As a modern business professional, you've probably attended or hosted web conferences, webinars, or online interviews before. If so, you've probably run into common meeting disruptions like background sounds, setup issues, or even losing sight of the main agenda.
I've had my fair share of difficulties getting started with new web applications, and so I want to share some six basic tips you should definitely know on how to improve your next web meeting, whether you're an attendee or a host.
During a web conference, especially with busy executives and directors, you will have an allotted time slot to get your message across. Provide an agenda for all your participants 24-48 hours beforehand and also have it available during the meeting. This allows attendees time to prepare questions, keep track of meeting progress, and help the conversation from straying off topic. An agenda also provides all parties the chance to set expectations regarding meeting goals.
Whether you are hosting or attending a meeting, make sure you know the meeting objectives and prepare questions or information that will help accomplish these goals. Preparing a list or bullet points will relieve the pressure of thinking of any questions on the spot as well as keep engagement alive.
Screen sharing helps viewers follow along during a presentation, provides step by step directions, and can help hold the viewer's attention. But beware! The last thing you want is to share a peek into your shopping cart, bank information, personal emails, or even have a notification pop up to disrupt your meeting. To save yourself the embarrassment and close any distractions before starting your meeting.
Speaking of embarrassment, you may want to check your background before starting a web meeting or interview (and maybe lock your door if you have kids). Some web meeting applications connect to your computer camera immediately and, before you know it, everyone in the meeting is staring at your lucky pajamas. With Cisco Webex, you are given setting options before entering the meeting, so make sure your camera and mic settings are adjusted before hopping on the call.
But hey, even bigshot executives can have camera trouble, so do yourself a favor and be prepared. If you aren't always camera ready, or just don't like being visible in general, cover your computer camera with tape or a sticky note to give yourself some time before you show your face to the world.
Whether it’s your first web meeting or your hundredth, make sure you know how to use your technology. Confirm how to dial in and that your speakers or headset work properly. Most applications will let you adjust and test speaker and mic settings before entering the meeting, so get to your conference room early to save time for setting adjustments and technical issues. This will help your coworkers avoid awkward small talk while they wait for you to get connected.
Background noises can become one of the biggest distractions to a meeting. Be courteous to the speaker and mute your mic when your aren't presenting. Just remember to stay attentive in case you are asked to speak, and don't forget to unmute!
If another attendee is emitting background noises, be the one to kindly ask them to press mute. Everyone is probably thinking it, but most people are too nice to say anything, even if it is extremely distracting. They will all mentally thank you.
So the next time you have an important web conference, webinar, or online interview, keep a mental checklist of these six tips to help save time and accomplish your meeting goals.
Already a web conferencing master and interested in remote working? Check out how cloud phone systems are the future of remote workers.