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College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Center for Online Learning and Technology (COLT)


Videoconferencing and Recording Tips


Use the following guidelines to prepare for your recording session or videoconference.

  • Presenter Guidelines for Video Recording or Videoconferencing


    Presenter Guidelines:

    1. Avoid clothing with small checks, thin stripes or intricate patterns.
      • These will produce a moire effect (crawling, strobing) from the cameras which will look like you have a horde of locusts in your clothes.
    2. If you are given a wireless lapel microphone:
      • Avoid wearing long necklaces or large pins or name tags that may knock against the mike.
      • Refrain from coughing downward into the mike or using hand gestures that may hit the mike.
      • Turn off your cell phone or PDA, because they will interfere with the wireless signal.
      • If there is a fixed microphone on the podium or instructor station, do not wander away from it or turn your head to look at the projector screen as you speak.
      • Also, do not pound the podium or tap your fingers next to the mike.
    3. If your audience must press a button to activate their microphone:
      • Remind them to do so when they're asking questions.
      • If they forget, repeat the question so that the other sites can understand the context of your answer.
    4. If you are using a document camera to show transparencies or to write or draw something for your presentation:
      • Make sure that the camera is focused.
      • Check that your material is straight and framed correctly.
      • Verify the camera is zoomed in enough to make your material legible.
      • Your facilitator or technician will explain how to do all of this beforehand.
    5. If you are displaying Web pages or computer screens for some software program:
      • Keep in mind that the smallest text may not be readable to the audiences at other sites.
      • You can show general layouts or large text and graphics, but you may have to verbally describe the smaller elements.
    6. If you are using a PowerPoint presentation:
      • use a sans-serif font such as Arial and make sure that it is bold face.
      • A shadow usually helps against colored backgrounds.
      • The background should be plain or with an unobtrusive pattern; avoid backgrounds of images or busy patterns.
      • In different situations it may be preferable to use dark text on a light background, or light text on a dark background; however, do not use an illegible combination like black text on a dark blue background.
      • The text size should be at least 24 point; 28 point or higher is even better.
      • Try not to use more than six to eight lines per slide.
      • Be sure to leave substantial margins on all four sides if your presentation is being videotaped or videoconferenced., so that the video format does not cut off the edges.
      • If you have images or graphics, try to make them at least a quarter of the total area of the slide.
      • If detail in the image is important, they should be full screen.
      • If you have embedded video, make sure that the video file is on the computer along with the PowerPoint file.
      • If you want to point to specific things on a slide, use the mouse to move the cursor rather than pointing to the screen in the room.
    7. If multiple sites are in the conference:
      • Try to address them specifically by site name or by the name of a facilitator or someone you know at the site.
      • Give each site a chance to ask questions in addition to the questions being asked by the audience in the room with you.
  • Facilitator Guidelines for Videoconferencing


    1. Turn on the videoconferencing system at the very beginning of test time, rather than waiting until right before the conference begins.
      • This will allow more time to correct any problems that may arise.
      • Test time usually begins 15 to 30 minutes before the conference, depending upon the number of sites and the complexity of the presentations.
    2. Make sure that handouts and any other presentation materials are ready and available to participants.
    3. Adjust the lighting in the room for the best possible picture.
      • For instance, do not turn out the lights in the room to make your LCD projector appear brighter if your audience will be interacting with other sites.
      • If your audience is sitting in front of windows on a bright day, close the curtains or blinds.
    4. Encourage participants to sit in a closer grouping, and closer to a microphone.
      • People don't like to be told where to sit, but this would make it much easier for other sites to see and hear whoever is speaking.
      • Don't put microphones close to the monitor and/or the audio speakers.
    5. Use your camera control or preset buttons to zoom in on small groups or individuals who are speaking.
      • Once again, this makes better use of the interactivity so other sites can see facial expressions and gestures of the speaker.
    6. Mute your mike as soon as your site finishes speaking.
      • When you don't, the undertone echo is a little distracting even with the echo cancellation software.
      • Also, your site may contend with other sites for control of the picture.
    7. Advise participants beforehand not to conduct conversations while someone else at the site is speaking.
      • This is particularly bad when the conversationalists are closer to the mike than the speaker.
    8. For best results, stay in the room during the presentation.
      • This will ensure you can perform the functions mentioned above and quickly deal with any problem that may arise.
      • Each site should have a primary facilitator and a backup facilitator who is equally conversant with the equipment and procedures.
      • If you must leave the room, be sure that you have given clear and complete instructions to a specific person in the room (student or participant) who will then be responsible for all these procedures
  • Planning Checklist for Videoconferencing in G001

    Planning Checklist for Videoconferencing in G001 McCarty Hall (Distance Education Center)

    1. Check the Distance Education Center calendar to see if the Center is available for your desired conference date and time.
    2. Room and Videoconference requests must be made at least one week prior to the scheduled conference date.
    3. Cancellations must be made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled conference date.
    4. If this is a videoconference, confirm date, time, location, personnel, and equipment availability (and compatibility, if applicable) with the Videoconferencing Coordinators at each IFAS Videoconferencing Network site or outside site.
    5. It is the requester's responsibility to schedule room and assistance at all participating sites.
    6. Determine equipment needs of presenter(s) and participants. Check the Center's Room Equipment list.
    7. Requests for Facility/Room and Videoconference reservations can be emailed to
    8. Contact all participating sites to confirm their involvement in the videoconference at least 3 days prior to the videoconference.
    9. Events can be streamed or captured for later viewing upon request.
    10. NO food or drink is allowed in the Distance Education Center - If your event requires refreshments, they may be served in the hallway outside the room, or other arrangements should be made.
  • Videoconferencing with Zoom

    All UF faculty, staff, and students can create and manage videoconferences in Zoom. If you will be managing a videoconference on your own (not in G001), go to and log in with your Gatorlink. When you use Zoom for the first time on a computer, the Zoom client will download, or you can download it at You'll be prompted afterward to open Zoom Meetings when you start or join a meeting. You can schedule meetings from the Zoom client, the Outlook Plugin, or on the website, and you can schedule or join meetings on mobile devices using the Zoom app.

    See the support links on the sign-in page and the following resources: