For both video and audio conferencing

  • Meeting effectiveness and inclusion
    • Be thoughtful to ensure that no confidential data is displayed while sharing your screen, or on camera in the background.
    • Make notes on what you want to say before the conference starts. Take notes on ‘action items’ during the meeting whenever you are asked to work on something. Don't ramble on; be concise and short. If it is a question that can be worked ‘offline’, then do that.
    • Be mindful of quieter people in the meeting. Actively pull them in, and ask for their opinions and thoughts. Give people time and space to react to a topic before moving on to the next discussion. Make it a point that everyone is heard.
    • Avoid side-conversations if you are physically next to someone. Cross-talk is especially annoying and distracting to remote participants. Further, online participants will not be able to follow if several side conversations are happening in a room.
    • Be careful not to talk over others. Politely wait your turn, and if you are speaking for more than a minute at a stretch, pause to let others ask questions or seek clarification. 
    • Avoid tapping pencils, moving papers around, rattling ice, setting coffee cups down on table-tops, tapping on keyboards, and other seemingly innocuous sounds. They are unbelievably loud and annoying to others on the call.
  • Present yourself well
    • Assume you are always on camera and that you are always audible (even if you think you're muted or video-disabled).
    • If conducting a video teleconference, warn your family members not to wander through; some home-attire may not be safe for work. 🙂 However, if your kids are curious about what you do, let them have a quick peek at the camera – we can all use a little smile during these times.
  • Audio quality

      • Computer speakers and microphones are not optimized for echo cancelation.
      • Most echoes in calls come from the use of built-in computer speakers.Use a headset or headphones whenever you can.
    • If you notice an echo during a meeting
      • Look at the participant list 
        • Both WebEx and Microsoft Teams show a visual indicator next to a person when they are speaking.
        • If you have an echo you will see those indicators on two people at the same time.
        • Politely ask the person who is not speaking to mute their microphone.
    • Mute your microphone unless you are actively talking.
      • In WebEx, you can use Ctrl+M to mute and unmute your audio
      • In Microsoft Teams, you can use Ctrl+Shift+M.
    • If you experience audio quality issues you may choose to LISTEN ONLY to the meeting.
      • You can dial into the call through your phone (landline or cell).
      • You will find dial-in numbers in the meeting invite.
  • Video Quality 
    • Use a webcam if you have one.
      • It gives you more options to adjust positioning and viewing angle. Dedicated webcams also tend to have better video and microphone quality than built-in laptop devices.
    • Be mindful of bandwidth consumption.
      • Limit other traffic on your internet connection if possible (gaming, streaming movie or music services)
      • Enable video if you are actively engaged in a discussion.
      • Disable video if you are listening in.
        • Especially for larger meetings (10+ people), it is encouraged to disable video unless you present.
        • In Microsoft Teams, you can toggle video with Ctrl+Shift+O.
      • Low Bandwith Guidance from Cisco 
    • Check the lighting in your room.
      • Avoid intense light in your back that will make you look like a silhouette.
      • Check your video image and darken down backlights if needed. Likewise, avoid looking down at the camera if you can.