How to Run a Successful Video Conference

K.C. Kourtz Updated by K.C. Kourtz

  1. Schedule your meeting in your Google calendar. This way, you can send invites to all attendees and include the Zoom or Google Hangouts information directly from Google calendar.
TIPS: When possible, log into the video conference 15 minutes before your meeting to make sure your microphone and camera are working properly.
  1. What visuals you will want to include? Would your meeting benefit from slides? If so, create a slide deck in Google Slides or PowerpoInt and have it ready for the day of your meeting. You will be able to toggle between sharing your slides and facilitating a conversation while you are in Zoom/Hangouts
  2. Practice! Even if Zoom/Hangouts isn't new to you, make sure you feel comfortable with the tools in either platform..
  3. When your meeting is live, welcome everyone into the room and ask them to mute their mics when they aren't speaking. You'll also want to show them around: be sure to explain where to find the chat, and if you anticipate a big group, consider asking a colleague to watch the chat while you are speaking/facilitating the meeting.
TIPS: When possible, try to find a quiet space to have your video meeting. Use a headset (earbuds with a mic are fine) and mute your microphone when you aren't speaking.
  1. Including some contracting norms at the beginning of a video conference is a good idea. Apart from muting mics when not speaking, consider whether you want attendee cameras on, and gently remind attendees that if their cameras are on, they can be seen by everyone else in the meeting. Also, make sure all attendees know how to change their name from the Zoom-issued code they are assigned (attendees can change their name by clicking on the three dots that appear as they mouse over their "square").
  2. Want to record the meeting for future reference? Be sure to click "record meeting" in the black bar at the bottom of your screen. Alternatively, you can set the meeting to auto-record ahead of time.
  3. If there are documents you'd like to share with the group, you can do that by creating them as PDFs and sharing those links in the chat. Alternatively, you can also share them as Google Docs (though you will need to modify to the doc permissions if your attendees are not from BPS).
    NOTES: Zoom Meeting is great for meetings that can't happen F2F, that include more than 25 people, or are with people outside of BPS. If you are meeting with BPS colleagues and there are fewer than 25 invitees, you can use a Google Hangout through your BPS Google account.
    TIPS: If you are new to Zoom, practice first! Invite a colleague to your practice Zoom session and kick the proverbial tires: try sharing your screen (if you are planning to do that during your meeting) and make sure your colleague can hear and see you.

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