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7 Tips For Successful Web Conferencing

In this age of the virtual office, telecommuting, and desire to save money and time on fuel and traveling, web conferencing is everywhere. If your business or company isn't using web conferencing now, the chances are it will be within the next six months (or, it might be going out of business).

So, it's very important to get web conferencing "down". What do you need to do to make your web conferencing experience a productive one?

Get some practice in

When you first sign up with a hosting company, run a practice meeting with just one or two colleagues to go over what you need to know. Hosts should be willing to help you train and practice to use the service smoothly, too.

Prepare your desktops

Get all of your participants to turn off anything that might pop up during a web meeting. Turn off IM, alerts, etc. Desktop backgrounds should be turned off, too, so that there is just a neutral desktop background of a solid color. And, any documents that you plan to share during the meeting should all be placed together into one folder on your desktop.

Show up early and prepared

Doesn't it show professionalism to arrive early for an interview or an in-person meeting? Then do the same with web conferencing. Check in and be prepared about 15 minutes before the meeting actually starts. Web conferencing is made terribly sloppy by people trying to check in and get set up just moments before the meeting is set to start.

If you are running the meeting, have an agenda

E-mail your agenda for the web meeting to all expected participants the day before or morning of the meeting, and during the meeting stick to it. Introduce any other key presenters at this time, too. With this, you avoid having the actual meeting getting derailed and spiraling off away from your objective.

Explain your interface to participants

When the meeting first starts, take a few minutes and demonstrate a little how the participants interface with the program. This makes things go much more smoothly and allows your web conference to have a far more powerful impact. Little things mean a lot with web conferencing.

Don't let it get boring

Remember--you want this to be virtual participation. Ask participants what they think about variously presented ideas and documents in an open-ended way. Let people share ideas and concepts and have some freewheeling discussion time between all of your most important topics.

Make sure you record your web conferences

You can always record a meeting, and you should always do so to refer to in the future. This is one of the best features of this technology and should be taken advantage of.

So, follow these steps and you'll have success with your web conferences.


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