Web and video conferencing tips for the McMaster community
There are several McMaster-supported services that allow you to virtually connect for a meeting, a seminar, or team collaboration. With so many options, it can be challenging to decide which platform is right for you.
This article provides resources and quick tips to master the art of videoconferencing, as well as a breakdown of the advantages and potential use cases for each McMaster-provided video conferencing service.
Videoconferencing best practices
- Share the agenda and best practices with your participants in advance.
- It can be difficult to follow visual cues, so accidental interruptions of someone speaking can be common.
- Setting an agenda can help ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak or participate.
- Share a link and instructions on how to connect to the call in advance. Keep it brief.
- Record the call and let attendees know you are doing this.
- Everyone has a different internet connection, so recording the call ensures everyone can access the information.
- Mute your mic when you enter the meeting for best sound quality.
- Use headphones, if possible.
- Avoid lighting in the background if you’re using video.
- Plan for moments to pause. Respectfully ask that others wait to ask questions to control audio quality.
- Be patient and leave time for technical delay. Everyone is connecting with different devices.
- Have a note-taker. Follow up the call by sending your notes to attendees.
- Do not multi-task. Stay focused on your conference call because distractions are more noticeable.
- Take advantage of the platform’s built-in tools.
- Some of these platforms have some helpful engagement tools, such as thumbs ups, raising hands, and chat boxes for questions.
Videoconferencing security advice
- Use meeting passwords and don’t publish those passwords or embed them in the meeting URL.
- Use a waiting room.
- Don’t allow participants to share their screen without permission.
- Mute participants who aren’t speaking and use the “raise hand” function on Zoom to prevent unwanted interruptions.
McMaster-supported web and video conferencing tools
- For technical Microsoft Teams or Zoom technical support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Zoom support information available here: https://www.mcmaster.ca/uts/zoom/index.html
- To view uses cases for each tool, please visit this web and video conferencing support guide.