Increases in modern technology have changed the landscape of how business meetings are conducted on a daily basis. In particular, web conferencing has increased the productivity of meetings whilst reducing unnecessary travel costs to and from client’s sites. However, these meetings bring some challenges of their own, so consider the following tips on how to host a great web conference:
Make Sure You’re On Time
With web conferences, it’s easy to lose track of time as you’re not under immediate pressure to meet with someone. However, being late for an online meeting is just as disrespectful, if not more, than being late for the boardroom.
If there are circumstances that are preventing you from arriving on time, make sure you let the organiser know. This allows them to continue the meeting without waiting in limbo for you to arrive.
Know Your Stuff
With web conferencing, it could be argued that you have to know your discussion topic more thoroughly than if you were meeting in person. This is because in face-to-face meetings, you are able to gauge your audience’s feelings more acutely and can adjust your presentation accordingly.
With web conferencing, you don’t have the ability to read people’s body language and tonality as easily as you do in person. To account for this, you have to know your discussion topic in much more detail, so that you can let your knowledge do the talking.
The fact that you’re attending the meeting from the comfort of your dining table doesn’t mean you can be any less formal than if you were in a face-to-face meeting. Rather, you should go the extra mile to show your audience that you regard the conference call to be just as important as a boardroom meeting.
This means you should dress, sit and talk appropriately over the internet rather than falling into any bad habits you may have at home. If you have pets or children at home, keep them clear of the room you are signing in from. If you’re stopping the conference every 10-15 minutes to deal with interruptions, you will come across as sloppy, unprepared and unprofessional.
Engage Your Audience
Depending on your industry and the purpose of the meeting, there may be five or more people signed in at any one time on a web conference provided you approach an expert company like Meeting Zone to get the conferencing services. Likely, these will be people from different departments who are signing in for a specific reason. However, it’s important to keep each member engaged in the process to avoid losing their concentration to other tasks.
The best way to do this is by encouraging open discussion every 15 minutes or so. By actively engaging the audience, they will always be focused on the task at hand. Typically, the best way to do this is by posing a question that the group can discuss. Once they know that they will be questioned, they will remain concentrated on the discussion at hand.
Don’t Try to Dominate Proceedings
If you’re one of the more senior members signing in, you may be prone to cutting off other participants and dominating the conversation. However, this will make you come across as domineering, which will make other members apprehensive about sharing their ideas.
If it’s someone else is turn to speak, let them do so without interruptions. You can sit with a pen and paper and make notes about what they’re saying, allowing you to raise questions when they have finished speaking. This keeps the flow and tone of the conference much more natural and allows other members to contribute to the discussion.