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Annexe 4 : Prototype Video Conferencing Minimal Manual

Weeks/Days before:

Share information between local and remote sites :

How many students/presenters at each site,
How many sites,
Mail accompanying literature for support of conference

Room set up:

ideally, each site should have two screens, one showing outgoing video, and one showing incoming video.
aim to have no more than as many people per screen as inches across display (i.e. a 25" monitor can be viewed by no more than 25 people)
Lapel microphones are the preferred audio system for presenters
Add ambient microphones throughout room for added realism and accessibility
Try to avoid "push to talk" microphones: they interfere with natural dialogue BR> Voice-activated microphones tend to break up the audio signal.
Remote: Cameras should be placed so a remote site can see both the presenter and local audience (if present).
Local: Audiences should be able to see both remote site and local presenter.
Plan and rehearse presentations.
Allow involvement of remote site and local site: do not forget to involve both audiences.
Special considerations should be given to the timings of the presentation.
A slick performance is especially needed when video conferencing: think about :

Just Before:

Encourage informal interaction between sites
Personal introductions of participants
Games for breaking the ice
Camera panning around room (if possible)


About that delay
Speak clearly and try to maintain a constant volume
Pause often for reflection
Allow for time delay when in a discussion
Clearly indicate when you have finished talking and are expecting a reply.
Most subtle expressions will either be lost or exaggerated.
Avoid excessive movement
Avoid pointing devices (will not be seen)
When initiating conversation, use hand signals to highlight who is speaking
Keep pictures or images on screen for long periods of time
Do not move pictures once they have been positioned
Avoid poor quality (second generation or worse) video
Wear low contrast clothing (subtle colours)

Keeping the remote audience's attention

Give attention to talking through presentations
Explain clearly each new area of the presentation
Constantly summarise each section
pause often for questions
actively attempt to involve the remote audience by asking questions, etc.
Use different media to keep attention (slides,images etc.)
Allow for visual gags where possible (cartoons etc.)
Allow for breaking the ice between sites
Have one controller or chairperson who oversees interactions
Attempt to involve everybody from all sites
Attempt to use personal names where possible
Begin talking by visually and orally identifying your name and site
Allow long time for turn taking

Just After:

A virtual Coffee bar
Allow for period of "warm down"
This must be done with the VC link still active as there is no informal period after the session when any student can interact with lecturer in an informal "coffee bar" setting.

Day(s) After:

Send out (and get back!) questionnaires to participating students for feedback to incorporate into the next session.
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