For presenters, hosts, and audiences


The nominal duration of each seminar is 30 minutes, plus time for questions (about 10 minutes). We will be broadcasting via Zoom, with other institutes connecting remotely. At the host institute, the seminar will be held as close as possible to a normal seminar. The host institute will stream the slides and an additional speaker video through Zoom.

Remote institutes are encouraged to present the Zoom feed through their projector or screen as in a typical seminar. They can also connect a webcam and microphone for their audience to ask questions. It is also possible to connect individually with any computer, and this is the preferred option for people outside their institutes. However, we ask people to avoid doing this if possible, for two reasons: (1) even with a pro Zoom account we have a maximum limit of connections (currently about 100) and would like everyone to be able to access the seminars, and (2) many Zoom connections increase the entropy and the likelihood that a forgoten microphone will make noise, and make it harder to identify participants.

Below we include some guidelines and tips for presenters, hosts, and audiences. We are still learning how to adjust the format for larger audiences, so these may change with time.

For presenters

  • Talk slowly and clearly, even more slowly than in a normal seminar.
  • Do not include more than one movie per slide, and avoid high framerate movies. Zoom compresses the movies and fine details may not be seen.
  • If you are using a video feed for the speaker, try to keep an empty area near the top right corner of your slides. (This is where others typically place your video image.)
  • Do not use a laser pointer, and avoid other visual cues that outside people will not see. You can use your mouse to point at things in the presentation (in Keynote, press C to have the mouse if this is not the default).
  • Open your presentation software but do not start the slideshow. Switch to the Zoom app and share the screen for the presentation software. Now you can start the slide show or put in fullscreen. See Zoom’s help centre for sharing screen and sharing a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation.
  • Familiarise yourself with the audio/video setup well in advance of the seminar. If you want to live test with a Zoom meeting, please contact Tiago Pereira for details.

For hosts

  • It is up to the hosts to introduce the speaker and ensure the seminar runs on time.
  • Make sure the speaker is audible, within reach of the microphone, and visible on the webcam (if using one).
  • Keep the number of connections to the Zoom meeting to a minimum. The simplest is to use only the presenter computer connected to Zoom. Another example setup could be two connections: one the presenter computer, and a second one for the host (muted and no webcam) to check out any issues with connectivity or monitor chat from other institutes.
  • With Zoom it is possible to send two feeds with a single computer (typically the slides and a video feed of the speaker via a webcam). It is up to each host to decide on the best setup. Test beforehand.
  • If you are not using a microphone for the audience, repeat any questions/comments on the microphone so everyone can hear.

For audiences

  • Get acquainted with the Zoom app and configure it to better fit your screen/projector. A recommended setup is to have the slides in fullscreen and a speaker video on top.
  • By default, Zoom puts the slides in fullscreen but shows all webcams over it. To show only the speaker’s webcam, select “Pin video” from the option menu on the speaker’s image (see Zoom’s help). You can then adjust the size and location of the speaker’s video to better fit your setup.
  • After the talk is finished, you may want to select “Switch to Active Speaker” so you can see the video feeds of people asking questions.
  • Try keep the number of Zoom connections to a minimum, so we don’t reach the limit.
  • Mute any microphones when speaker starts, unless asking questions. (The Zoom host can also mute other participants after the seminar starts.)
  • Try to ask questions only at the end, but please interrupt if there are serious issues with the video or sound.
  • When asking questions, introduce yourself and ask questions clearly and slowly so everyone can hear.
  • Avoid asking questions through Zoom chat – it is difficult to see when in fullscreen.