7 Best Practices In Web Conferencing7 Best Practices In Web Conferencing

Web conferencing is truly a modern marvel. Companies and individuals who have the ability to carry out Web-based meetings are empowered to talk, show gestures and facial expressions, and share their screens with each other - no matter where each attendee is situated in the world. As long as everyone has access to an Internet connection, their personal computer, or special dedicated video conferencing hardware (depending upon the system being used) - they can participate.

For anyone who has ever participated in a Web conference for anything other than informal or personal chats, it is clear that some conferences go well while others do not. Sometimes, it is hard to put one's finger on exactly what makes for a successful Web conference, but everyone knows one when they experience one.

If you are considering a Web conferencing solution for your company or if you are already using one to conduct meetings and make presentations, here are 7 best practices in Web conferencing to help you have a good one every time:

1. If you are the presenter, make sure everyone knows the goal of the meeting before it starts:
The human mind has an uncanny ability to prepare itself at the subconscious level when it is given the proper cues. When it comes to your next Web conference, send out a short description of the meeting beforehand. Be clear especially in terms of the goal of the meeting, as well as anything that is expected of participants. If you do, they will show up much better prepared than if you limit your stated meeting purpose to the vaguest of terms.

2. Show up to online meetings on time:
This is one of those that we all learned in kindergarten - and yet in today's busy business climate even the most seasoned person can forget to observe it. Remember, everyone's time is valuable. By encouraging everyone to show up on time, you avoid having to make the presenter start over every time somebody joins late. Bonus tip: if this is the first time for any of the attendees to use your particular conferencing solution, have them logon at least 10 minutes early to sort out any technical issues that might arise.

3. Prepare your thoughts on the topic before the meeting begins:
Whether you are presenter or attendee, everyone should spend a few moments visualizing the goal of the meeting and whatever is expected of them (see #1 above). Even a minute or two of forethought can greatly increase the efficiency of the meeting because it encourages everyone to be fully present.

4. Be an active listener:
Give lots of verbal feedback like "Uh-huhs" and such to the presenter. Be present. Everyone will notice the difference.

5. Ask 1-2 good questions to the presenter during the meeting:
Even if you are bored by the topic or don't feel it really concerns you, do everyone a favor and ask a question or two anyway. If it is worth your time to be in the meeting, it should be worth it to you to ask some questions. The presenter will appreciate it, as well.

6. If using video, maintain good posture and keep your attention on the meeting:
The added layer of video in Web meetings can be a blessing and a curse. It is great for formal presentations and high-level meetings, but in day-to-day meetings the video dimension can actually get in the way of people focusing. Reason: they are too conscious of how they are coming cross visually to others. To do your part in minimizing this effect, sit up straight and keep your eyes forward when you are on camera.

7. Set clear next steps at the close of the conference:
At the close of the meeting, designate one person to summarize the proceedings and call out next steps and action items. Make sure they name specific people, actions, and deadlines for each action item. This tip can actually have the effect of doubling the success of the meeting because it connects it to actions outside of the meeting in concrete ways.
Consider these 7 best practices in Web conferencing for a better meeting or presentation.
by Jed Jones
References and Bibliography
Get more tips and compare secure web conferencing services at: Secure Web Conferencing Advisor.
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