During physical meetings, it is crucial that attendees can hear each other and see the visual aids that are intended to structure the discussion. This page is intended to collect practical tips to make sure meetings run smoother in this respect.


  • Lavalier microphones (the small clip-on kind) don't work properly when people blow into them while speaking. Always make sure they are clipped to the clothing of the presenter, pointing straight up at their mouth, not too low. (For unclothed presenters, a stopgap may be to use the clip to connect both ends of a lanyard. Still point up.)
  • In an emergency (audio levels set wrong, presenter wearing body armor), a lavalier microphone may be used by holding it under the speaker's chin.
  • If you can't place it in the center, at least put the mic on the side of the presenter that he or she turns to look at the screen.
  • In overfull small rooms, handing around a wireless mic may be the only way to have a discussion. If you don't have one, appoint someone to play mike stand.


  • We paid for the whole screen. Use it. Learn the fullscreen commands of your tools.
  • As a chair, collect the slides beforehand.
    • Do not accept slides with anything smaller than 18-point type on them (this hint is somewhat tool-specific, as point sizes are not formally defined, but this is a good rule of thumb for most current tools).
    • Ensure the slides are numbered. People want to refer to specific slides by number, in the meeting and on Jabber.
    • And, of course, submit them to the Meeting Materials Manager. Now. You can update them. For bonus points, use the tool to order them in the sequence they will be presented.
  • If you have the right tools (e.g., Apple Keynote), collecting all slides into one consolidated slide set can smooth the transitions between slide sets to 0 seconds.
  • If you don't (e.g., Apple Preview), you can stop a galloping slideshow by pressing space. Do use the fullscreen mode. Do move the cursor outside the area where the control bar stays visible and obscures the most important part of the slide.
  • Projection systems do not handle contrast quite as well as a computer display. Avoid low-contrast colors. For example, light grey or yellow on a white slide will be practically invisible on the projected slides.
  • Leak this URI to your presenters: (warning: serious sarcasm inside).


  • Don't try to be polite by letting the speaker make themselves look incompetent. Do correct A/V problems the instant they occur.
Last modified 8 years ago Last modified on 25/07/14 15:16:34