Introductions Conference

Purpose

This project gives students the opportunity to learn how to conduct a professional video conference and to demonstrate their ability to do so. Students will be graded on their self-presentation in this medium.

Even before the 2020 pandemic, video conferences already were becoming a central component of professional life. The pandemic, of course, amplified this work-from-home trend among office workers of all kinds. Given these facts, developing your communication skills in this medium will pay huge dividends.

Requirements

In general, you should treat video conferences like the formal settings that they are. You should not do anything that you would not do (or expect others to do) during a face-to-face meeting at work.

A YouTube search like “look good video conference” will surface many short videos offering excellent advice. In sum, they cover

Lighting

  1. Exclude light sources of any kind (including windows) from the video frame
  2. Position a single light directly behind the camera, pointing at your face
  3. Don’t allow any shadows on your face

Camera position and movement

  1. Lock down your camera with a tripod or other stabilizer. Do not try to simply hold your phone, selfie-style.
  2. Position the camera just above your eye line. (This usually involves elevating your laptop.)
  3. Look directly at the camera lens (not at other video feeds on screen)
  4. Sit as far away from the camera as is convenient, so the wide-angle lens doesn’t distort your face

Audio

  1. Find a noise-free environment
  2. Mute your audio when others are speaking
  3. Speak in a clear and energetic manner
  4. Consider using earbuds or headphones

Background

  1. Make sure the background behind you is neat and distraction-free

Dress and decorum

  1. Find a distraction-free environment
  2. Dress professionally (at least from the waist up). This means collared shirts for men and a professional blouse/top for women. No hats, hoodies, t-shirts, etc.
  3. Sit down at a table, with materials handy for note-taking
  4. Enter the conference a few minutes before the start time
  5. Don’t try to multitask. No matter what you have heard, it doesn’t work

The project

Using Microsoft Teams, conduct and record a professional-quality video conference that introduces your assigned partner to the rest of the class. Each introduction should last about 2 minutes. Once both partners have spoken, each should post the link to their recording in the “Introductions” topic in our D2L Discussions area.

Steps to complete the project

  1. Use the resources in the D2L Content module titled “Introductions” to complete this project.
  2. Download Microsoft Teams to a computer with a webcam. (In a pinch you can use your phone by downloading the Teams app. However, using a phone will make the project much harder to complete.)
  3. Connect with your assigned partner. Find your partner using the Groups tab in D2L, and communicate with them using their CSU email address.
  4. Before starting your Teams recording, use the “Interview Questions” page in D2L to interview your partner. Take notes.
  5. Connect with your partner in Teams. DON’T FORGET: Before beginning your introductions, one of you should begin recording
  6. Using your notes, introduce your partner to the rest of the class. After the first introduction, the partners should switch.
  7. Once you exit out of the conference, Teams will process the video and send a link to the partner who recorded it via our CSU email. The recording partner should forward this email to their partner.
  8. Each student should post the video link in the “Introductions” topic in our D2L Discussions area.
  9. Finally, the recording partner also needs to do the following:
    1. Bring up the video on https://web.microsoftstream.com
    2. Follow these directions to change the video’s permissions (so everyone, including me, will be able to view it)