Tips for Hybrid (Mixed-Mode) Presentations

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These tips assume that you are physically present in CAT+FD facilities and that you have participants who are attending both face-to-face and virtually.

Hybrid (Mixed-Mode) presentations are a great way to give participants the option of participating in-person (face-to-face) or virtually. However, with a mixed-mode format, it means the presenter has to be even more prepared in order to keep both audiences engaged and make a positive impact. Here are some tips to keep in mind when conducting presentations for a hybrid audience.

Before the presentation:

  • Put your headshot on one of your slides – If an indoor mask mandate is in place, participants may not get to see your face. If masks are required and your face is covered, participants can still see what you look like from the headshot on your title slide or an introduction slide.
  • Plan engagement options for participants – Create a level playing field where both in-person and virtual attendees feel like valued participants. Create a different but similar experience for the in-person audience and the virtual audience, making your presentation a true hybrid presentation.
  • Zoom settings – Use the recommended Zoom settings for CAT+FD e-rooms. These settings will give the virtual participants the optimal viewing experience. Our recommended Zoom settings can be found in the Aver DL30 Camera Quick Start Guide.
  • Resource availability – Make slides and workshop resources equally available to all participants.
  • Resource site – CAT+FD is likely to create a resource site with the agenda, slides, and workshop materials. As a result, we request that you consider the following:
    • Design your resources with accessibility in mind.
    • Provide CAT+FD with any resources you would like included (presentation slides, handouts, etc.)
    • If you already have a resource site for your topic, please provide that URL to CAT+FD.
    • If you want to send participants to any online resource, consider putting a QR Code or shortened URL for the site on a slide, and also have the link ready to drop into chat for virtual participants. (Email is not a reliable channel during a workshop, as people might have trouble accessing their inbox, e.g., two-factor authentication.)

During the presentation:

  • Face your audiences – A hybrid presentation creates a situation where your audience is in two places, one in front of you and one behind the camera. Many presenters will look behind them at the screen where the slides are being projected. If you look back at the screen, your back will be to the camera; the virtual audience will see only your back. Therefore it is important to face both your physical and virtual audiences so they can see you at all times.
  • Auto tracking – This is only applicable if you do not have a CAT+FD facilitator. Use the camera’s auto-tracking feature to your advantage. When the AVer auto-tracking camera is in Auto tracking - Zone mode, the camera will follow you in the three zones in the front of the room. If you are roaming around the room, you can have the camera follow you around the room. This is done by changing the preset location to #2 – Full view of the room and change the tracking position to Upper Body. In order for the camera to follow you around the room, Auto tracking should be on.
  • Repeat questions – Keep your audience engaged by ensuring everyone can hear what is said. Make a habit of always repeating questions before you answer them. This way you ensure your virtual audience can hear the question before you answer and your physical audience doesn’t get confused when you are answering a question from your virtual audience. When you repeat questions, both audiences will feel included and will be able to follow your answers.
  • Voice of the Chat – Utilize a designated “Voice of the Chat” to monitor the chatbox for questions from the virtual audience.
  • Participation rules – Tell your audience precisely how they should engage (e.g., raised hands for in-person, virtual hands/chat for remote, tech issues, etc.)
  • Avoid in-room bias – Ensure everyone feels they are seen and heard regardless of how they are attending. Try these suggestions to create an environment where there is a “presence for all”:
    • Let remote participants speak first.
    • Encourage remote participants to turn their cameras on when collaborating. If they are just using audio or chat, they are diminishing their presence.
    • Consider using polls for everyone, whether in-person or virtual, rather than asking for feedback, so that everyone has the same opportunity to voice their opinions.