Using the WebEx Meeting Screen

Each participant in a meeting will view a screen similar to the image shown below (image taken from the WebEx help website). Under the Video Layout, you can choose a display where the presenter is shown as the major screen, and other participants are shown as thumbnails. You can also choose a grid layout.

The meeting controls are, from left to right, mute/unmute microphone, camera on/off, share content, show participants list, show chat box, options, exit. Most of these are self explanatory. The share content button allows a participant to select a window, file or other media from his or her local computer, and have this displayed in the main view to all participants. If some one else is currently the presenter, he or she will have to grant you permission for your content to be displayed. The participants list allows you to initiate a chat with another participant, see who is the current presenter, and to trigger the handraise icon, to indicate you wish to be recognized by the presenter. Here is a participant listing.

The speech icon allows you to start a text chat with this participant. The chat may be public, or you can choose to have a private one-to-one chat. The microphone icon indicates whether or not this participant is currently muted. On the left, the circle icon on the participant's thumbnail picture indicates whether or not this participant is the current presenter for the meeting. The next image, shown below, is the listing that a given participant will view for his or her own status in the meeting.

For your own listing, there are additional icons. The CC icon allows you to turn on closed captioning, if that is supported for the meeting. The hand icon allows you to display a raised hand to the other participants. The camera icon allows you to turn your own camera on or off, and the microphone icon allows you to mute or unmute your own microphone.

When you are sharing content, you will see an orange tab at the top of your screen. When your mouse pointer hovers in this region, a sharing menu will drop down. This is shown in the next imaage, below.

The controls in this bar are, from left to right, stop sharing, pause, change shared item, Assign, mute, video, participants, chat, annotate, and other options. The stop sharing button clears the screen of the item you have been sharing, and returns the display to the normal mode. The pause button freezes that the others see, so that you can alter the presentation without the others seeing. The assign button allows you to pass the presenter role to another participant. The annotate button activates drawing tools, that you can use to markup the shared media, or just draw on the screen.

WebEx meetings treat all participants almost equally. The host does have the privilege of muting everybody, but anyone can unmute themselves at anytime -- no one in the meeting can be locked into a muted condition. Similarly, anyone can share media at anytime - the presenter if active will have to grant permission, but otherwise there are no limitiations.

Obviously, this type of meeting relys on a courtesy protocol among the participants. Participants should not shout into the presentation - raise your hand instead and wait to be recognized. You may also place comments or questions into the public chat, for the presenter to see.

The host has little control over the meeting. Essentially the host starts and stops the meeting, and can perform a global mute, and assign the presenter.