Most of us know the basics steps to plan a solid meeting: produce an agenda, send pre-meeting briefing materials a day in advance, and invite the right people to move forward on key issues. You might think you’ve got it covered. But, there are several steps - some which may surprise you - that you can take to minimize the distractions and host a great Online Meeting.
1. Make a good impression with personalization
The first place participants land is your Meeting Wall. Make them feel welcome by customizing your wall with photos, company logos, the meeting agenda and more! Participants can join the meeting straight from the Wall with your presentation at their fingertips.
The more you encourage participation, and personalize the experience, the more you can expect engagement from those in attendance. For instance, use the first name of the people on your call before asking a question. They’ll be more focused and ready to respond.
2. Even the playing field.
One company counted the hours its executives spent in weekly meetings and it totaled 300,000 hours a year. With numbers like that, chances are you’re not going to be able to make every meeting you’re invited to. So, try to make it easy for everyone to be on the same page. Use a recording feature to broadcast and share your web conferences via social channels or e-mail. Teamwork is key.
3. Stop the noise.
The keystrokes, noisy food wrappers, dogs barking, phones ringing. Control it all with host-driven audio controls. The Meeting Dashboard gives you the capability to mute, hold or dismiss participants. Your guests will thank you.
Once you have their full attention, start your meeting strong. Studies show attendees are most focused during the first 15 minutes of an online meeting.
4. Pictures speak louder than words.
It’s a fact. Visuals improve audience retention by 400%. People retain most of what they see and less of what they hear or read. When screen sharing, be sure to use photos, illustrations and graphics to enhance your meeting.
5. Make it cost-effective and productive.
Did you know the day of the week and the time of day matter when planning a meeting?
Research shows Tuesday is the most productive day of the week. The best time frame to hold a meeting is between 10 a.m. and noon. Catching colleagues right after a vacation is also a productive window. A survey of workers showed that Friday ranked the least engaged and most distracted day and 4 p.m. was voted to be the worst time of day for a meeting any day of the week.
And just how much is this meeting costing you? Nothing like inviting a bunch of people to your online meeting and finding out you have to pay for them to attend. Services like FreeConferenceCall.com let you have as many as 25 participants in an Online Meeting for free.
Collaboration can be easy and engaging with minimal distractions. Use these tips to have great success and increase productivity at your next virtual meeting.