This page will walk you through some basic guidelines to consider when preparing for an online event. The guidelines use Collaborate Ultra, but the process would be similar for any webconferencing tool. 

Before the event: 

  1. Let participants know well in advance the minimum system requirements and that they will need speakers and a microphone or a phone to participate. Refer them to Collaborate Ultra Getting Started for more information.
  2. Encourage participants to view Collaborate Ultra: Attending a Webinar to familiarize themselves with the tool.
  3. Do a practice session with a friend or colleague. Use the same tools you will be using during the event. View Collaborate Ultra: Conducting a Webinar for detailed information.
  4. Prepare your outline and have it available for reference. Include notes to yourself about the content and the web conferencing tools you will be using.

At the beginning of the event: 

  1. Join early. We recommend joining your session at least 15-20 minutes early.
  2. Set up your Audio and Video. See Collaborate Ultra: Audio and Video Setup for more information. 
  3. Upload any necessary content (ex PowerPoints). See Share Content for more information.
  4. Open any necessary web pages or applications. Close all non-essential web pages or applications. 
  5. Greet participants as they enter the room. Remind them to set up their audio/video. Once they have done this, ask them to say hello so you can check their audio (or type in the Chat window if they will not be using a mic or are having trouble). This also lets them practice. Point out how to call in on the phone if they are having trouble. 
  6. Assign or take away Moderator permissions in the Participants window if necessary. 
  7. Once everyone has entered the space, welcome the group and give a brief overview of the interface and any tools they will be using during the event. 
    • Ask them to introduce themselves using the chat area. 
    • Point out the Raise Hand button and ask them to “raise their hand.”

During event: 

  1. Speak clearly and don’t rush. 
  2. Visualize your participants. It may be helpful to have a picture of them (or another group) near your computer. Speak to them as if they were in the room with you. 
  3. Look at the entire screen, not just the whiteboard area. Open the Chat area and keep an eye out for questions. 
  4. Ask questions and provide opportunities for interaction. 
  5. Use the whiteboard tools (pointer, highlighter) to point out certain regions of the slide/screen.

After the event: 

  1. Point out next steps for participants. 
  2. Stay online for a little while to answer questions. 
  3. Evaluate the event: What worked? What didn’t? What will you do differently next time?