This coronavirus season is certainly a difficult time for all of us as we attempt to adjust. Thankfully though, we have the resources and technology to substitute for being able to conduct meetings face-to-face. Here are some tips to consider as you hold a video call on any of the available tools.
1. Provide Agenda and Assignments beforehand
Most people feel awkward trying to randomly join into meeting discussions. Over video call, it’s even more awkward. To help minimize this awkwardness, provide the meeting with an agenda so that people know when they are needed to participate. Additionally, instead of simply opening the discussion time with a question, try calling on people to answer/speak instead of opening the floor for volunteers.
2. Set the meeting to join muted
Help cut down on noise as people connect to the meeting or are disconnected and reconnected by setting the meeting to have your audience join muted. This will save one more step in adjustment as people join or renter the meeting.
3. Pick a nonpeak time to meet / Host has strong internet connection
There isn’t publicly a way to understand what affects the quality of connection on a video call. There are, however, some ways to help make sure your call will have better quality. Make sure the host has a strong internet connection and, if possible, meet outside the morning or early afternoon times.
4. Spacebar to Talk – Computer (Zoom Functionality)
The most difficult part of conducting a group video call is keeping noise during conversation to a minimum. It is impossible to keep people from talking over one another, but a way to minimize distraction is to encourage press spacebar to talk. This allows the person who desires to talk to stay muted up to the point they actually speak. If the person is joining with their phone they will just need to unmute themselves when they are ready to talk.
5. Disable Screen Sharing (unless needed)
It is easy to accidentally press the wrong button and a user begin sharing their computer or phone screen. To avoid this, just make sure that option is turned off in whatever tool you decide to use.
6. Public Meetings – Have a Cohost
As the video calling tools have become more popular, it is good practice to have someone assigned to be watching for any malicious audience members with widely advertised public calls. Putting someone in charge that has the ability to remove audience members that might be joining the call is a good idea.
Mitchell Bruce, Digital Media Specialist