University of Florida

VIDEOCONFERENCING:
Facilitator Guidelines

FOR BETTER VIDEOCONFERENCING:

  1. Turn on the videoconferencing system at the very beginning of test time, rather than waiting until right before the conference begins.
    • This will give the conference technicians more time to correct any problems which may arise.
    • Test time usually begins 15 to 30 minutes before the conference, depending upon the number of sites and the complexity of the presentations.
  2. Make sure that handouts and any other presentation materials are ready and available to participants.
  3. Adjust the lighting in the room for the best possible picture.
    • For instance, do not turn out the lights in the room to make your LCD projector appear brighter if your audience will be interacting with other sites.
    • If your audience is sitting in front of windows on a bright day, close the curtains or blinds.
  4. Encourage participants to sit in a closer grouping, and closer to a microphone.
    • People don't like to be told where to sit, but this would make it much easier for other sites to see and hear whoever is speaking.
    • Don't put microphones close to the monitor and/or the audio speakers.
  5. Use your camera control or preset buttons to zoom in on small groups or individuals who are speaking.
    • Once again, this makes better use of the interactivity so other sites can see facial expressions and gestures of the speaker.
  6. Mute your mike as soon as your site finishes speaking.
    • When you don't, the undertone echo is a little distracting even with the echo cancellation software.
    • Also, your site may contend with other sites for control of the picture.
  7. Advise participants beforehand not to conduct conversations while someone else at the site is speaking.
    • This is particularly bad when the conversationalists are closer to the mike than the speaker.
  8. Make sure that you have an emergency number for the bridge operator and the technician responsible for your own equipment.
    • If there is a technical problem with your participation in the conference, follow the separate list of troubleshooting procedures that has been distributed to each site.
  9. For best results, stay in the room during the presentation.
    • This will ensure you can perform the functions mentioned above and quickly deal with any problem that may arise.
    • Each site should have a primary facilitator and a backup facilitator who is equally conversant with the equipment and procedures.
    • If you must leave the room, be sure that you have given clear and complete instructions to a specific person in the room (student or participant) who will then be responsible for all these procedures