Emerson IT Help Desk

Tips for Facilitating Web Conferences


Presentation Tips

A web conference and a face-to-face course require some different considerations. Organization and good facilitation are key to making a web conference an engaging learning experience. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure your session with students is a success.

  • Prepare ahead of time:
    • Set up a practice session to get comfortable with the technology.
    • Test out your audio (speakers and mic) and make sure you have any required plugins installed and updated.
    • Include any relevant info in your course syllabus or in your Canvas site so students know where to go and what to do. If you’re using Zoom, be sure to include either the link for your meeting room or directions to find it in Canvas.
    • Have the content you intend to share prepared ahead of time.
    • Make sure you know how to share your screen (see below).
  • Set aside time for housekeeping at the beginning of your session:
    • Give students a brief walk-through of the tools and how they should interact with them. For example, will you be answering questions via chat? Should students unmute their mic and speak up if they want to speak or ask a question? Will you be calling on students to participate or will it be voluntary?
    • Do a microphone and speaker test to make sure that everyone can hear and use their mic.
  • Mute everyone except for yourself (or whoever is speaking) to minimize echoes and disruptions.
  • Don’t just lecture.
    • Alternate lecture with discussion to keep students engaged. Better yet, record a video lecture for students to watch before hand and use the web conference for discussion only.
    • Ask open ended questions that spark conversation.
  • Hold small group sessions. If you have a large class, consider breaking the students up into smaller groups and holding separate synchronous sessions for each. In Zoom, you can use Gallery View to see small groups of participants in a grid-style layout.
  • Keep things simple. Avoid multiple people talking at once. Participants’ internet quality may vary and this will help to minimize the possibility of bandwidth issues. If you must use video, we recommend turning your webcam on briefly to greet the class and then turning it off. It’s not worth the possibility of crashing the session to have both video and presentation slides.
  • Use a wired connection whenever possible. Web conferencing software tends to be bulky and can use up a lot of bandwidth. As a result, wireless connections are simply less reliable, especially when using special features such as video or screen sharing.
  • Consider recording the session so that students who cannot attend will be able to watch later.

Etiquette for Web Conferences

  • Lighting should come from in front of you or from the side to best light your face.
  • Pay attention to appearance. Attendees can see you if your video is on.
  • Think about your background. Remove any distracting objects.
  • Put your webcam at eye level or higher. Experiment to find the best angles.
  • Use the gestures and mannerisms that you would typically use in person.
  • Make eye contact. Try to look at your webcam versus the screen.

Technical Tips for Zoom

Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing platform that allows you to make video calls and set up meetings quickly and easily from any web browser on any computer or mobile device.

Learn more about Zoom's features.

Use this guide to get started by setting up Zoom.

Learn about best practices for teaching and learning with Zoom.

This section covers how to use Zoom for presentations and conference meetings where you want to connect a webcam, connect to a secondary A/V system, present with PowerPoint while using Zoom, or use a third-party audio system such as an conference phone system for a Zoom meeting.

Internet Connection, Connecting a Webcam, Connecting to a Secondary A/V system, and Setting A/V inputs and outputs.

  1. Check your network settings to make sure your network connection is good. If possible, use a wired Ethernet connection instead of WiFi for the strongest connection.
  2. Connect your Webcam's USB cable to the computer hosting the Zoom call.
  3. Place the webcam to where it can view everyone in your meeting.
  4. If connecting to a secondary A/V system, connect the HDMI or other display/audio cable(s) to the host computer.
  5. Once you start the Zoom call, click  next to the icon to show video settings. Select the name of your Webcam in the list. This will show the Webcam’s view.
  6. For audio, click  next to the icon to show audio settings. Select the name of your Webcam under Select a Microphone. If you’re connected to a secondary A/V system, select the name of that system under Select a Speaker.

Using PowerPoint and Zoom on the same computer (MacOS)

  1. Once the Zoom call has started, open PowerPoint as you normally would and start your slideshow.
  2. Press Command+Tab to show applications that are running, and press Tab until the Zoom_app_icon.png icon is highlighted. This will bring you back to the Zoom window.
  3. Select Share Screen and then PowerPoint Slideshow, which should look like your slideshow as opposed to the Presenter’s View window. Your PowerPoint slideshow should now be showing to the other Zoom callers.
  4. Select Stop Share and end your PowerPoint slideshow when you’re done with the presentation.

Using PowerPoint and Zoom on the same computer (Windows 10)

  1.  Once the Zoom call has started, open PowerPoint and start your slideshow.
  2. In the Presenter View, click Show Taskbar and select the Zoom app on the bottom.
  3. In Zoom, select Share Screen and then PowerPoint Slideshow, which should look like your slideshow as opposed to the Presenter’s View window. Your PowerPoint slideshow should now be showing to the other Zoom callers.
  4. Select Stop Share and end your PowerPoint slideshow when you’re done with the presentation.

Third Party Audio

  1. Go to emerson.zoom.us and sign in.
  2. Go to My Meeting Settings>Telephone and turn on 3rd Party Audio.
  3. Type the 3rd party audio information (or any text as a placeholder) into the field below. This can be edited later when you schedule a meeting.
  4. Now when you schedule a meeting, you should now see 3rd Party Audio as an option under Audio Options. Enter the Conference Call info there.

Additional Resources

Video tutorials on how to use Zoom: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-Video-Tutorials

 

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