Web conferences have been a savior to many businesses, as they are cost effective and very convenient. The positive factors of web conferencing make it the preferred way of conducting meetings. Nonetheless, certain measures should be followed to ensure that the desired goals are achieved. Here are a few tips that will help you to organize and execute an effective meeting via web conference:
1. Use an Assistant
A one man led meeting can become boring and monotonous. Get an assistant to help with the introduction of speakers and to lead the question and answer (Q&A) sessions. This is an effective way to streamline the flow of activities during the conference. It also helps to keep the focus of the participants, as it breaks up the monotony of having to endure the presentation style of a single speaker.
2. Rehearse and get to Know your Material
People can easily become bored or lose interest when a presenter resorts to reading directly off of their presentation script. Familiarizing yourself with your material allows for a more natural and engaging presentation. Whether or not the participants can see you, the tone of your delivery will convey to them whether or not you are reading your script. Use outlines to assist with presentations, especially if you think there are things you may forget to cover or if there is a sizable amount of material that you have to get through. The outline can also be used to indicate allotted time for each aspect of the presentation. Stick to the time allotted to ensure the session remains on track.
3. Mute your Phone After Speaking
It is best to mute your phone as soon as you finish speaking. This will prevent you from interfering with the meeting in any way if you chose to do some typing. Cellphones, especially smartphones, are a source of distraction as are your IM messengers. Turn off cellphones and set IM status to busy during the meeting.
4. Avoid Duplicating your Presentation Material
Speech and Visuals
In cases where PowerPoint is the mode of presentation, the visual material should not be duplicated by your speech. If you place all the information on the slides, the participants can read it all for themselves and will not need you reading it back to them. When using PowerPoint, limit the text you place on the slides to just a few bullet points, then use the rest of information as your speech and to expand on the bulleted points.
5. Use Full Feature Web Meeting Software
Conference meetings are many times affected when participants are unable to identify who is speaking. Full featured web meeting software include voice activated microphones that highlight the name of the speaker. If the software being used does not includes the voice activated microphone, ask the individual speaking to identify themselves. It is a good idea to have all participants do an introduction at the start of the meeting as a part of a familiarization process. This way, everyone will be able to make some connection between the voice and the speaker.
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Zach Simmons is the Founder and president of Discuss.io. Zach has 20 years of experience building software. Prior to founding Discuss.io, he was the Technical Product Manager for Amazon Web Services (S3) where he ran the team that built the infrastructure that now powers a significant percentage of the modern Internet. Zach holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
An entrepreneurial leader, Zach is passionate about building disruptive and agile SaaS based market research startups as an alternative to traditional market research. Seeing a need for change within the Industry, Zach launched Discuss.io, bringing Market Research to the digital age.