Zach Young, President of the Northwest Arkansas .NET User Group, has posted a great article on Setting Up Livemeeting for a User Group. I had the privilege of speaking at their UG meeting last month and experienced his setup first hand. Not only is it completely painless (always a good thing) it didn’t create any extra hassle on the speaker’s part. If you’re used to working with Live Meeting, then you’d barely notice that you were being recorded.
I would add a couple of points to User Groups and speakers that are thinking bout using Live Meeting as part of their UG meetings. These “tips” may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how often even the most experienced speakers forget them when presenting over the internet:
- Don’t point at things – I’m very used to standing in front of the screen and using either my finger, or a laser pointer to call out specific parts of the display. That won’t work over LM for obvious reasons. Instead, try using a tool like ZoomIt where you can focus the attention
- Avoid Build Slides – they’re cool, and all that, but they don’t translate well lower connection speeds
- Repeat questions that get asked – just because you can hear them in the room, that doesn’t mean people on the LM can hear them
- Save questions till the end – some might disagree with me here, but I’m thinking about the recording aspect of the presentation. I will personally skip to the end of some session recordings just to hear the questions that get asked
- Don’t forget about the folks on the LM – they might have questions too! Make sure you either actively monitor the Q&A, or have someone monitor it for you and feed you questions at the appropriate time.
I’m sure you know of some other tips, and I’m sure I'll think of some later on today that I wish I’d added. Post them as comments here so that I can get this posting updated. Also let me know if you put your user group out on the interweb and start recording your meetings. I think someone I know is building a registry of online user groups, so we will want to get that information over to them.