Work in progress: Videoconference talk at Stony Brook EM Residency
Posted May 25 2010 12:00am
I am about to give videoconferencing another try Wednesday. My friend Dr. Taku Taira (Assistant Program Director at SUNY Stony Brook EM Residency Program) invited me to give a talk to his residents this week. I'm giving my "Tricks of the Trade in Emergency Medicine" lecture, which summarizes a list of my favorite practical tips in the ED.
As with any high-tech endeavor, preparation and backup plans are critical. Taku and I always assume that there will be a technical glitch and we have several backup options.
I recently came across a helpful list of do's and don'ts in videoconferencing by Dierdre Bonnycastle (Clinical Teaching Development Coordinator at the Univ of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine).
Attire (avoid whites and bright colors to improve camera focusing on you)
Be wary of the audience and what they can see (use the mouse instead of a laser pointer)
Have a "spotter" in the audience who will interrupt speaker if there are questions.
In my case where I am giving a talk from my laptop at home, I would also add at few more tips
Position the camera so that it is at eye level with the speaker. It seems a bit awkward having the speaker looking down towards the audience.
Put a post-it note on the camera saying "LOOK HERE". Instead of looking at the slides, the speaker should really be looking directly at the green or red light from the camera. I find it distracting when the videoconference speaker is looking down and to the side all the time. I think psuedo-direct eye contact engages the audience more (even though I can't really see the audience).
Don't wear eyeglasses. The light from the screen or other ambient lighting will likely reflect off of them causing a distracting glare on the screen.