Videoconferencing Tips for Participants

If you are working with guest speakers or have students who will be participating from off campus, Dr. Dwight Daniel, Director of MSCIS, Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems at St. Edward’s University, has developed some videoconferencing do’s and don’ts to help participants get ready.

  • Verify webcam placement before the videoconference starts. Confirm that your individual webcam is showing a flattering image of you (remember, display your webcam image on your display).  For a beginning placement, try straight on with your face medium distance from the webcam, and then adjust.
  • Don’t place your webcam in front of a window.  The incoming light will overpower your webcam and your screen will be totally black.
  • Verify your audio works on your device before the videoconference starts. Before dialing into the conference, always test the Jabber client  to ensure your microphone and speakers are working.  Don’t assume your conferencing tool will automatically turn them on or even use the proper speakers and microphones.
  • Try to wear a headset.  Whether you attend from a mobile device, a laptop, or desktop, a headset will help you hear and be heard well in web conferences.  Ear buds work for meetings on the go, but a USB headset plugged into a laptop or desktop will give you the best sound quality for online meetings.
  • Turn off your instant messaging app when you’re in a conference.  For example, it is bad when everybody hears the chimes for an incoming message and then they hear you start typing.  Everybody knows you are no longer paying attention to the conference.
  • Turn off your cell phone ringer for the same reason. 
  • Don’t forget to mute your microphone when you are not speaking
  • When speaking simulate eye contact. You don’t have to maintain direct eye contact and please don’t stare.  A trick for simulating eye contact on a desktop or laptop is to drag the video feeds to the top of your computer screen right underneath your webcam. That way, as you look at your attendees on screen your eyes are looking just below the webcam and simulating eye contact.  On mobile devices, the screen is much smaller, so if you’re looking at the presentation, you’re likely to simulate eye contact too. But, for good measure, periodically look into the camera as you speak. 

Visit the St. Edward’s University Global Digital Classrooms website for more information on videoconferencing.

Complete Video Conferencing Do’s and Dont’s from Dr. Dwight Daniels.