Conference Calls have their advantages, but the question remains on how we can optimize them. Finding the right answer to that is particularly important in the field of web conferencing. Recognized as one of the most proficient communication tools of the century, web conference services are under high demand for both business and individual use alike.
While professionals perform the scientific and technological aspect of conference calls, we, as the users, are expected to utilize it properly. There is no way you can benefit from it by withholding due effort. Even the most advanced conferencing machineries can do so little without your help.
Let’s say you are pressing the correct buttons, but it seems everyone is enjoying its services except for you. Frustrated, you dump your gadgets, delete your software applications, and march into the airport for that 14-hour flight. With honest assessment on your situation, you might realize that the problem is not with your devices, but with you.
Successful web conferences do not happen in an instant, like majority of its users initially think. Preparations must be done in order to maximize its benefits. Fortunately, these preparations are easy. All you need is patience and perseverance.
1st Step: Determine Your Goals
There must be a reason why you are hosting a conference. Take a good look at the big picture you have in mind, get a cutter, and cut it down to smaller pieces. Identify the topics that make up the whole, and design a strategy of attack. How can you best tackle it? Is there a participant in your conference who can elaborate on the details better? Don’t shoulder the entire conference, assign topics to your most credible colleagues, and exchange ideas on the methods you can present them effectively.
The danger in having other people take the limelight in web conferences is that they may consume too much time discussing one thing, leaving all the rest unresolved. To remedy this, a lot minutes for each topic, and make sure no one exceed their time limit unless their reason is valid.
2nd Step: Contact Your Provider
Even free web conferencing sites require scheduling, therefore small businesses are no exemption to this rule. Those who employ the services of conference call providers need to settle into an agreement with them regarding the hardware and software you will be using. Keep in mind the devices your participants use.
They may not be able to support the functions you require in your conference. Never forget that technical problems can always arise, so it is best to ask your provider for a live facilitator. This way, you can focus on your agendas with an assurance of an IT professional for back-up.
3rd Step: Send Out Your Invitations
And send them at least three weeks prior. Include the access link you will be using for your conference, and kindly ask them to confirm if they received your invitation. You may also send them the draft of your timetable.
Although this makes you prone to sudden changes and an overflow of suggestions, it also encourages productivity. Consider their revisions and opinions. There’s no harm in it, because you still have the last say about the meeting. See this as an opportunity to measure your approach to this conference.
4th Step: Use Various Applications
There are lots of them. Keep your participants engaged using desktop sharing applications. These are apps that allow others to see what you are doing on your desktop. Even better, it permits them to interact with you using annotation tools. With documents, images, videos, and websites available, you are sure to have a fruitful conference ahead of you.
5th Step: Rehearse
First timers should take this step very seriously. Some become too lax or too tense when in a web conference, so practice as much as you can. Try out your software and your hardware, and learn how to navigate them properly.
Decide on what background and lighting will allow your participants to view you better. Do a test run on them an hour before your actually conference, to make sure everything is running smoothly.
6th Step: Record It
Aside for review purposes, having a recoded copy of your web conference will enable absentees to catch up with your progress. It will also salvage you from having to explain every detail of the meeting over and over.