Presenting your 99 Minute workshop

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By Mark Winteringham

updated about 2 months ago

For your workshop, you'll be using the video platform https://www.crowdcast.io. We will provide you with access to the Ministry of Testing Crowdcast channel and will have prepared a session on Crowdcast upfront that both learners can register to prior to the event and you can access to get set up with.

If you haven't used Crowdcast before, we recommend you spend a little time learning how it works before your first workshop. Whilst we've attempted to capture everything you need to know to deliver your workshop here, you'll learn a lot more by checking out:

If you've ever attended a Crowdcast event you should have a good idea of how it works. All you will need to do is read this document to get you prepared for hosting your workshop.

Setting up and running your workshop

1 week before the workshop - Things to prepare before the event

There are a few things you will need to consider and do before you run your workshop. We advise you ensure these points have all been addressed a week before the event. This helps prevent any nasty surprises on the night.

So before you start you will need to:

  1. Ensure that someone from Ministry of Testing has shared the login credentials with you for Crowdcast.

  2. Make sure you have a strong internet connection and somewhere quiet to join. We don't want your hard work to be affected by you dropping out regularly or having the sound of a washing machine behind you drowning you out.

  3. Crowdcast can be demanding on a browser. So we recommend you use Chrome as your browser for the session. 

  4. Make sure you have a camera and a microphone ready and that you have tested them via the Crowdcast setup page https://www.crowdcast.io/setup Your microphone can be a headset, or a built-in one. However, we find that headsets are best. If you do use a headset microphone, make sure that the mic is being picked up on the headset and NOT the computer - as it may be too quiet if the microphone is too far away.

  5. You are more than likely going to be sharing your screen so you will need to install the Crowdcast Screenshare plugin that can be found here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/crowdcast-screen-sharing/kgmadhplahebfoiijgloflhakfjlkbpb - You can find more information on sharing your presentations here https://docs.crowdcast.io/en/articles/1002-can-i-share-my-screen

  6. If you are not familiar with Crowdcast or this is your first time, we strongly recommend that you practise run of the guide outlined below a few days before your workshop. We've created a practise session here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/99-sandbox and the password is 99MinuteWorkshop.

Once you've gone through this list and feel happy that each item has been addressed you'll be all ready for the big event.

30 minutes before your workshop - Setting up the Greenroom

There are a few steps that you will need to take just before you go live with your workshop to ensure you are set up which we've put into a guide below.

Step 1: Enter the green room

To make sure you are set up correctly and to give you time to address any problems before the workshop begins we highly recommend you log onto Crowdcast 30 minutes before the workshop begins.

  1. Log into Crowdcast using the Ministry of Testing credentials that we've provided you and head to https://www.crowdcast.io/my-events

  2. Locate your event and open it up

  3. Once the session is open, locate the green button in the bottom left-hand corner, click on it and select 'Enter the green room' as shown in the image below:

Step 2: Get setup

Once the Green room option is selected you will be asked to set up your microphone and video. Double-check you have selected the correct microphone and camera.

After you've selected your settings you should now be added to the Green room. At this point no one can see you, the event is not live yet but you can adjust your settings.

You can use this opportunity to set up your Screensharing and carry out any other work you need to do before the session begins. You can find details on the host tools available to you here: https://docs.crowdcast.io/en/articles/8693-host-controls

Starting your workshop - Going live

When the time comes for your workshop to start, you will need to 'Go live' on Crowdcast. To do this, check one last time that your audio/video settings are correct and then click on the 'Go live' green button at the bottom left-hand corner as shown in the image below:


Once you click the button you will see a brief countdown and then a confirmation that you are live and ready to begin your workshop

đŸ’¡ Tip: As you start out, invite the participants to say hello or give you a wave in the chat. This is a nice way to start off the session and it also helps confirm your audio and video are working.

During your workshop - Handling questions  

One of the features Crowdcast has is the ability to let participants ask questions and then vote them up or down in priority order. It is up to you when you answer the questions, but there are a few features to be aware of when answering them.

When you are ready to answer a question, open the questions tab (if not already open), pick your question and then click the 'Start answering' button as shown in the image below:

Once you've answered the question, mark the question as answered by clicking 'Done answering'. This will mark the question as done and remove it from the question list.

  

Ending your workshop - Ending your broadcast

Congratulations, you're all done! Now to wrap up the session you need to do one final thing. Click the red 'End broadcast' button in the bottom left-hand corner to finish the session. This will stop your webcam and audio and inform the attendees that the session is finished. Then go put your feet up and congratulate yourself on a job well done!

Troubleshooting issues

Crowdcast is no different to other tools and it will cause issues at times. You are more than likely going to have individuals who are having issues that are occurring on their end of the broadcast. For these issues, kindly inform them to refresh (usually a couple of mentions of refreshing is enough before participants start supporting one another)

If, however, a large group of participants are reporting issues, we've provided this list of solutions to common problems. Whilst not necessarily live on Crowdcast, there will also be a member of Ministry of Testing on hand to support you if you do run into any major issues.

Participants are complaining your video quality is poor

Crowdcast can be quite hungry at times so consider turning off any non-essential tabs or applications such as Slack. This can sometimes help improve video quality.

Sometimes refreshing the page can help improve the quality as well (don't worry you'll be shown as live again once the refresh is done)

Participants are complaining your sound quality is poor

Depending on what you're presenting consider turning off either your screen sharing or your webcam to improve your bandwidth.

You accidentally drop off during the session

Stay calm and refresh the page. Crowdcast will handle you going live again after a refresh. If for any reason it doesn't, simply go through the process of joining the Green room again and you will be added back in again.

If you drop off and cannot get back at all. For example, you have a power cut, please inform a member of Ministry of Testing at once so we can jump on and support the attendees.

Participants are complaining there is an echo on the line when you speak

This may be down to a few reasons:

  1. Check you don't have any other Crowdcast tabs open that are causing a feedback loop

  2. Your microphone is picking up your speakers. Move slightly back from the speakers to ensure audio isn't picked up

Chat isn't populating

If it appears no one is sending messages on the chat, it may have frozen. Refresh the page.

You're going to be late or have to cancel at the last minute

If for any reason there is a delay or a cancellation please inform a member of Ministry of Testing at once so we can jump on and support the

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