At OCAD U we use Microsoft Teams for virtual meetings. Some of the tips below are specifically for Teams and others can apply to various meeting platforms.
Before you host or join a virtual meeting
- Download and install the Teams app: Log in with your OCAD U credentials (if you aren't logged in, some functionality will not be available to you)
- Test your camera and microphone in your Teams desktop application's settings under "Devices"
- Put your laptop on a stand to raise your webcam to eye level.
- Check that you have a decent internet speed (we have tips on minimum speed and how to optimize your internet on our pro tips page. This can't be overstated. Your internet connection can make or break a virtual call for you and possibly everyone on the call especially if you are presenting.
When hosting larger Teams meetings you may wish to change the meeting options to restrict the presenters and to have people bypass the lobby. For more information please see Roles in a Teams meeting.
Tips for Attending a Virtual Meeting
- If you are not presenting or speaking, always have yourself muted to avoid disrupting the presentation for all attendees.
- Use the chat wisely. Stay on topic and tag people using @name format to target certain questions or comments. Be respectful of the presenter and avoid having entire conversations during the meeting.
- For smaller meetings it's nice to have your video on so people can see your face and have a bit more of an authentic experience. For large meetings or webinars, avoid using the camera unless you are presenting.
- Follow the lead of the presenter. Each host or presenter has a different style, go with the flow and roll with it!
Tips for Presenters
- Use a mic or headset. Ear buds with a mic work well. Anything is better than simply relying on the built in mic on your computer.
- Larger meetings in Teams will automatically mute all participants upon entry. It is advisable to inform the attendees that this is preferred to avoid audio interference.
- Good Lighting: Face a window. Do not have your back to a window. Add a lamp that can shine on the dark side of your face.
- Consider having a partner/assistant/TA to moderate the chat to help compile pertinent questions and share them with you at set intervals to respond for all attendees to hear.
- Encourage attendees to turn on live captioning in the meeting settings if they require it.
- Record your sessions in Techsmith Knowmia(recommended) or with the Teams app itself. Be sure to inform everyone that it will be recorded. If someone has trouble joining the call in this uncertain time, you can send them the link for later viewing. Be sure to edit the captions for accessibility.
- Share your screen carefully. You may choose to share your whole desktop or simply the app from which you would like to present.
- Sharing Video: If you are on a Mac, sharing a video on a Teams call is problematic because the Teams app for Mac can't share system audio, only microphone audio. If you want to share video and you are on a Mac you will need to provide the attendees with a link. Note: Microsoft may include system audio for the Mac version of Teams in a future release.
- For community-wide presentations, consider contacting IThelp@ocadu.ca to request some assistance.