Before the seminar begins, you may want to give your students a brief primer on videoconference etiquette. This can take the form of a few sentences or you may wish to put up a slide that includes all or some of the information below.
Assume that you can be seen and heard at all times.
- Whenever you are in a room with videoconference equipment, assume that you can be seen and heard by a remote site. Sometimes there is no indication that the signal is being transmitted, and just because you cannot see the remote site displayed on your screen or hear it does not mean that your site is not displayed on their screen or that they cannot hear you.
- All participants should be able to see and hear as clearly as if they were at the local site with you.
- Don’t bring consumables to share with your local group unless you can arrange for the same at the remote site.
Engage the remote participants.
- Look at the participants of the remote site as well as your local participants.
- Keep in mind that a videoconference is a face-to-face interaction, and body language is important.
- When you pose questions or ask for input, you may want to take turns asking the sites.
- Pay attention to non-verbal cues of the remote participants. If you see signs of participants losing interest, such as side conversations, you may want to ask them a direct question.
Speak clearly, but there is no need to shout.
- Don’t speak at one volume for your local group and another when you want to ensure that the remote group hears you. Speak so that all sites will hear you all the time.
Be conscious of a slight audio delay.
- If you are a very fast speaker, try to slow down a bit.
- Pause after you pose a question, and before you accept an answer from the local group, to allow time for the remote site to hear and respond to the question.
Avoid unnecessary movement.
- Movement can make the video unstable because it is interpreted as extra information that requires processing and this slows down the transmission.
- If you’re showing an object, place it on the table in order to stabilize it, and use the remote control to zoom in if necessary.
If you are using PowerPoint, use the mouse to point—the remote site will not see a laser pointer.
Participants at the remote site won’t have the same opportunity to ask questions after the seminar as students at your local site, who will be able to speak to you after the videoconference closes.