Top tips

Top tips for attending Virtual Hearings

If you are participating in a Virtual Hearing check out our top tips beforehand!

  • Before your Virtual Hearing make sure you check your emails including your junk folder as you will have been sent an email from the Virtual Support Assistant.
  • Make sure your phone, tablet, laptop is well charged (or is plugged in) as these kinds of meetings use a lot of battery power.  
  • Virtual Hearings works best with good Wi-Fi.  If you can, ask other people not to use the Wi-Fi where you are while you are attending your Virtual Hearing.  This will help you have the best connection possible.
  • Try to join the Virtual Hearing 5/10 minutes before it’s due to start to make sure that there are no technical difficulties.  Remember you might have to wait a few moments before you can join the meeting. The Reporter will let you in.
  • We know this might be difficult if there is a lot of people in your house, but try and find a quiet place to sit during your Virtual Hearing.  Be aware of who is listening in the room.  We suggest using head phones if you have them.
  • If you can, prop your phone/device up against something, so it’s steady and not wobbling around.
  • If you do not want people to know your name there are things you can do to make sure that it is not shown on screen. You can join as a Guest. The Virtual Support Assistant can explain how to do this.
  • Hide your phone number – When you are using audio dial-in details and you don’t want your phone number to be displayed you need to withhold it, otherwise the number will be visible to all participants in the Hearing.  To hide your phone number enter 141 before the number you are calling.
  • We know these meetings are long and it can be difficult to stay online for up to an hour.  So if you need a break, it’s okay to ask for one.  
  • Think about what is behind you in the background (as Panel Members etc. will be able to see this).  Also, try not to sit in front of a window as you will be a shadow and people won’t be able to see you clearly.  Facial expressions and body language are even more important when you are not in the same room.
  • Mute your microphone when you don’t need to speak – as they are sensitive and can pick up all noises where you are.  Remember to put it back on when you are speaking!
  • Remember – if you are using your phone or tablet, you won’t be able to see yourself on screen unless you are talking! 
  • Try to speak slowly and clearly so everyone can hear you. 
  • If you find it difficult to say how you feel, it might be helpful to have a pen/paper beside you, so you can write down how you feel and tell the Hearing

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