Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

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Best Practices for Presenters and Facilitators

Before Your Multipoint Videoconference

  • If your videoconferencing purpose is instructional and involves a large amount of audience and presenter interaction, it is recommended that you limit the number of remote sites to three and that you conduct the videoconference in Continuous Presence mode
  • Have a central contact person who is responsible for scheduling/organizing the multipoint videoconference -- this may or may not be the main facilitator/presenter
  • Have a facilitator at each participating remote site
  • Make sure that the videoconference room is reserved at each participating site (factor in time for equipment setup, testing, and takedown if needed)
  • Make sure that the remote site facilitators are aware of what is expected of them before, during and after the videoconference
  • Make sure the videoconferencing technical contacts at all sites are aware of the equipment and room configuration needed for the event. Have the remote site facilitators assist the technical contacts if necessary.
  • The central contact person must ensure that the multipoint videoconference is scheduled at the MCU level currently we are using The Board of Regents' MCU for Bridging services. 
  • Have each remote site make a test call about a week prior to the event if possible
  • Have all sites connect at least one hour prior to program time in case of technical issues
  • The facilitator/presenter should send an agenda with program date/time to all participants
  • The facilitator/presenter should send a backup plan/activity/discussion to remote site facilitators for participants at each site in the event that technical issues arise
  • If possible, all sites should have a large banner identifying their location onscreen

Best Practices for the Main Multipoint Presenter/Facilitator

  • Begin by requesting that all sites mute their microphones if not already muted -- especially if in a voice activated conference
  • Introduce yourself, identify your location and remote site locations, state the purpose of the videoconference
  • Describe what the participants should see on their videoconference monitors
  • Provide an overview of the videoconferencing mode selected for the meeting
  • Provide an overview of the microphone mode selected for the meeting and instruct participants on interaction using the microphones
  • Read ground rules and etiquette tips aloud
  • Introduce the sites involved and, if time allows, have each site introduce themselves
  • Review the meeting or workshop agenda
  • Begin the meeting or workshop
  • Keep the meeting or workshop focused and encourage participation by calling on all sites individually
  • Track and manage participation with a site list if necessary (mark as sites participate)
  • Summarize key points and decisions
  • Direct unrelated items to future discussion (write these down)
  • End the meeting or workshop on time -- save last ten minutes of meeting for wrap-up, specify how videoconference will end (should remote sites hang up?) and thank participants

Best Practices for Remote Site Facilitators

  • If you are not familiar with basic operational functions of the equipment, ask the videoconferencing technical staff at your site to provide you with a demonstration or overview of basic functions
  • Ensure that a wide screen shot of all participants in the room is viewable by the other sites when no one is speaking at your site
  • Adjust cameras to focus on a person at your site who is speaking if microphone presets are not being used
  • Know how to contact local videoconferencing technical support staff should technical issues arise
  • Announce changes at your site if feasible -- notify other sites of significant changes such as when someone has entered the room but is not visible on screen. The remote facilitator should introduce new participants and announce the departure of other participants as necessary.