging services that are contracted for a set period of time have associated charges. We are charged for the time you reserve for your meeting whether or not participants are present or not. Bridging services are on a more rigid schedule than the video conferencing rooms.
4. Wear earth tones. Most rooms are set up with a blue background for ease of viewing. The best colors for participants to wear are earth tones. White shirts and blouses look glaringly white on television.
5. Speak clearly at your normal talking level. Videoconferencing microphones are very sophisticated and do not require projection beyond what is normal for that room.
6. Keep your hands still. Those sophisticated microphones will pick up tapping of fingers, pens, pencils, etc. as well as rustling of papers especially if the microphone is directly in front of you. Do not cover the microphone with your papers.
7. Think of refreshments. If you require beverages or food, those arrangements must be made outside of scheduling the room. Some locations may not allow food in the room.
8. One person should moderate the meeting. This person should set the protocol for the meeting when it is brought to order. Generally, the person moderating the meeting will recognize someone who wants to speak. This is especially important in multi-point videoconferences involving three or more locations.
9. Each location should have someone at the console. This person should know how to move the camera and mute the microphone, at minimum. These tasks can be taught in a very short period of time. Please do not operate controls you are unfamiliar with.
10. Mute your microphone. Most video bridging equipment is voice activated. If some talks, the bridge will try to switch to that location, if two locations are talking at the same time this will create confusion both for the participants and the bridge. In multi-point conferences those not speaking are required to mute their microphones.
11. You are in the PIP. The small window (or picture in a picture on single monitor systems) is the view that the remote end will see of you. The large picture is the remote end, or in a multi-point conference, the one last speaking.
12. Be aware of the time. When you go on break encourage participants to be back at a specific time and be prompt!
13. Speak to the group. Avoid side conversations, they are disruptive, especially in a multi-point conference.
14. Have your handouts there. Provide handouts to remote locations well in advance.
15. Have fun. This is a wonderful technology, enjoy the experience.