MaineHealth Audio Conference Protocol

Participants and hosts of an audio conference can do a few simple steps to make sure it is a successful meeting for everyone. The items below are protocols that should be followed for every audio meeting.

If you are hosting:
– Arrive early, prep and ready your presentation
– Connect with your support team ahead of time, make sure you have their contact info
– Ask everyone on the call to mute when the meeting starts to avoid unwanted sounds
– Talk into the handheld mic if you have one, if you are using a clip-on mic, make sure it is set up correctly
– During Q&A always repeat asked questions

If you are participating:
– Call in 10-15 minutes early and introduce yourself
– Mute your mic/phone when the meeting begins, only unmute when asking a question
– Do not put your call on hold

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Arrive Early, Prep and Get Technical Support
Hosts are encouraged to arrive well before the meeting begins to make sure the technical aspect of people calling in and being connected runs smoothly. Technical support should be in place on site during the meeting or at least available on-call via the Contact Center. The host should be familiar with how to get help as quickly as possible. One technical issue can hold up a meeting with dozens of participants, so it is worth it to arrive early, prep and make sure technical assistance is in place if needed.

As people enter the audio meeting, be sure to greet them. Just a quick hello to see who has called in. It may be hard to tell who has called in or who is on the line. A quick greeting will convey to the room who in attending on the audio call.

As the meeting begins, take a moment to let people on the phone introduce themselves.

The most important thing a host can do, right before the meeting is about to begin, is ask everyone on the audio call to mute their microphones. Often a meeting will begin without the remote audio participants muting their microphones. When a call is not muted, even if the person thinks they are being quite, sounds such as papers moving on a desk or typing can be loud and distracting to the entire audio conference. Typically it only takes one person, not muted, to cause an on-going distraction during a meet. Everyone should have their mic muted and then unmute when they need to ask a question. Also participants should not put their call in hold, as this will transmit background on-hold music to the entire audio conference.

Late Attendees
If a sound is heard on the phone during the meeting, it is not advised to drop everything, stop the presentation and immediately ask who is there. It disrupts the flow of the meet and also puts the person calling in immediately on the spot. Wait for a natural break in the proceedings and then ask if anyone new has just called in. This will give the person a bit of time to settle in if they called in late and it won’t disrupt what is currently being presented.

Talk Into the Microphone
If you are standing at a podium, make sure you are near the microphone. If available, use a clip-on or handheld microphone to amplify your voice. One of the most common problems with audio conferences is when remote participants can’t clearly hear the host. This happens because they are wandering away from a mic on a podium or if they are not using a mic that is part of the sound system. Many hosts feel they can talk loud enough and can be heard “in the room” but remember there are many participants who are calling in remotely who may be straining to hear the host. Some rooms have microphones on the ceiling, and will pick up everything equally. But if you are hosting a conference and microphones are available on a podium, hand-held or clip-on, make sure to use them so remote people can hear you clearly. Also never hold a clip-on mic, use a handheld or put a clip-on mic on your shirt for best quality.

Repeat Asked Questions
Always repeat a question that is asked in the room, especially if you are up in front a large room with attendees. Especially if you are using a hand-held or clip-on microphone, it is always best to repeat a question that is asked in the room. Sometimes it will be hard to hear the question for people calling in remotely, so repeating the question helps amplify and summarize before the answer takes place.

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Call in Early and Introduce Yourself
Before the meeting begins, remember to say hello and introduce yourself to the room when you call in. It is always best to call in 10-15 minutes early, before the meeting even begins. This allows time to do any trouble shooting that may be needed if you have issues connecting.

The most important thing a participant can do who is attending an audio meeting is to mute their microphone. After you have introduced yourself and the meeting has started, remember to mute your phone. This will ensure that no noise from your location is transmitted to all the participants in the meeting, such as papers being moved or typing. Even if you feel like you are being silent, audio devices are very sensitive and will pick up even ambient room noise. If you need to ask a question or comment, just unmute and then return to mute after you are done. It only takes one person who is not muted to distract the entire audio conference.

Do Not Put Your Call On-Hold
Do not put your phone on hold at anytime during the conference. This will transmit on-hold music to everyone listening in.

If you need additional help or support for audio conferences please call the Contact Center