Fifth International World Wide Web Conference
May 6-10, 1996, Paris, France
Notes for Session Chairs of Multicast Sessions
Please be aware that the session you are chairing is going to be
transmitted live over the Internet via a technology known as MBONE
This will allow people from around the world to view and hear the session,
and to participate during question periods.
Multicasting will be a new experience for many meeting participants.
Success of a multicast session requires the active and skillful
collaboration of the chair.
Please note the following:
- The reaction of the audience to the multicasting activity depends
largely upon the attitude evinced by the chair.
If you remain relaxed and patient, the audience will also.
It is also important to set realistic expectations for all of the participants
at the outset of the session,
so please read the document
"Multicast Chair Remarks to the Audience"
at the beginning of the session, slowly and clearly.
- One of the persons sitting in front of the workstation which is doing the
multicasting is known as the interlocutor;
it is part of this person's job to interact with you concerning
questions from remote participants.
There may also be a separate operator,
who concentrates on the technical aspects of the multicasting.
Introduce yourself to these people before the session and write
down their names, so that if you wish you can introduce them in your opening remarks.
If a presenter is speaking particularly quickly or unclearly,
or moving projected materials too frequently,
the interlocutor or operator may pass you a note to this effect,
or whisper a remark.
Use your own judgment as to how to best act on this information
(feel free to do nothing if that is most appropriate!).
You may want to sit next to the operator during the presentations if
you are curious to see what multicast video looks like.
- The principal challenge for you, the chair, is to keep things moving
smoothly by means of verbal cues; remember that many of the participants
are listening remotely and require explicit cues in order to interact
with the hall constructively rather than disruptively.
The sequence of events during question period should proceed as follows:
- Begin by saying something to this effect:
"I'd like to begin the question period by encouraging questions from
listeners on the MBONE.
It may take time for you to turn on your microphones
and contact the multicast operator,
so we'll come back to you in a few moments.
A reminder to all questioners, local and remote:
please remember to state your name and affiliation before you begin your
And please add your geographical location if you are a remote questioner."
- The interlocutor is the local representative of remote participants.
If there are remote questions, the interlocutor will try to get
your attention; at an appropriate moment, recognize the interlocutor;
either the interlocutor or the operator will announce the network address
of the remote questioner, to recognize them.
The voice of the remote questioner should then be heard over the speaker
system in the room.
- The interlocutor will interrupt the questioner,
if necessary, to remind him/her to state his/her name, affiliation,
and geographical location.
If the incoming audio is not sufficiently clear,
the interlocutor will break in with something like: "I'm sorry,
your question could not be heard clearly; please repeat it slowly."
- If clear audio can not be received, the interlocutor may announce
this fact, and proceed to another remote questioner.
- If no MBONE questions come in after about 10-15 seconds,
take the floor back from the interlocutor
and proceed to ask for questions from the room.
- Feel free to break off further questions from the network if there
are people in the hall waiting to ask questions,
saying something like
"and now we will take questions from the conference hall."
- Please try to solicite MBONE questions at least one more time
during the question period,
using your own judgement as to how best to interleave local and remote
- Be certain that each person asking a question begins by announcing
his/her name and institutional affiliation.
It's disorienting for remote listeners to suddenly hear an unidentified
Local attendees also want to hear the name and location of remote
The introduction of local questioners also
helps local attendees to get to know one another better.
This is all a lot easier than it may seem at first.
Multicasting can be quite fun and engaging for all participants.
Guided Tour of this site
Mail to the MBONE team
Created: 22 March 1996
Last updated: 22 March 1996