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Technical Aspects of a Zoom Mediation or Meeting - Alternative Dispute Resolution News

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Alternative Dispute Resolution News


Posted on: Jun 17, 2020

By Pat McCrory, Harrison & Moberly LLP

I hope all of you have been tuning in to the online seminars hosted by the IndyBar and the ADR Section! In this article, I highlight some of the technical takeaways from one of those virtual sessions.

By now, I am sure all of you (or your firm) has a Zoom account, though you don't necessarily need one to participate in a Zoom session. Once you receive an invitation to a Zoom meeting, you can log in without creating an account.

If you don’t feel comfortable being seen in a Zoom meeting; you can participate by phone or simply turn your camera off. (Who wants to participate in a virtual meeting at 8:30 a.m.?)

For those of you who struggle with getting everything set up for a virtual meeting, here are some tips:

First: What you will need (or perhaps want): 

  1. An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless. (I'm sure some of you have experienced spotty internet service – so try to schedule your meetings/calls at non-peak times.)
  2. Headset or earbuds with microphone (plug these into the computer before the meeting starts).
  3. Webcam

Second: Entering the meeting

  1. Locate the email invitation to the meeting and click the link to join, or locate the phone dial-in information
    1. You'll have the opportunity to test your microphone before you join. It's best to do this a few minutes before the meeting starts to leave time for troubleshooting in case you run into issues. 
  2. Laptops or dual monitor situations: It is important to recognize which device has the camera built in. Make sure you are looking at the correct one!
  3. Background staging: By now, we have all seen TV personalities broadcasting from their kitchen or den. It is important for you to continue to have a professional appearance in your Zoom meetings. Think about how you look to others and what your background looks like. (I was on a meeting once where a participant looked like they were in a utility shed with metal cabinets all around!)
  4. Muting: Many times, the host will mute all participants' microphones and allow questions to be asked via the built in chat function, but you can also mute your own microphone. Make sure you know how to do that!

Third: Participants

  1. The participant list shows all the active members in the meeting. To open the participant list, click “participants” in the menu at the bottom.  
  2. You can mute yourself or change your display name by hovering over your name in the participants list.
  3. Questions: There's a button at the bottom of the screen that looks like a hand. Click the “raise hand” button to let the host know you have a question. (Likewise, you can also “lower” your hand to indicate you no longer have a question).
  4. Chat Button: As I touched on earlier, this function is used when the host wants to address all questions at the end of the meeting. Simply type your question. You can indicate whether it's seen by the whole group or just the host/speaker.

Fourth: Swap screen or share screen

  1. If you want to see the video of the meeting room in a larger screen, you can click on the icon to the left of the full screen.
  2. Participants are also able to share applications and/or documents using the "share screen" function.  
  3. After selecting "share screen," Zoom will present a list of all active applications and available desktops on your computer for you to share.

I hope these hints have been helpful. I would also encourage all of you to purchase the on-demand video replay of the session the ADR Section presented in April on conducting mediations via video conferencing platforms. You can purchase and view the program in the IndyBar Online CLE store here.

If you would like to submit content or write an article for the ADR Section, please email Kara Sikorski at ksikorski@indybar.org.

Subscribe to ADR Section news here!

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