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Best Practices for Webex Meetings

Meeting etiquette

Join from a quiet place

Background noise can mean participants may struggle to hear you clearly, so be aware of your surroundings and try to join from a quiet location. This is especially important if you are the host.

Use the right headset

The best audio experience is achieved with a good internet connection and a USB headset, which you can usually request from your IT department. Ear buds can be used but tend to pick up a lot of background noise, so are not recommended. The right headset can make a huge difference to your Webex Meetings experience.

Tip: When using a headset, place the microphone in front of your chin, not in front of your mouth, to avoid heavy breathing sounds.

Mute yourself

Muting your line will prevent unwanted sounds from your environment disturbing the meeting. Sounds such as typing, breathing and background chat are usually more audible to other participants than you realise.

Have one audio source

If you are planning to join a Webex meeting from the same meeting room as another participant, it’s best for everyone to join the web part of the meeting individually for video and screen sharing. However, only one audio connection should be made to avoid feedback and echo.

Tip: Designate one person to join the Webex meeting with audio either by dialling in by phone or by connecting via PC. Other participants in the same room should join the Webex meeting and turn on their video  but not connect to audio.

Be mindful of your background

When joining a Webex meeting from home or a busy office, try to have a clear background behind you to avoid distractions for other participants.

Use one webcam

When joining a Webex meeting as a group from a meeting room (if all participants aren’t able to join the web part of the meeting using their laptops), ensure the video camera is directed at the whole room rather than an individual. This makes it easier for others to follow the discussion.

Tip: Let others know if you’re leaving the meeting early to avoid them thinking you’ve lost connection. If you’d rather not interrupt whilst the meeting is in flow. You can use the Chat feature to discretely let everyone, or just the host know you’re leaving.

Tips for hosts

The person who schedules the meeting is usually the host. Hosts have access to functionality that allows them to manage and moderate the meeting, for example they can record the meeting for others to view afterwards and mute other participants if there’s unwanted noise.

If the person scheduling the meeting wants someone else to moderate, they can assign an alternate host. An alternate host will assume the host role automatically when they join the meeting. If the person who scheduled the meeting also joins, the host role will transfer to him or her automatically. During the meeting the host can assign the host role to another participant if needed by right clicking on their name in the participants list and changing their role.

If the host leaves the meeting early and intends the meeting to continue but hasn’t transferred host privileges, participants will be unable to moderate, mute others or record etc.

We always suggest starting your meeting a few minutes early, especially if you have invited clients or other external parties to your meeting. This will give you time to make sure you’re connected to the video and audio part of the meeting, and ready to greet attendees as they join. It will also allow you to prepare and test any applications or presentations you’ll be sharing.  

If you are inviting clients or other external parties to your Webex meeting, don’t assume that they’ve used Webex before. Help them avoid any bumps in the road by sending them instructions on how to join.

When people use Call Using Computer for audio, there are sometimes issues connecting. This might mean that the microphone and headset have not been configured correctly. You can use the Chat panel to get them to try the following:

Click the button with 3 dots  at the bottom of the Webex meeting menu.

Select Audio Connection.

Click Change settings.

Select the model of the device being used next to   and  .

Click OK to complete.

This could be worded more positively - ‘If participants have problems connecting via Call Using Computer please check that their microphone and headset have been configured correctly. Use the Chat panel to get them to try the following: ‘

Video makes for a much better meeting experience as seeing expressions and body language really aids communication. If you, as the host, turn your camera on it will encourage others to do the same. Lead by example.

Tip:  Check your surroundings before you turn on your camera.

If someone in the meeting is struggling with any in-meeting options, you can share your Webex Meetings window to show them where to go and what to select. To do this:

  1. Click the Share menu.
  2. Select My Meeting Window.

 

Once you have shown what you need, move your mouse to the green bar at the top of the screen and click Stop Sharing from the drop-down.

We’ve all experienced the annoyance of meetings  disturbed by rustling, heavy breathing and noisy backgrounds. With Webex Meetings, as the host, you can choose to mute everybody at once and also mute individual participants.

To mute all participants:

  1. Click the Participant menu on the top of your Webex Meetings window.
  2. Click Mute All if your call is in progress, choose the Mute on Entry option if you call is just beginning and no one has joined yet.
  3. You can also unmute from the same menu option.

Tip:  Mute on Entry mutes’ new joiners only. If some people have already joined, you will need to use Mute All.

If you mute your participants lines, let them know they can unmute themselves by clicking the red button next to their name in the Participant’s pane, or *6 if they’re only on a phone.

As the host you can mute and unmute individual attendees. For instance, if you detect unwanted noise from their connection, simply click the microphone icon next to a person’s name to mute   and unmute .

Tip: Inform participants that they can mute and unmute their own lines in the same way.

You can record your Webex meetings for reference later or to allow those who were unable to attend to receive the updates and information discussed.

Click the  Recorder  button in your Webex meeting. The button will start to flash as the recording is in progress.

When sharing an application, it will appear at a reduced size for your participants in the Webex Meetings window. Be sure your participants can see all the details by presenting in full screen.

To do this:

  1. Move your mouse to the blue bar at the top of the screen that appears when you share something.
  2. The bar will lower to reveal options.
  3. On the right-hand side of the bar click on the arrow icon.
  4. Select View.
  5. Click Full-screen for Participants.

 

Keep your session engaging by asking questions and giving the floor to others. This will help to prevent participants from getting distracted by their inboxes. Share your application to show the meeting agenda, presentation, actions, and refer to it regularly to drive discussion and boost participation. If you have uploaded your presentation, the screen annotation tools are very useful to keep everyone on the same page.

If someone is experiencing problems  connecting to audio via Call Using Computer, encourage them to switch to a phone connection. They don’t need to disconnect. Webex Meetings can hand over the audio seamlessly.

  1. Click the button with 3 dots  at the bottom of the Webex meeting
  2. Select Audio Connection.
  3. Click the Switch Connection button.
  4. Click Switch Audio.
  5. They can select either Call Me or I Will Call In from the menu.

 

If an attendee fails to leave the meeting when requested, the host can disconnect the person from the meeting (both audio and video). To remove someone from the meeting, right click their name in the Participants list on the right side in the Webex Meetings window and select Expel

When people join your Webex meeting by phone, the default experience is to hear a small beep in the background as each person joins the audio. However, when scheduling your meetings through Outlook, you can set the entry and exit tone to one of the following:

  • Beep
  • Announce Name
  • No Tone

The Announce Name option requires users to record their name and press # when joining by phone. This is played to meeting attendees as they join so everyone knows who is in the meeting.

Tip:  Attendees are not prompted to announce their name if using the Call Using Computer option.

The No Tone option means that all attendees will join silently. This may be best if you have invited large numbers.

To set the Entry and exit tone, simply use the drop-down menu that appears when scheduling a meeting through Outlook.

To disable entry and exit tones during your meeting:

  1. Go to the Participant menu at the top of the Webex Meetings window.
  2. Click Entry and Exit Tone to toggle on or off.

Low bandwidth

Some countries or offices may have limited bandwidth availability or a poor internet connection which can impact your Webex Meetings user experience. However, there are things that you can do to improve the situation.

Using the Call Using Computer functionality takes up bandwidth, so avoid using this option to reduce the level of bandwidth required.

Instead, choose to receive a call from Webex Meetings via Call Me or dial into the meeting by clicking I Will Call In.

In order to optimize video when bandwidth is low, you can either switch your camera off or decrease video quality.

To turn off your camera, click the blue camera   icon in the Webex Meetings window. Then click on the Stop My Video button. It will turn grey once the camera is off.

File sharing and Whiteboard sharing use less bandwidth than Screen sharing and Application sharing.

When sharing a PowerPoint presentation, minimise the use of transitions and animations.

Close any unnecessary applications open on your computer that might be using bandwidth in the background, such as instant messaging, chats, email or programs that receive audio and video streaming.

How to present in Webex Meetings across monitors

When you use Share Application in a Webex meeting and you have extended the display across multiple monitors, it can be unclear which monitors your attendees are viewing.

Best practice when sharing with extended displays is to ensure that all applications you wish to share are placed on the same monitor. For example, if you wish to share Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Internet Explorer, place all three applications on the same monitor.

If you share a PowerPoint presentation and have extended your display across another monitor or projector screen, PowerPoint will typically apply Presenter View on one of the screens, which is sometimes visible to your meeting participants.

  • If you do not need to use Presenter View (which shows notes and next slide information), then un-tick the Use Presenter View.
  • If you do need to use the Presenter View you need to ensure that you are not presenting on your primary monitor.
  1. Open Microsoft PowerPoint.
  2. Click on the Slideshow tab.
  3. In the Show Presentation On: click the drop-down menu. Select an option that is not the Primary Monitor.

Tip: If you connect to a monitor or projector in a meeting room, your display may not extend across the screens. If it does, you will be able to drag and drop items between screens. If this happens, you will need to follow the above steps to ensure that people do not see Presenter View.

Turn off auto-mute in the Webex Meetings app (iPhone)

The Webex Meetings iOS mobile app defaults to mute when joining meetings. People won’t hear you until you unmute. Automatic mute is not enabled by default on Android devices.

To unmute yourself, tap the microphone  icon at the bottom left of the iPhone screen.

In order not to have to unmute yourself manually each time you join a meeting using the Webex Meetings mobile app you can switch off the Mute on Entry option:

  1. Open the Webex Meetings mobile app on your mobile device.
  2. Click the settings cog on the top left of the screen.
  3. Toggle Mute on Entry to off.

Make your meetings more secure

When scheduling a Webex meeting in Outlook you can add a meeting password. Schedule the meeting in the usual way and enter your chosen password in the Meeting password box.

If you choose to include a password in the meeting invite it will be embedded in the joining link. If you chose to exclude it from the invite by ticking the Exclude password from email invitation box, you will need to share the password with attendees in a separate email.

 

 Tip: Attendees joining by dial-in only, will not be asked to enter a password – this functionality applies to attendees joining via full Webex.

When scheduling a meeting you can change your Webex Settings to require attendees to register for the meeting.

  1. Schedule the Webex meeting in the usual way.
  2. In the Webex Settings window, select the Registration tab.
  3. Check the Require attendee registration box.

You need to uncheck the option Attendees can join before starting time to use this option.

Once the host has accepted their registration, attendees will receive the invitation with the joining details. As the host, you can see pending registrations in the My Meetings section of the Webex webpage. You can choose to either accept or decline their registration request.

As the host, you can request that everyone joins by either their desktop, video meeting room or the Webex Meetings app for them to be identifiable. If someone needs to join via dial-in only, the host should rename them in the Participants panel by right clicking on their name.

When in the meeting and everyone who you want to attend has joined, you can restrict further access to the meeting.

  1. Click the 3 dots  button within the Webex meeting.
  2. Click on the Lock Meeting option.

Once you have selected this, no one else will be able to join the meeting. If they try to join, they will see a web page which states “The host has restricted meeting access to those currently in attendance.” They will also be unable to join the meeting by phone.

Once in the meeting, you can use the Expel function if anyone joins who shouldn’t have or if you wish to remain in the meeting with only specific people.

Before using the Expel function, it is best to ask people to leave the meeting by themselves rather than removing them.

  1. In the Participants panel, right click on the name of the person you want to remove from the meeting.
  2. Select Expel.

 

Do’s and Don’ts for scheduling meetings

If you are trying to reschedule a Webex meeting using the ‘drag and drop’ method, you need to be aware of the following:

You can only drag and drop a Webex meeting to a future time if the Webex meeting has not yet started.

Don’t drag and drop a Webex meeting that has already started or completed, the future meeting will not work, and your people won’t be able to join.

If you need to reschedule a Webex meeting that has already started, always create a new meeting and add Webex details with the Add Webex Meeting button.

Don’t drag and drop a Webex meeting to multiple future instances (i.e. manually create a recurring meeting). The future meetings will not work because the unique Webex details will expire as soon as the original meeting has ended.

If you then delete the future meetings, the original meeting will not work because the Webex session will be cancelled.

To set up a recurring meeting with Webex details, always schedule a new recurring meeting and click the Add Webex Meeting button. Each occurrence will then contain the same Webex details.

Be aware that when you change one occurrence in a set of recurring meetings (like the date or the time), Webex Meetings then creates a totally new meeting. The details like the meeting access code and the link will have changed. If you originally entered the access code or the joining link in the Location field of the email, you will then need to change those manually before you send an update. 

No – While it is possible to add Webex to an entire series, you cannot add Webex to a single occurrence of a series that does not already have Webex Meetings details. In this instance you will need to create a new one-off meeting and add Webex details as normal.

However, it is possible to delete Webex Meetings from a single occurrence in a recurring series containing Webex details. In order to do that open the meeting occurrence in question (and press Cancel Webex Meeting. Then send the update to all attendees.

No – Do not copy and paste the Webex details of an existing meeting into a new meeting. If you have scheduled a Webex meeting with the Add Webex Meeting button, then that meeting will have a unique Webex meeting ID that can only be used for that specific meeting, after which the details expire.

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