Before the meeting
As the meeting organizer, you are responsible for the experience of the people in the room and those attending virtually. Consider this list of questions when planning the meeting and use this template to send instructions to the meeting attendees. If you don’t know the answer to every question, that’s OK. Let people know that you will update them as you learn more. As organizations update meeting rooms and protocols things will change. Everyone has become used to more change than in the past.
Setting up in the room
Prior to starting the meeting, you should:
- Connect to the room equipment
- Connect to the meeting platform
- Test the content you will share
- Test the audio and video you will be using
- Find a place to sit in the room where it is easy for you to see the room camera (if there is one) and the room screen. You should sit at the table with your laptop, not stand beside the screen because you want the room camera to see you. You also want the room camera to not also project the screen image so make sure the place you are sitting does not have a distracting background.
- If there are windows in the room behind where people will be sitting, close the blinds or drapes to reduce the glare from the light that will impact the video quality.
Starting the meeting
At the start of the meeting, you should:
- Review the room and facility rules
- Review the guidelines for use of audio, video, and chat for people in the room and those attending virtually
Managing videos and content during the meeting
Part of being responsible for the experience of the people in the room is making sure that the screen in the room is displaying the most appropriate content.
- When you are not sharing content, the screen should show people’s videos from the meeting platform. This is either controlled by the room system or it is controlled by you moving the meeting controls or video panels to the screen.
- Only share your screen or a window when you want to share content.
- Get comfortable spotlighting and pinning video feeds to create the best experience during discussions. Spotlighting and pinning is slightly different in each meeting platform and may not be offered in all meeting platforms.
When you are delivering content in the meeting, especially PowerPoint slides, here are some considerations to take into account.
- When you are sitting in front of your laptop, you can access all the expert features of PowerPoint Presenter View (this article shows many of the expert Presenter View features).
- It is good to have the meeting platform controls available when you are presenting so figure out to have those visible when you are presenting.
- If you are using the chat function in the meeting, make sure you can access the chat either as part of the meeting controls or as a separate window.
- Be aware of where the camera is in the room. You need to balance where you look so that the people in the room and the people virtually feel that you are looking at them. This is a change from virtual only presentations where you only need to look at the webcam on your device.
- Consider sharing a screen and display the slides on that screen. This allows you to drag other content, such as a browser, onto that screen so people can see it in the meeting. This may be the screen in the room if that is how you share content so all can see it. Sharing a screen and dragging content onto it is likely easier than switching what you are sharing.
Dave Paradi has over twenty-two years of experience delivering customized training workshops to help business professionals improve their presentations. He has written ten books and over 600 articles on the topic of effective presentations and his ideas have appeared in publications around the world. His focus is on helping corporate professionals visually communicate the messages in their data so they don’t overwhelm and confuse executives. Dave is one of fewer than ten people in North America recognized by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams communities. His articles and videos on virtual presenting have been viewed over 3.5 million times and liked over 14,000 times on YouTube.