In order to have a consistent experience across all MaineHealth video conferences, we’ve developed some techniques and protocols to ensure your session is a success. We’re always open to expanding and fine tuning this list, so don’t hesitate to connect with your suggestions.
Before the Video Conference
Find Tech Support – If you have technical support there at the site, connect with that person first. Let them know what you would like to do, if you have slides, any special requirements you need, etc. It is worth the time to do a pre-flight test beforehand to make sure everything will run smooth when the actual conference begins.
Send Materials Beforehand – Any handouts or bookmarks to be viewed during the conference should be sent to the remote sites beforehand.
Lower Room Noise – Video conference mics can be highly sensitive, so ensure that fans, open doors, cell phones, beepers, telephones and other potential audio sources are lowered or silenced beforehand. A small noise in the room can be amplified to a large noise to all the remote sites.
Welcome Remote Viewers – Take a minute or two to welcome the remote sites, ensure that they can see and hear you. Usually a simple wave and a hello will work best.
Ensure Proper Light Levels – Keep in mind if you lower the lights for your in-room slide presentation, you are lowering the lighting on you as well. This may cause remote sites to have difficulty seeing you, so leave the lights up or at medium level for best results.
Keep Slides Simple – Initially slides were meant as an accent to clarify key bullet points, however in recent years most if not all of the content is now on screen. This presents a challenge to a remote site because slides dense in text and images are harder to see. Always try to keep each slide brief, usually a few bullet points plus a picture or two. Use slides for key points and less for paragraphs of info.
Connect with the Audience – Always remember to address the remote audience. As you progress in your presentation it is easy to forget about the many viewers watching remotely. Avoid turning your back to the camera, keep them engaged by directly addressing them and periodically check in with the remote sites to see if they have any questions or comments. Attend to them just as if there were sitting in the room. Also keep in mind that people at remote sites can lose attention during a lengthy slide presentation, be sure to re-address them after your slide portion is complete.
Pointer – Always point with the mouse and not a laser pointer, as the laser pointer is not seen remotely.
Stay Near the Mic – Be aware that the remote sites can only hear you through the microphone. If you drift or move away from a mic, the audio on the remote side will be lower. If you tend to move around a lot, consider using a clip-on mic or a handheld. If you are at a podium, ensure you are speaking near the mic.
In order to have a consistent experience across all MaineHealth video conferences, we’ve developed these techniques and protocols to ensure your session is a success. We’re always open to expanding and fine tuning this list, so don’t hesitate to contact us with your suggestions. Feel free to contact us.