Webex and Slack Guidelines

Below we list some suggestions to help the meetings run as smoothly as possible. We recognise that not all of these may be possible for you given your work setups. We encourage you to fulfill those you can without too much stress, and to be patient with panelists who may be restricted in what accommodations they are able to make.


Each panel is assigned a separate meeting on Webex. All meetings have a secure Pin Code to enter. Please do not provide the meeting ID or Pin Code to anyone not provided on the Spreadsheet for your panel.

Network Connectivity Check

  • Speed Test: Check your connectivity strength by performing speed test. There are many websites which can help like https://fast.com/. We suggest having more than 1024 Kbps (1Mbps) bandwidth to support HD resolution meeting.
  • Wifi: If using Wifi, make sure your signal is strong, and stay as close as possible to the Wifi access point. Wired/ethernet cable is preferable, when possible, as it offers a more stable connection.
  • VPN: Try to avoid VPN connections or follow your company policy.
  • Laptop Battery: For laptops, make sure your computer isn’t in a low battery state. Plug in the power cord and, if using windows, change your power settings to “high performance”.
  • Test Bandwidth In Advance: If connecting from home, if at all possible, try to minimise other activities competing for Internet use. We recognise that this may not be possible.


  • Use a Headset: Internal microphone can sometimes pick up background noise hence headphones with inbuilt boom mic can help while providing better audio quality. 
  • Lighting: Light can play a major role in how others are seeing you. Make sure the light source is not behind you and your room is well lit.
  • Background: When joining from home, background is important as others could see what is happening. Choose a spot with neutral background which doesn’t distract your participants.
  • Quiet Location: If possible, choose a quiet location. 
  • Poor Connection Tips: In a case of a poor connection try disabling your video to conserve bandwidth, and use dial-in audio instead of VoIP (computer audio).

In-meeting Quick Tips

  • Camera Angle: By using self-view, you can test the angle of your camera and position yourself. Look into the camera lens while talking to make eye contact with your audience. 
  • Mute: Keep your mic muted whenever you are not speaking. 
  • Share and Pause Sharing: Have your content ready before you join the meeting. If you want to switch between document, use the Pause Share button and it won’t show your desktop/personal information to participants.
  • Name and Role: In Webex, please write your full name and role. (e.g. Nancy Grace Roman (SPG), Vera Rubin (Panelist), Caroline Herschel (PSS) etc.) This lets everyone on the call know who you are and why you are there. Panelists may also choose to indicate their pronouns.

Additional Tips

  • To ensure that only one person speaks at a time and that everyone is heard, we will ask anyone wishing to speak to raise their hand, and the Chair will call on people to speak.
  • In general, Panel Members are the only participants who should have their video on; all others should have Video off unless asked a direct question.
    • The PSS should turn on their video if they need to enter the discussion or raise an issue. 
    • Remember whenever you connect to a meeting, please make sure your Audio is muted as well as your camera unless you are mentioned above.
      • All Observers should Mute their Audio and Video at all times.


  • Once again if you have a conflict, you will leave the discussion. We will do this by sending you to a Breakout room, or by asking you to disconnect from the Webex session. It is not sufficient to turn off your sound, you must leave the call. You will be alerted when you are able to rejoin – alerts via slack are strongly prefered, but email or text are also fine, but please let your PSS know which method you prefer in advance.
  • Please ensure if you have personal Slack notifications turned on and/or be sure to monitor the Slack channel while out of the call so you can see when you are recalled. The discussion could be short or long and you could be recalled at any time. There is a Slack app for phones that may be useful if you intend to step away from your computer during that time.
  • Please don't state what your conflict is, just state you have a conflict and need to leave.


  • For instructions and tips on how to use Slack, see their extensive documentation and tutorials, linked here.
  • We will be using the private panel Slack channels for inter-panel questions rather than the Chat feature in Webex. Please do not post scientific proposal discussions in the main channels.
  • We will use Slack to ask Conflicted Panel Members to return to the meeting.
  • If you have a technical/policy question that needs someone not in the meeting, please contact the PSS and have them request the "expert to join the meeting".
    • It will be beneficial if you can ask the question via Slack so that the expert can address the issue quickly and directly, especially if a proposal needs to be reviewed.
  • Please do not discuss the merits of individual proposals in the Slack panel channel. It is fine to mention proposals a la “I think I’ve incorporated your comments into the feedback for #123, let me know if it’s right” or “I could use some extra input on proposal #321", but don’t discuss the science here.
  • Direct Messages (DMs), voice and video calls can be used to exchange information with other panelists, including comments on the science case.

Next: Orientation Materials