Discussion Manager App – Operations During a Meeting

Overview  

The Discussion Manager App is reviewed and explained in the following document links. Please see these if you need more preliminary information.  

This document and the details in the next section will explain the functions and use of the Discussion Mgr App. The meeting Chair or other designated member/user will use this App, in conjunction with the main Meeting Manager and Member Apps, to aid the Chair manage group requests to speak (RTS).  

Details / Sequence of Events 

Find and Open the Discussion Manager icon  

Assuming you have the Discussion Manager App loaded and settings correctly input on the device you will use during a meeting (see links above), open the App on your device by selecting the following icon. 

The following screen will display, and you can select Sign-In: 

Meeting NOT yet LOADED by the Clerk 

After signing in, you may get the following screen IF the Clerk has not yet LOADED the meeting on the Meeting Manager. This is fine, as you may be early to the meeting, where the Clerk has not yet Loaded a meeting for you to connect to (like waiting outside the locked door of the meeting chambers, waiting for the Clerk to invite members in).  

Select the CLOSE button on the upper right of the screen and wait to try Sign-In again after the Clerk has informed you that the meeting is loaded and ready. 

Meeting Loaded – Waiting for Roll to be Called 

When the Clerk has a meeting loaded for Members to connect to, the Discussion Mgr App will display the following AFTER you Sign-in. This screen will show all members “dark or faded-out” because Roll has not been called and members are not yet marked as “Present.” Note on the top left, that Roll Call is the next action to take place, and on the bottom left that the following agenda item will be the Pledge of Allegiance (in this example).  

Meeting Started – Roll is being Called 

When the Chair starts the meeting and requests a Roll Call, this Discussion Manager App (and all the Member Apps) will see their screens requesting the members to mark themselves Present (as shown below).  

Press the green “Present” button

The Clerk’s Meeting Manager will receive notification of your attendance and include you in the Tally. Your screen will change (per the sample below), showing other members who have joined as PRESENT (in full color) and any not present (darkly shaded). The final Roll Call Tally will be displayed in the top right corner, as you wait discussion to begin on the next agenda item. IF the Clerk has a Public Display open, you can see yourself and other Members on the Public Display, marked as PRESENT, and also the final Roll Call Tally.  

Agenda Item Discussion 

After the Tally, the Chair will announce the next Agenda Item and open the floor for Discussion. The sample screen below shows we’ve moved on to the item “Approval of Agenda” while the next item up will be “Public Comments.” 

Request to Speak Functions 

The Discussion Manager App operates in real-time with the Member Apps and the main Meeting Manager, as the key control point for Request to Speak (RTS) functionality. If you need to understand more about the Meeting Manager or Member App RTS functionality during a meeting, please see the following document links.  

There are various system / configuration settings associated with how Request to Speak can operate. Please review the document link below to better understand these various RTS set-up options: 

For the discussion below in this document, we will assume that all RTS functionality is turned ON and coordinated with Audio/Visual components (mics and cameras) in the meeting room. 

Since the Discussion Manager (DM) is a very graphical and intuitive application, it is best to explain the functionality by referencing the single screen where all the activity happens. A sample DM screen is below. Please reference it as you review the functional explanations below it.  

Current Agenda Item being Discussed 

Shown in the upper left of the screen 

Next Agenda Item to be Discussed 

Shown in the lower left of the screen 

Details Panel 

This is the entire panel on the left of the screen. It shows the specific details of which members made Motions, Seconds and Motions to Amend. It also shows who is the Current Speaker as well as the RTS Queue of who has requested to speak in the order they have done so. All these actions are coming from the Member App which the members are using to interact with the Meeting Manager and Discussion Manager in real-time. NOTE that the Details Panel may be closed (or opened as shown here) by pressing the Details Panel button on the very lower left of the screen.  

Motions, Seconds, and Motions to Amend 

As discussion takes place, members will make Motions and Seconds. Above, Mathis made the initial Motion and Jones has Seconded. You see that in the details panel but also via the gold-colored M and S on top of each member’s picture. Also above, see that Glover has made an Amendment Motion, seen in the details panel but also by the gold A above her picture.  

Request to Speak Queue 

The details panel shows the order of RTS requests (RTS queue). This happens as members press RTS on their Member Apps during discussion. NOTE the yellow numbers 1,2,3 in the details panel, as well as in each member’s picture on the screen, designating their position.  

Current Speakers  

Those recognized to speak by the Chair are shown in the details panel under Current Speakers. The Chair simply clicks on their picture within the Discussion Manager to recognize them to speak. When the Chair does this, a RED box will highlight their picture AND two other things will happen, assuming your A/V system is integrated with the OMT Meeting Manager: 

  • That members’ microphone will be automatically turned ON 
  • The Camera will ZOOM IN on that specific speaker 

The Chair Recognizes Speakers  

As noted above, the Chair simply clicks on a members’ picture to recognize them to speak and the RED outline on their picture appears. NOTE the following: 

  • Their Mic will turn ON and all others will turn OFF 
  • The Camera will ZOOM IN on the current speaker 
  • The Chairs Mic is usually set to be always ON 
  • The Chair may recognize anyone to speak in any order, not having to follow the RTS queue order. 
  • The Chair can also control the Mics of one or more public lecterns and those of non-voting staff who may regularly attend (i.e., legal counsel).  
  • Green Next RTS button (lower menu bar) simply auto-recognizes the next speaker in the RTS Queue by turning their Mic ON (or the Chair may click on the members picture) 
  • Gold Reset button (lower menu bar) turns off all active Mics immediately. 
  • Grey Clear All RTS button (lower menu bar) completely clears / empties the current RTS requests, if necessary to clear the queue / start over.  

Single / Multiple Speaker Mode  

This second button on the lower menu bar allows the Chair to automatically put the system into Multi-Speaker mode (or go back to Single-Speaker mode). In the examples above, we talked about one speaker having their Mic on at a time, while all other Mics were OFF (Single Speaker mode). If the Chair were to switch to Multi-Speaker mode by pressing the mode button, then multiple microphones (or all microphones) can be on simultaneously. This is helpful if open discussion is going on mutually by two or more Members. 

Activity on the Public Display 

NOTE that all of the actions explained above, which are taking place on the Discussion Manager (RTS queue, current speaker, motions, seconds, motions to amend, etc.) are also being shown on the Public Display, as they are happening on the Discussion Manager. You can view the following document link to view more about action taking place on the Public Display. 

Voting & Vote Results Display 

When discussion is finished and a Vote is Called, each Member App will display the voting options to all voting members. In the case of the Chair, also being a voter, the Discussion Manager will display the voting options as shown on the following screen. These would not display IF the Chair were not a voter. 

When voting has completed, the Vote Results will always display on the Discussion Manager screen, for the Chair to announce. These display as follows: 

Ending the Meeting 

After all agenda items are covered, votes are captured and the Chair signals for Adjournment, the Clerk will end the meeting. The Discussion Mgr Apps and your device will automatically revert to the Sign-In screen as they are no longer connected to a live meeting.  

At this time, the Chair can close the Discussion Mgr App on his/her device by selecting the X in the upper right corner of the screen shown below: 

A confirmation screen “may” be displayed to confirm you wish to Close the Discussion Mgr App. You can select OK, and the App will close.  

NOTE: On some Android or Apple devices, this message may not appear. This is OK and you can simply “swipe off” the App on the device to close it, as you would other Apps on this type of device.  

Notes / Special Situations  

RTS Configuration / Setup 

As noted above in this document, there are distinct options you choose during your initial training and set-up with the OMT Support Team that will establish how the Request to Speak functions operate with both the Discussion Manager and the Member Apps. More is explained about these options within the following document link which pertains to system / configuration settings within the Meeting Manager. 

Audio / Visual Configuration 

During initial implementation & training with the OMT Support Team, specific discussions will be had with your I.T. and A/V support services groups. Integration of OMT with your A/V environment usually requires certain technical settings and some customization. The following document links may help explain these topics, but often these are established during initial system set-up by OMT and your I.T. and A/V groups, and not necessary to change after that.  

Contact OMT Support

If you are having issues that are not successfully addressed above, or you are not successful signing into Meeting Manager or Discussion Manager, please call OpenMeeting Customer Support at 320.249.0555.