As more and more people begin using conferencing as part of the standard way to conduct business---the question is poised, what are the do's and do not's of conducting a conference call? Yes, I do mean conference call etiquette. We seem to have business etiquette for introductions, making presentations---but for those who are venturing into webinars and demos via web conferencing---how can I ensure a professional call and experience?
Like any meeting the key is to practice and prepare ahead of time. If you are using a new audio or web service for the first time-make sure to test out your dial-in number and passcode, check your equipment (speaker phone, handset or web cam) and of course make sure that you have all your documents or presentation materials ready (if you are conducting a demo or sharing).
Here are our first official 5 tips (we will post another 5 tips tomorrow before the holiday weekend).
- Plan ahead for an efficient and effective meeting. In the conference invitation, inform participants of the purpose, agenda and time limit for your meeting.
- Forward the Audience Invitation to each individual invited to attend. This will provide them all the information they need to quickly and easily enter you're audio and web conferences.
- Dial in to your conference 5 to 10 minutes before the start of your meeting to prepare yourself and to prevent your guests from waiting for you on hold.
- Start the conference with a roll call to confirm attendance and inform all participants of who is on the conference.
- Advise participants who are not actively speaking to mute their phones in order to eliminate background noise.
Please email or comment to provide your top tips and suggestions for ensuring a professional audio or web conference call. We will work on assembling this list over the next few weeks and share our top 25 list both on our website and blog. Please visit www.flyconferencing.com
for more information.
Web conferencing can be done with attendees located in the same building or anywhere in the world. They allow workers and business partners to gather online to discuss ideas and strategies, brainstorm solutions to problems and perform job applicant interviews from afar.
Web conferencing makes it easier to schedule conferences on short notice. For instance, conference rooms are often booked when an unexpected situation arises. Workers are no longer forced to crowd into a single office. Instead, each member can join a web conference in a virtual meeting. This allows everyone to gain full access to the information presented, rather than peeking over the shoulder of another worker.
There are many tools used in web conferencing that make the meetings even more beneficial. For instance, attendees can share files and applications, use a virtual whiteboard, send instant messages and playback the meeting. These tools make tasks like training, brainstorming and interviewing easier to perform, with the ability to reference the material later.
File and desktop sharing makes conferences easier in many ways. One of the most useful ways to use this feature is in training meetings. The moderator can demonstrate how to initiate a process or use a new software program and then hand control over to an attendee so he or she can try it out under supervision. This makes it easier to ask newbie questions and quickly learn new information.
Whiteboards make it much easier to brainstorm. Because control of the desktop can be handed around the virtual conference room, each attendee can add to the whiteboard without disruption to others. Everyone in the virtual conference can see the board and contribute to it, allowing for more effective brainstorming.
Instant messaging is another helpful feature of web conferences. In a traditional boardroom, great ideas become trapped in the mouths of attendees as they listen to the moderator. Even if they write the ideas down, they may never get a chance to express them. With instant messaging, an attendee can easily add useful ideas without disrupting the speaker.
Interviewing is made better and cheaper by web conferencing as well. Video interviews save the cost of flying high-level executive recruits to the company for an interview. They also make it easy for other human resource decision makers to use play back and see the interview whenever time allows.
With these valuable web conferencing tools, web conferences are sure to become more common in your business. Even when a boardroom is available, web conferencing offers many features that make it preferable. You may even wish to present all your meetings this way because of the playback feature.