This page will walk you through some basic guidelines to consider when preparing for an online meeting. The guidelines were created for meetings using Zoom, but the process is similar for any online meeting tool.


Before the event: 

  1. Let participants know well in advance the agenda, your expectations for the meeting and how they will participate.
  2. Create your meeting and send out the meeting details to your participants well ahead of time.
  3. Do a practice session with a friend or colleague. Use the same tools you will be using during the event. 
  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 minutes early.
  2. Check your audio and video settings.
  3. Open any web pages or applications that you will need. Close all non-essential web pages or applications to improve your computer and internet performance. 
  4. Greet participants as they enter the room. Remind them to check their audio/video setup. 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. 
  5. Assign or take away Co-Host permissions (if necessary)
  6. Once everyone has entered the space, welcome the group and point out where to find any tools they will be using during the event. 
    • Ask them to introduce themselves using the chat area. 
    • Let them know how you expect them to interact and ask questions. You may wish to point out the Raise Hand button or request them to type questions and comments in the chat.


During event: 

  1. Speak clearly and don’t rush. 
  2. Look at the entire screen, not just the whiteboard area. Open the Chat area and keep an eye out for questions. If you have a co-host, you may ask them to moderate the chat while you focus on the presentation.
  3. Ask questions and provide opportunities for interaction. 
  4. 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?