In-room Moderator Tips and Guidance

Tips and Guidance for in-room WebEx Moderators

Sometimes, such as our Global DPCA Meetings, we need to combine remote WebEx participation with a gathering of people in a conference meeting room. This becomes much more complicated than when remote individuals are each sitting in front of their own personal computer.

Participants in a meeting room can easily forget about the remote participants on WebEx. Having dedicated WebEx moderators will help keep the meeting together and create a more positive experience for everyone.

These Moderator Tips are intended to provide orientation and guidance to moderators who may be new to WebEx and help them to create a successful and productive meeting.

Key Points To Remember:

  1. Make sure that people in the room do not forget about remote WebEx participants
  2. Make sure that remote participants do not disrupt the room with audio-feedback or other noise
  3. Keep everyone engaged and communicating with each other – but don't flood the chat box
  4. Always use the chat box to "Everyone" to request **Hand Up to manage the speakers queue 
  5. Know how to reach one of the in-room technical specialists in an emergency

Responsibilities

  • WebEx moderators are responsible for helping to make sure that there is smooth communication between people in the room and the remote WebEx participants – you are the "bridge" between these two groups
  • Much of the communication for remote participants will be in the WebEx Chat box, so you need to always be monitoring this.
  • Unless it is really one-to-one personal communication, encourage participants to address their comments to "Everyone" – especially if it is a request to speak, or a notification of a problem with WebEx communication
  • Don't let the people in the room forget about the WebEx participants – you are there to represent them and speak for them in the room
  • Take turns and share the moderating responsibility so that one person is not left to do the job alone

Presentations

  • Make sure that presentation documents are loaded from the DA Wiki to the WebEx whiteboard in advance.
    • Presentation materials are always best shared as PDF files, rather than Word, PPT, or other files 
    • Convert files to PDF before uploading to the WebEx whiteboard 
  • Make sure that in-room Presenters use the WebEx whiteboard for presentations – do not let them just open a file on the desktop
  • Help the podium Presenters to learn how to move from page-to-page in their presentation
    • Offer to help manage their presentation slides for them, if they are not comfortable with this.

Moderating the Meeting

  • Test your pc/workstation prior to the meeting. Ensure that audio works.  Always use a headset if your computer is connected to audio.
  • Keep active discussion going in the WebEx chat box so that people know you are there, but don't flood it with too many messages.
  • Enforce the **Hand Up to "Everyone" in the chat box rule to keep a clear indication of who is in the Queue to speak next. 
    • Remind participants of this rule periodically with a message in the chat box
    • (We do not recognize the "Hand up icon" option in WebEx.  It is only seen by the presenter/host and does not show who is next in line)
  • Provide a regular update of the names of people in the Queue by retyping the list in the chat box
  • Keep all participants on MUTE if they are not speaking to the meeting
  • Help ensure that individual participants who are having technical issues do not interrupt the meeting 
    • Encourage them to connect with you or another support person via a personal Skype chat, if needed
  • Always encourage remote participants to use the Call Using Computer VoIP audio, NOT the US-based phone number
  • It is helpful to re-type questions to the speaker into the chat box so that everyone can follow the discussion.

Host, Presenter, and Moderator Team Work

  • Host and Presenter need to closely cooperate and share the work load
  • With a large number of remote participants and a group gathered in the room, it is too much for one person to do both rolls
    • Host is responsible for keeping everyone on mute and fixing the focus of the video presentations
    • Presenter manages documents and slides in the white-board area 
    • Presenter manages the screen that people see in the room – from full video display to seeing the Chat box
    • Moderator makes sure that WebEx participants are recognized in the room, that the Question Queue is tracked, and that in-room activities (e.g.: coffee breaks, voting, etc.) are communicated to WebEx participants.
  • Have the Meeting Host Key number ready, in case something happens to the Host computer and you need to reclaim control over the meeting

Staffing and Team Members

  • Team Lead – someone who is responsible for the overall coordination, staffing, network, and hardware set up.
    • Do not assume that someone else will "make it happen" – get confirmations on all the details
  • On-site tech-team – providing the A/V setup of projectors, mics, sound board, cables
  • Network providers – to ensure Internet bandwidth. Often not the same people as the A/V equipment team.
    • providing both fixed line and WiFi connections for the room 
  • Host Manager (in-room or remote) – real-time management of participant mute controls and passing the Presenter
    • share Host Key with Presenter and Moderator Managers so that they can take control as needed
  • Presenter Manager (best if in-room) – preparing presentations as PDF files and uploading them to WebEx whiteboard
    • presentation slide transitions when the Podium speaker is not controlling the slides themselves
  • Moderator Manager (must be in-room) – monitoring the chat box, tracking "Hand Up" queue, keeping room aware of WebEx issues
    • always have emergency access to reach the tech-team and network providers

WebEx Login names

  • When you first login to WebEx from the in-room moderator computers use a name that describes that computer.
  • For example: (using the "!" in front of the name will keep it at the top of the alphabetical participants list)
    • !PuntaCana Hub
    • !PuntaCana Podium
    • !PuntaCana Moderator
  • Encourage all participants to include their DA Title/Officer position in their name when they sign in

Hardware and Technical Setup

  • Make sure that other WebEx participants in the room do NOT connect to audio (this can create terrible audio feedback)
  • If professional microphones and an Audio Mixer are being used, make sure that all webcam or computer microphones are turned off.
  • Use a personal headset/earphones (iPhone earphones work great) if you are connecting to audio or have any other sound coming out of your computer.
  • Make sure that all speakers in the room use a microphone AT ALL TIMES, or remote participants cannot hear anything.
  • Encourage speakers to stand where they can be seen by the webcam
  • Know how to immediately reach the Internet and Audio/Visual technical specialists in case something goes seriously wrong.
  • Projector screen must be big enough to be clearly seen by everyone in the room (two screens may be necessary in some situations)
  • Provide a monitor or second projection screen that can be easily seen from the podium


In-Room Audio/Visual/Internet Setup Schematic

Outline of the audio, video, and wired network connections that are needed to setup and manage a typical WebEx configuration in a conference room.

Notes:

  • This does not take into account additional WiFi networks that may be made available to in-room participants, but that network should be separated from the high-capacity Quality of Service wired LAN that is needed to ensure good video transmission in and out from the WebEx Hub computer.
  • In-room microphones may be either wired or wireless depending on the audio mixer setup

Webcam Positioning

  • Keep the Hub Webcam#1 always pointed at the speaker/presenter or main activity in the room
  • Set the Moderator Webcam#2 on the other side of the room and pointed for a general view of the room, so that remote participants can also see the in-room activities
  • Periodically adjust the camera angle to give a sense of room dynamics