The motion to incorporate online attendance into our meeting format in response to recent public health concerns was approved by membership on March 12, 2020. Having evaluated a number of tools to facilitate meeting remotely, the leadership committee has decided upon the use of Jitsi Meet, a platform for “free, secure, flexible, open-source video conferencing.” Jitsi includes a number of features to allow us to conduct our weekly meetings online for the time being.
Connecting to Our Jitsi Meeting Room
You don’t need to install an application to use Jitsi Meet, nor even to create an account. Simply visit our Jitsi meeting room (URL below) in a modern browser (Google Chrome preferred):
The Jitsi Meet User Interface
Here is the basic anatomy of the Jitsi Meet browser client:
Note: When you first join the Jitsi meeting room, you will be muted. You will need to unmute yourself using the microphone button near the center of the bottom of the screen.
Sharing Your Screen
To replace the view from your webcam with a view of your screen, click the Share Screen icon at the far left of the bottom of the screen. From there, select to share either your entire screen, a specific application window, or even just a single browser tab. Note: In order to include your web cam feed as described below, you must elect to share a screen, not an application or specific browser tab.
Sharing Your Web Cam
While Jitsi Meet does not support streaming a copy of your screen and your web cam feed simultaneously, we have created a workaround.
- While using the Google Chrome web browser, visit our Online Meeting Control Panel.
- When prompted, grant permission for the page to access your camera (you should only have to do this once). It should subsequently turn on your camera.
- Right click on the camera stream and select Picture in Picture. This will create a smaller version of your camera stream in the bottom right corner of your screen. You can click and drag this video to wherever is most convenient, drag the edge(s) to resize it, or click the in the upper right corner to close it.
- Drag and resize the floating webcam feed onto the display you’re sharing.
Changing Your Nickname and Avatar in Jitsi
If you wish to change how your name is displayed or to set an avatar picture, click on the More Options icon (the three dots at the far right of the screen) and click on Settings. From there, click on the right click on the Profile tab. You can set your display name on this tab. If you want to use an avatar, you will need to register your email address with the free Gravatar service and enter that email here. Click OK when you’re finished.
Online Meeting Protocol
Outside of the usual professional etiquette, there are few rules governing the use of our Discord server. However, the voice channel labeled SSM Meeting Room is only used for conducting weekly Toastmasters meetings. To ensure these meetings are run smoothly, special rules govern the use of this room:
- Meeting Facilitation: All portions of the weekly meetings are run by the Toastmaster, including requesting reports at the end of the meeting. (This differs from a standard meeting wherein the Toastmaster turns over control to the General Evaluator for the evaluation portion.)
- Quiet on the Set: To ensure orderliness, all members should keep themselves muted, except when called upon by the Toastmaster. You can mute and unmute yourself by clicking on the icon at the bottom center of the screen. The Toastmaster reserves the right to mute users as needed.
- Giving Speeches:
- Members who wish to give a speech are required to have a webcam. Webcams are optional for all other users, including those delivering table topics. Several affordable web cameras are available through Amazon.
- It is acceptable to deliver a table topic speech while seated. Similarly, speeches may also be given while seated, especially for any demonstration or presentation-style speeches.
- Use of Text Chat: Text-based chat should be limited to the Toastmasters topic at hand. Please do not use chat to discuss topics outside of the meeting's subject.