TurboBridge makes it easy for you to manage a question and answer session during your conference calls, using the *5 Raise Your Hand keypad command in conjunction with the Host Control Panel. Callers who “raise their hands” are entered into a queue in chronological order, allowing the host to call on each in succession, un-muting one caller at a time to ask a question. This provides an orderly process for participants to comment or ask questions. When used with the Presentation Conference Mode (where all non-Hosts are muted), this gives a Host full control over speaking privileges.
To use this feature, at least one person needs to be logged into the Host Control Panel, since the effect of pressing the star-five (*5) Raise Your Hand command is to provide a visible indicator in the Host Control Panel. For maximum host control, the conference should be placed in Presentation Mode, which mutes all non-Hosts (you can have multiple Hosts if necessary). To begin the Q&A session, tell callers to press star-five on their keypad if they want to ask a question. (They can “lower” their hand by pressing *5 a second time, if their question has already been answered.) When at least one hand is raised, an action panel is displayed above the caller list in the Host Control Panel, as shown below.
The action panel at the top indicates that three participants have raised hands, and the drop-down selection box lists the three callers. Since Sally is at the top of the queue, her name is displayed in the selection box. In the active callers table, you see the hand-raised icon in the right column. The number next to the icon indicates that caller's position in the queue. At this point in the conference, you can see that all callers expect the Host are muted (checkbox in the Muted column).
There are three action buttons to the right of selection box at the top next to Sally's name and Caller ID number:
You have the option of picking a specific caller (that is, bypass the chronological order) by selecting a different caller in the drop-down selection box at that top. (Click in the selection box displaying Sally's name, then select a different person from the list.) Alternatively, you can click on the Raised Hand icon in the right column of the caller list table. Clicking on the icon gives you the choice of selecting that caller (which un-mutes that caller) or skipping that caller (i.e., lowering the hand). Note that you can click on the Hands column header to sort the active caller table by the Raised Hand order.
Clicking on the Select button next to Sally's name would display the following screen:
Sally's line is now un-muted, as indicated in the caller list – the Muted box is now unchecked. Sally has been alerted by our system that she has been called upon, because she heard a private "line un-muted" announcement. (Note that the Caller ID name is not necessarily accurate. For instance, it may display the name of another member in the caller's household.) Sally's line will be un-muted and you can now solicit Sally's question. Once she has asked the question, you have the following options for Sally's line:
The most common action would be to be click on the Select button to the right of Robert Jones’ name in the selection box. This would mute Sally's line, and “lower” her hand (i.e., remove Sally from the Raised Hand queue), and un-mute Robert. The screen will then change as follows:
After finishing with Robert and selecting Larry (the last caller in the queue), the following screen will be displayed. Note that the selection box disappears (there are no other callers remaining the queue). When finishing with Larry, you would press the Done button, which would mute his line and remove the final hand icon from the caller list table.
After clicking the Done button for the Larry, the Raised Hand action box will disappear, returning the screen to its original state.