Seven tips to have successful online video meetings

I wrote these to an earlier blog post about online teaching, but maybe they deserve their own entry, too. Here is my list of seven tips to have a successful online video meeting.

(1) When someone is presenting, keep others’ microphones muted. If you can’t do this as the host ask all the participants to mute their microphones. This will reduce background noise and improve the quality of audio.

(2) When starting the video conference ask everyone to say hi for all. This will increase the sense of belonging. It is also a way to test that everyone’s video/audio is working.

(3) Encourage everyone to have their video on. This will improve the feeling of presence. The participants will feel that they are together in a same room and helps to keep everyone on a same page. Modern video conference software and the bandwidth can handle video very well. If there is someone who really do not feel comfortable to have the video on, let them just to use the audio.

(4) Facilitate discussions. You may open microphones for some participants (2-4) in turns to have discussions and debates on the topics of the course. You may think this as a way of having a panel discussion or fishbowl conversation online. For the host of the meeting this is an easy and nice way to give a turn for all to share their thoughts and to talk in the video conference.

(5) Use the share screen to give presentations. Also teach your participants to use it. This way they may also present to others.

(6) Use the breakout rooms (if you have them in your video conference software). Breakout rooms are a great tool to manage small group discussions. Divide participants to breakout rooms to have a discussion on the topics of the meeting. Then invite them back to the main room and ask them to summarise their discussions to all.

(7) Guide your participants to use video conference and other collaboration tools to do their tasks. Having these skills is a really crucial skills for the workforce of our time and the future.

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