ClickMeeting http://blog.clickmeeting.com Online Meetings. Solved! Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:32:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Why Online Meetings Work for Designers http://blog.clickmeeting.com/why-online-meetings-work-for-designers http://blog.clickmeeting.com/why-online-meetings-work-for-designers#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:32:58 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3899 Read more

Why Online Meetings Work for Designers is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Web and graphic designers are artistic types who also have a flair for technology. They work on computers with software to create gorgeous renditions of business logos, company landing pages, and other visually stimulating content that works to put their clients on the map.

No matter how talented a designer is, there’s one thing they aren’t: psychic. When they start working with a new client, a designer might have an idea of what kind of website or logo design would work for a client. But that could be vastly different from what the client actually wants. Until they meet with the client to discuss their objectives and goals, a designer can’t start doing what they do best.

Online meetings are a quick and easy way for web and graphic designers to communicate with clients and others involved in a custom publishing project. Through videoconferencing software, designers can ensure that their clients will be happy with the results.

 

Achieve Mutual Understanding

When working on a project with a client, everyone should be on the same page. If you’re not, that’s what starts arguments, leads to disappointment, and ultimately can ruin an otherwise good relationship. Hold an initial online meeting to keep everything crystal clear – from the pricing to the deadline to the details of the design. Use this opportunity to get the instructions you need to do the job right.

 

Check in Regularly

Throughout the project, you’ll likely have questions for the client, and vice versa. You can easily call a quick online meeting to check in and get approval and feedback on design ideas, and anything else you might need to communicate to your client.

 

Share Mock-Ups and Concepts

The screen-sharing feature of videoconferencing software allows designers to share some mock-ups and templates for the website or art they’re creating. No more dropping your schedule to catch up in person. Share and discuss your designs with your clients with ease and convenience.

 

Keep Your Workflow Moving

Since you don’t have to meet clients for in-person meetings, that means more time you can spend on actually getting the designs completed. The convenience of being able to meet efficiently over the Web lets your workflow continue at a steady pace without too much interruption to deal with business matters.

 

Gain Long-Term Clients

Your clients will appreciate that it’s so easy to reach you via videoconferencing. Working with clients through online meetings demonstrates your commitment to open, clear communication. What client doesn’t love that? Videoconferencing can open up possibilities for long-term client relationships by providing a convenient and effective way to do business.

For tech-savvy fields like web and graphic design, videoconferencing is an ideal solution to make the most of your time. It takes hours to produce a high-quality website or graphic image, so the more of it you can save for your production work, the more productive you’ll be overall. Some clients may not be familiar with how to do videoconferencing, but that’s OK – you can show them fairly easily. The fact that you taught them a new skill will be just one more reason for them to work with you again!

Are you a design professional who uses videoconferencing software to meet with clients? Share your story in the comments.

Why Online Meetings Work for Designers is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Videoconferencing Without Borders: Tips for International Business Meetings http://blog.clickmeeting.com/videoconferencing-without-borders-tips-for-international-business-meetings http://blog.clickmeeting.com/videoconferencing-without-borders-tips-for-international-business-meetings#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:28:15 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3895 Read more

Videoconferencing Without Borders: Tips for International Business Meetings is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Access to videoconferencing means the freedom to work together creatively without needing to meet at the office. For many businesses, this has been a game-changing shift that has increased productivity, saved time, reduced costs, and furthered their ability to work in a collaborative environment.

These positive influences of videoconferencing are even more evident in the international business sphere. Suddenly, costs and time factors drop dramatically, and the possibilities for working with partners across the globe increase greatly. A recent survey lead by Redshift Research showed that by 2016, video conferencing is projected to be the preferred method of collaboration worldwide – putting it ahead of e-mail and voice calls. With international business, this may already be happening, as many cultures prefer face-to-face contact.

Face time with key players in business collaboration is important, and for many international partnerships, videoconferencing is the best way for this to happen. Business professionals must dedicate time and effort to learning cultural rules and customs when they fly out to meet an international client or partner. Even though you don’t have to leave the country for an international videoconference, the same rules apply. Come prepared by following these tips for a successful international business videoconference.

 

Understand Cultural Etiquette

Investing the time to learn the ways that your business associates abroad act, speak, dress, and conduct business is the best thing you can do for a successful meeting. While you’re not on their turf, you still want to come across as respectful of their culture and way of life. In a virtual meeting with international partners, the rules are a little looser for how you should conduct yourself. But to really win their favor, you’ll adopt some of their rules for the duration of the meeting. Simply being aware of what they do and why they do it, and following suit as appropriate, may be enough. Also, be self-aware of how you act to make sure you’re not accidentally coming across as offensive in any way.

 

Be Aware of Your Body Language

You can say a lot without speaking by what you do with your eyes, hands, feet, and posture. Though your business partners and clients will pick up on these subconsciously, it will have a big impact on how they view you. To be on the safe side, you may choose to keep your body movements to a minimum. The benefit of being on a virtual video call is that most of the time, only the top half of your body will be visible, so focus on that unless you’ll be standing giving a presentation. Cultures have diverse ways of communicating nonverbally, and these are worth practicing and perfecting.

 

Have an Interpreter on Hand

While you, your partner or client, or both might speak each other’s language, if one or both of you are not fluent, there is the possibility of miscommunication. It’s best to have an interpreter present at such a meeting, just in case you or the other party don’t understand a part of the conversation. To get the best outcome from the meeting, everyone should have the fair advantage of comprehending what is discussed.

 

Don’t Try To Multitask

When meeting with an international business associate or client, you’ll want to keep your attention focused on the topic at hand. There’s a lot to think about – from regarding their cultural norms and possibly speaking their language to making the business deal. Attempting to do more than one thing at a time will make you flustered and distract from your main objectives. It’s also rude to be doing something else when you should be focused on the meeting. Stick to doing one thing at a time – namely, speaking with the other party and sharing any documents needed for the meeting.

 

Maintain Your Sense of Humor

You may have a lot of pressure on you to make the meeting go well. If you follow the above suggestions, use good judgment, and come to the meeting prepared, that’s more likely to happen. When you’ve put all your ducks in a row, all you can do is your best. In a meeting with people from other countries, miscommunications and errors can occur. When they do, apologize and laugh it off. If culturally appropriate, you can make a joke about it. Though you should take your goals seriously, the meeting itself doesn’t have to be 100% serious. Consider even including some international icebreakers to lighten the mood. No matter where people come from, every culture has a sense of humor. Tapping into that will strengthen your relationship and make the meeting more enjoyable.

Videoconferencing Without Borders: Tips for International Business Meetings is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Keep Control of Your Virtual Meetings in 5 Easy Steps http://blog.clickmeeting.com/keep-control-of-your-virtual-meetings-in-5-easy-steps http://blog.clickmeeting.com/keep-control-of-your-virtual-meetings-in-5-easy-steps#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 07:10:55 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3890 Read more

Keep Control of Your Virtual Meetings in 5 Easy Steps is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Heading an online meeting comes with its own unique set of challenges. There are a lot of similarities to in-person meetings – like assigning roles and following an agenda. But in an online meeting, there are other things to consider, like keeping everyone’s attention over the Web and utilizing technologies effectively.

When you’re the leader of a meeting, everyone else in the room looks to you for guidance. How you act and what you do play a big role in how well the meeting turns out. These five steps will help you keep your cool in the online boardroom, oversee the discussion and interactions, and master your leadership skills.

 

Get a Grip on Your Technology

No online meeting would be complete without a technology glitch or two. A minor problem can be expected, but if you don’t show leadership in your technology skills, your audience will have little confidence in your abilities. Know the technology you’re using – from the mic and web cam to file-sharing programs – backwards and forwards. You should also be able to help out meeting participants with their own technology issues (hint: they’ll be counting on you). Always do a test run a couple of days before the meeting to save time for troubleshooting.

 

Have a Goal and Stick with It

Meetings most often get derailed when participants lose sight of the goal. The goal should be stated clearly at the beginning of the meeting, and ideally written out on the agenda. Keep your eyes on the prize and ensure that everything you say and do in the meeting is working toward it. If others get off track, make it your job to steer them back in the right direction.

 

Look and Act Professional

It goes without saying that when you’re leading a meeting, you should dress for success. But aside from your clothing, how you carry yourself, introductive yourself, and demonstrate competence will also factor in to how you’re judged as a leader. The best thing you can do to be taken seriously as a professional is to adequately prepare beforehand. Write out your presentation and practice it so you don’t need as many notecards during the real thing. At the meeting, speak clearly and make your comments precise and poignant. Treat others with respect while being assertive on your key points.

 

Answer Questions with Confidence

Anticipate the kinds of questions that your group will ask you. Even if you’re thrown a curveball, stay calm and don’t get flustered. They’re not asking you to quiz you or prove you wrong; they really think you know the answer. If you don’t, it’s best not to say that directly, but rather mention that you need to consult a resource to get the answer. But don’t pretend to know the answer when you don’t. Make your initial answer brief, then elaborate as necessary. Also, it’s OK to ask for clarification if you don’t quite understand the question fully. It’s better to do that than give the wrong answer.

 

Manage Conflict Efficiently

Many meetings pass without involving a lot of conflict. However, sometimes there are strong personalities in the room or a topic is contentious and the potential for an argument increases. As a meeting leader, you can’t be afraid of conflict. Instead, learn to embrace and manage it. Sometimes, conflict can be a good thing – it just needs to be handled in the right way. As soon as you see a storm brewing, step in as soon as you can. Intervene calmly and professionally by applying your knowledge of the situation to resolving it. Setting some ground rules before the meeting can help avoid conflict, so make sure you communicate a code of conduct to your meeting participants.

Despite being more flexible in nature, online meetings need structure just like in-person meetings. Much of that structure is built into the roles that are assigned, the agenda, and the style of the person running the meeting. The next time you’re in charge, consider how you like meetings to be run when you’re a participant. Make a comprehensive list of what the perfect meetings looks like: how long it should be, what the agenda should look like, and how the attendees interact. Then, devise solutions that meet these ideals. Being in the leadership role is a lot more work and effort than being a participant, but the extra time you put into it will make the meeting go that much more smoothly.

Keep Control of Your Virtual Meetings in 5 Easy Steps is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Why Videoconferencing Makes You More Productive http://blog.clickmeeting.com/why-videoconferencing-makes-you-more-productive http://blog.clickmeeting.com/why-videoconferencing-makes-you-more-productive#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 09:20:53 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3886 Read more

Why Videoconferencing Makes You More Productive is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Sure, setting up a videoconference takes some effort at the beginning. You have to learn how to set it up, how the software works, and get used to communicating over a webcam. But once you get the hang of it, videoconferencing has the potential to make your work life much more productive.

As a hypothetical example, Julie works from home twice a week. However, if there’s a meeting on one of those days, she has to rearrange her schedule to attend. This takes time out of her work-from-home day that could have been spent getting things done. If she uses videoconferencing, she can sit down at her home office, attend the meeting, then continue her workday right away.

Or take Alex, who typically has multiple meetings in a day. He has to travel from meeting to meeting, leaving him little time to prepare beforehand or take a breather. If he uses videoconferencing even for just one of his meetings, he can have more time to complete other tasks and take a break to keep his sanity in check – which of course is key to productivity.

As demonstrated in these examples, videoconferencing can be a lifesaver and a time saver. We’ve listed below some of the specific ways that videoconferencing can make employees more productive.

 

Meetings Start and End On Time

Very little time tends to be wasted in an online meeting. There’s something about having a meeting via a computer that makes people more efficient. Having a meeting on a videoconference makes it less likely that people will waste time talking about things not related to the meeting, and more likely that it will start and end on time. When meetings don’t last longer than they need to, you can get on with your day sooner.

 

Perfect for On-call Meetings

The efficiency of online meetings means that you can schedule them more easily on the fly than in-person meetings. Videoconferencing is perfect for times when you need to meet with one or more people for a brief period of time to discuss a project and share documents. No need to have everyone get up from their desks – simply call the meeting and have them load up the software. Emergency meetings happen, but videoconferencing can limit how much they interrupt the regularly scheduled workday.

 

Better Decision-Making and Collaboration

Never again be left in a lurch without the right materials needed for your meeting. With all meeting participants on their computer, they can easily load up files and e-mails that need to be shared with the group. This feature of videoconferencing makes it easier to collaborate and share ideas about a project. Enhanced collaboration and access to documentation leads to better decision-making.

 

Online Meetings Reduce Stress

Traffic is one of the modern world’s biggest sources of stress. Trying to get from point A to point B for a meeting in bad traffic can result in lateness, which further adds to anxiety. With videoconferencing, these scenarios are avoided. Whether you’re attending a meeting from a coffee shop or your home office, it gives you peace of mind to be able to meet from wherever you are at the present moment.

 

Working From Your Place of Choice Improves Focus

Even though meetings are planned to optimize focus, that doesn’t always happen. Distractions in the form of side conversations, suboptimal room temperatures, and general feelings of restlessness are side effects of in-person meetings. When you attend a meeting virtually from the place of your choice, you control your surroundings. You can set up your workspace in a way that optimizes your ability to focus and engage in the meeting. Online meetings improve focus because you can feel more comfortable in a space of your own choosing.

How has videoconferencing made you more productive? Share your story in the comments.

Why Videoconferencing Makes You More Productive is a post from: ClickMeeting

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How to Get Ready to Meet a New Client http://blog.clickmeeting.com/how-to-get-ready-to-meet-a-new-client http://blog.clickmeeting.com/how-to-get-ready-to-meet-a-new-client#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 07:16:40 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3882 Read more

How to Get Ready to Meet a New Client is a post from: ClickMeeting

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When you meet with a new client, it’s your one shot at making an impression. Going into an opportunity like that blind is suicide. You had to work to get the meeting in the first place. To make the meeting go well for you, you have to know what you’re doing when you get there.

Getting ready to meet a new client isn’t rocket science. There are a few practical steps you can take to cover all of your bases. Checking these off your list will leave you poised for success. Failing to do anything of these things is shooting yourself in the foot.

 

Gather Intelligence About Your Client

Getting information about your client beforehand can have the biggest impact on your sales success, but it’s probably the thing that people most underestimate. There are a lot of places that you can get this information from – flyers and brochures, their website, word of mouth, and the client themselves. Do so some background reading and research, then request a brief call with your client to do a pre-meeting interview. They’ll be impressed that you care so much.

 

Be the Expert on Your Product

You may know your product backwards and forwards. Still, it’s good practice to review the key points you want to make about it. Everything the client would want to know should be fresh in your mind before going into the meeting. As you review them, think about how you want to highlight each feature of your product. Pretend as if you’re a client and describe what you would need to hear in order to be convinced to buy.

 

Act Like It’s The Only Meeting You’ll Have

If you’re an optimist, you might believe that you’re going to succeed in getting a second meeting with the client. But in reality, this might be your only shot to get their attention. Don’t take the first meeting for granted, even if you do have confidence in your persuasive skills. Respect their time by making the most of it and getting them the information they need to make a decision. Put on the charm, be hospitable, and go above and beyond to gain their trust.

 

Pump Yourself Up and Build Motivation

Maybe you’ll need an extra cup of coffee that morning to keep you going. But caffeinated energy is not going to be enough to get their attention. You have to bring genuine motivation and determination to the meeting in order to get through to the other side. Selling and pitching to a new client is tough, and you need to be your own cheerleader and believe that you can do it. That kind of energy will shine through and show your client how passionate you are about your business.

 

Brace Yourself for Rejection

In the sales world, you can’t count on a happy ending. There will be times when your client doesn’t return your calls, flat-out rejects your pitch, or even walks out of the meeting. Be mentally prepared for rejection, even if things seem to be going well. Keeping in mind that it might not happen this time makes it easier to cope with. When your mind is in a good place, you can respond in a professional manner, and not let it ruin your stride. Move on to the next client and keep that momentum going.

How to Get Ready to Meet a New Client is a post from: ClickMeeting

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New to Webinars? These Tips Are For You http://blog.clickmeeting.com/new-to-webinars-these-tips-are-for-you http://blog.clickmeeting.com/new-to-webinars-these-tips-are-for-you#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 11:54:37 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3878 Read more

New to Webinars? These Tips Are For You is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Doing your first webinar can be nerve-wracking. There’s a lot to consider, from what to include in your content to how to interact with your audience. The biggest worry that first-time webinar hosts have is that they’ll forget something – technology, data, or slides – that is key to the success of the webinar.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend 6 sharpening my axe.” What he meant was that preparation gets results. When you prepare well for a big event, there’s less to worry about because you’ve already thought of it. Coming into your webinar prepared will increase the odds of your webinar’s success. Here are six tips for first-time webinar hosts to calm their nerves.

 

Test, Test, and Test Again

Technology can and will go wrong if you don’t take steps to properly set up beforehand. To reduce the chance that technology will fail you mid-webinar, get on top of it by testing everything out several days in advance of the webinar. Use the exact same equipment, from the laptop down to the cables, that you plan to use for the real thing. Equally important: don’t go into the webinar with any technology you haven’t used before. It will only cause you problems.

 

Slow It Down

Many of us start talking quickly when we’re nervous. It’s as if we’re so shaken that we think if we talk faster, it will be over sooner. But you want to savor the moment. Enjoy the process of presenting to a captive audience. If you talk too fast, the message will be lost on them. Talk at a steady pace, with natural pauses and deliberate emphasis.

 

Write Yourself a Note

Presenting a webinar is like starring in a movie you also have to direct. There will be times during the webinar when you’ll need to do certain things, like move to the next slide, bring up a website, or talk about a certain case study. You have a lot to remember, so giving yourself a subtle reminder couldn’t hurt. Leaving post-it notes on or around the computer you’re presenting from, or making a short bulleted list in timing order, are good ways to keep yourself on cue.

 

Don’t Be Too Scripted

Writing out a script can be incredibly helpful for certain parts of your webinar. If you need to cite specific facts that you don’t want to leave out, or have a very exact way you want to phrase something, then a script will come in handy. However, your entire presentation shouldn’t be scripted. In fact, most of it should feature you speaking naturally from memory, or you risk sounding monotonous and losing touch with your audience. Your notes and slides will serve as your prompts. Keep the scripting to a minimum.

 

Go Through the Motions

This tip is crucial to having your webinar go off without a hitch. You absolutely must practice the entire presentation all the way through – preferably multiple times and in front of an audience. Doing a run-through with other people present will allow you to solicit their feedback and shake off some of your presentation jitters. While it might seem tedious, there’s nothing better you could be doing with your time.

 

Expect the Unexpected

Webinars are kind of like weddings. Even if you plan it out perfectly, something is bound to go wrong. How big that thing is depends largely on the effort you put into preparation. A little snag can be expected, but you can laugh those off. A big snafu can usually be avoided if you’ve done the work to keep things under control. Come prepared, and your big day will be one to remember.

New to Webinars? These Tips Are For You is a post from: ClickMeeting

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6 Reasons You Need An Assistant For Your Webinar Presentation http://blog.clickmeeting.com/6-reasons-you-need-an-assistant-for-your-webinar-presentation http://blog.clickmeeting.com/6-reasons-you-need-an-assistant-for-your-webinar-presentation#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 08:35:53 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3858 Read more

6 Reasons You Need An Assistant For Your Webinar Presentation is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Webinars continue to be a valuable marketing and informational tool for companies around the world. They save money for companies that use them for promotion and brand building and they offer the invaluable benefit of global reach.

Furthermore, they enable two-way conversation, helping to clarify any questions or concerns from those within the audience. Webinars can also attract large crowds - specifically those that target the consumer - and so companies do not need to spend as much time and effort pursuing their target audience.

Given how valuable webinars can be, it is important to run your webinar smoothly and effectively. Virtual assistants are relatively inexpensive to outsource and hiring those who are experts at all aspects of running a webinar can be an invaluable asset. Or, if your company has a technical expert who can help, this would be beneficial as well. Do not try to take on the webinar by yourself, as this often leads to unanticipated problems that can lead to frustration from the audience and can hinder webinar goals.

 

6 Ways That A Webinar Assistant Can Help

An assistant for your webinar is well worth it. Here’s why:

 

1. Save Time
Your time is very valuable. You do not need to spend extra time learning all the details of how the software program is run, including how to fix various audio and video problems that can arise. Furthermore, an assistant can be useful to run the registration website, handle sign-ups and to send out email reminders to those signed up for the webinar along with follow up emails to those who attended. Do not burden yourself with the tiny details ñ use an expert.

 

2. Clarify Participants’ Software Concerns
Without fail, first-time webinar participants always have questions about how the software works, from logging in, to turning on their microphone, to getting their video screen to work. Having an assistant to create a how-to guide or a video to explain to the audience how to do these things will be invaluable.

This can really help with audience conversion because many people may shy away from attending because they are concerned about dealing with high tech platforms. The assistant can manage instructional emails to participants and manage any questions they may have as to that process. This can really be helpful is preventing as many issues as possible during the actual event for a smooth presentation.

 

3. Easily Combat Technical Issues
Technical problems seem to happen at the most inopportune times, and they tend to be a little more complex than you anticipate. Having an assistant ‘on call’ to fix technical issues ñ and any other problems on the back end ñ is a must. Too many webinars have failed due to the inability of the host to fix a problem. People will wait for a little while, but if it takes to long to fix the problem, they will log off of the webinar and resume other responsibilities. In addition, there is nothing worse than the presenter having to deal with such issues because it can easily cause him or her to lose focus from the presentation itself, something that can hinder the whole event and cause undue and unnecessary stress.

 

4. Moderate Q & A Session
Question and answer sessions are an important part of a webinar, as they provide an opportunity for the participants to ask questions or express concern about the information presented.

Since webinars are time limited, the Q & A can easily get out of control and interfere with that time management and this is where an assistant can be an invaluable asset. Using an assistant to moderate questions from the audience offers several benefits. He or she can choose questions that will be given to the presenter to answer during the live event, filter out duplicates, and save those that were not answered for future use, such as for the presenter to answer in a follow up email. The assistant can manage questions based on a preset time and format (as determined by the presenter) and then sift and organize them accordingly.

Participants often get frustrated when the moderator does not keep the conversation focused and keep the schedule on time. Finding an assistant who is a skilled moderator will truly add value to your webinar presentation.

 

5. Project Professionalism
Using an assistant to moderate questions, support the audiences’ needs, and jump in to fix technical problems will add an air of professionalism to your presentation. You will come across as very organized and prepared. Furthermore, it may make your company appear larger, with extra staff members to support presentations and deal with IT issues.

 

6. Allows The Presenter Time To Focus On The Content
One of the most important benefits of an assistant is it allows the presenter time to focus on the most important aspect of the webinar, and that is the content and the presentation itself. With all the promotional, technical and moderator issues being handled by a competent assistant, the presenter can dedicate their time and energy to the creation of and actual presentation of the content, which, after all, is the most important aspect of any webinar.

6 Reasons You Need An Assistant For Your Webinar Presentation is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Just Say No to Bad Videoconferencing Behaviors http://blog.clickmeeting.com/just-say-no-to-bad-videoconferencing-behaviors http://blog.clickmeeting.com/just-say-no-to-bad-videoconferencing-behaviors#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 09:34:55 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3864 Read more

Just Say No to Bad Videoconferencing Behaviors is a post from: ClickMeeting

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It often seems that videoconferences are a little bit more relaxed than in-person meetings. Maybe it’s that because we’re not in the physical presence of other people, we can loosen up more. No one will notice if you take your shoes off or your manicure is less than perfect. Simply being in the comfort of your own office or at a coffee shop and not in a meeting room can make meetings less stressful.

But that doesn’t mean that the meeting shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s easy to forget our good behaviors in a videoconference setting. The same rules of etiquette that apply to in-person meetings also apply to videoconferencing. If you notice yourself committing any of these videoconferencing bad behaviors, keep yourself in check.

 

Engaging in Other Conversation

There are a lot more possibilities for interruptions when you’re videoconferencing in your office, at home, or a meeting-friendly public place. Outside phone calls, people knocking at your door, and other distractions can unintentionally interrupt meetings. If you get one of these interruptions, nip it in the bud right away. Turn off or silence your phone and put a sign on your door that says “Meeting in Progress.” Also, avoid making side conversation with others at the meeting. It can wait until later.

 

Looking Away from the Screen

If you’re a daydreamer, this one might be hard for you. Eye contact is an important part of any interaction with another human being, and this includes communication over a webcam. Aim your eyes at the screen or camera, and keep them focused there for the duration of the meeting. Glancing away once in awhile to give your eyes a rest is fine. But don’t stare off into space or get distracted by something in your surroundings. When you do this, you disengage yourself from the meeting, which can throw off productivity and teamwork.

 

Browsing the Web or Other Devices

Both your eyes and your mind need to be fully present in a videoconference meeting. Unless it’s necessary to get information for the meeting, keep your Web browser closed. There’s no reason to be reading or doing something else on your computer. Browsing the web is just a way to check out from the meeting. If you have your smartphone, tablet, or other device with you at the meeting, refrain from looking at it, even to see whether you got any texts or e-mails. Any messages you get will still be there after the meeting, but the meeting only happens once.

 

Consuming Food or Drink

Have you ever watched a movie in which one of the characters is chewing or drinking loudly? It can be an irritating sound that makes you want to turn it off. When people eat or drink on a videoconference, it’s even worse. All that crunching, slurping and swigging is highly audible when picked up by sensitive computer microphones. Spare them the details of your breakfast or lunch and wait until after the meeting to eat. The only thing that’s acceptable is a small drink of water or coffee every now and then. But since you’re so close up on camera, keep it to a minimum.

 

Coming to the Conference Unprepared

While your meeting documents may be easily accessible on your computer, you shouldn’t underestimate the value of preparation. Have your documents, and anything else you need to reference, loaded up on your computer or printed out and sitting next to you. The time is takes to find a document in a folder or on your desk is time wasted and puts a pause on the meeting’s progress. Don’t take for granted that you’re at home or in your office – you still need to “bring” your documents with you.

 

Follow the Golden Rule

After reading the above bad behaviors, you’re probably able to come up with some examples of when you’ve seen other people do these things. If you think harder, you may realize that you’re guilty of them sometimes, too. Though we’re only human, no one likes seeing these behaviors slow down a meeting. Be mindful of what you’re doing and how it might impact your group’s progress. In short, do unto meeting participants as your would have done unto you.

Just Say No to Bad Videoconferencing Behaviors is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Robert’s Rules of Order for Online Meetings http://blog.clickmeeting.com/roberts-rules-of-order-for-online-meetings http://blog.clickmeeting.com/roberts-rules-of-order-for-online-meetings#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 08:42:56 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3868 Read more

Robert’s Rules of Order for Online Meetings is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Order, order!  Sometimes a gavel seems necessary to keep a meeting on track.  Side conversation, discussion that goes nowhere, and poor meeting etiquette are all contributors to sidetracking a well-meaning conference call.

The ideal meeting is controlled with careful measures that make the meeting run smoothly but don’t make it overly stuffy.  The key is to reach the goals that were set before the meeting as efficiently as possible.  Robert’s Rules of Order was created exactly for this purpose.  It’s a well-known strategy for keeping meetings on point and maintaining fairness in all meeting processes.

While Robert’s Rules have traditionally been applied to in-person meetings, there’s no reason they can’t be helpful for a videoconference.  For each meeting, you may need to tweak how you implement Robert’s Rules of Order, depending on the purpose and goals of the meeting.  Here’s a basic introduction to Robert’s Rules of Order so you can use them for your next online meeting.

 

A Designated “Chair” Maintains Control

In a meeting governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, someone, usually the leader of the meeting, is assigned the role of Chair.  Their job is to make sure that the meeting stays on track and its participants don’t become unruly.  This can include responsibilities such as reading agenda items, stopping arguments, and interrupting when a particular discussion has gone on too long.

 

Everyone Else’s Job is To Stay on Topic

To make the Chair’s job easier, each participant has a responsibility to stick to the topic at hand (also called a motion in Robert’s Rules) without going off on a tangent.  It can be tempting to talk about what you want to talk about, even if it’s not related to what’s going on in the meeting.  Take one for the team and resist.  The better the group sticks to the topic, the more progress will be made and the faster the meeting will be over.

 

Participants Get Their Turn to Speak

When someone wants to make a comment about a motion, they must raise their hand and be called upon by the Chair.  The Chair goes around the room in a fair order, allowing everyone who wants to speak on an issue to have their turn.  Before any individual can speak again, the Chair ensures that everyone has spoken in that round of comments.  This method keeps anyone from speaking out of turn, talking over others, or having side conversation.

 

Courtesy and Professionalism are Paramount

Above all, all participants, including the Chair, are expected to keep things professional.  Discussions should be held with the goal in mind, and individuals should keep any personal issues or ulterior motives out of it.  Being courteous, respectful, and congenial in all meeting interactions will not only make the meeting more pleasant, but also keep it going strong.

 

Rules to Remember

The above guidelines set the tone and pace of the meeting and lay the groundwork for applying the Rules.  The actual Rules dictate how certain situations should be handled.  These are a few that can easily be put into place in an online meeting:

“Point of privilege”: When someone says, “point of privilege,” they do so when someone else is talking.  Interrupting the speaker seems to contradict the rules, but in this case, it’s important for keeping order in the meeting.  Someone can use “point of privilege” to note some noise or other distraction that is causing problems in the meeting.  The Chair then decides what action to take.

“Point of information”: This is another case where the speaker can be interrupted.  When using the “point of information” rule, the individual does so to ask for more information or ask the speaker a question.  It comes into play to help avoid confusion and aid decision-making.

“I move that we table it”: You may have heard this phrase used in a meeting before.  It’s used to halt the discussion for the time being until a later meeting.  This can be necessary when there are more agenda items to take care of and the discussion on that current topic can’t be resolved.  Someone must “second” the motion to table an agenda item and it needs a majority vote to pass.

 

Learn the Rules from Different Sources

Robert’s Rules is notoriously complicated and reading through the entirety of the guidebook can be daunting.  You can always get a basic understanding of the Rules and putting a few selects ones into place.  If you want to become an expert, you can get a copy of the official book or consult one of many resources designed to help you learn and adopt the process.  There are many great online references that can help you get a grasp on the Rules.

Official Robert’s Rules of Order Website

Robert’s Rules of Order Wikipedia Page

Robert’s Rules of Order Made Simple

Robert’s Cheat Sheet (printable)

Robert’s Rules of Order for Online Meetings is a post from: ClickMeeting

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Tips To Keep Your Product Launch Webinar From Being Overly Promotional http://blog.clickmeeting.com/tips-to-keep-your-product-launch-webinar-from-being-overly-promotional http://blog.clickmeeting.com/tips-to-keep-your-product-launch-webinar-from-being-overly-promotional#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 11:34:19 +0000 http://blog.clickmeeting.com/?p=3852 Read more

Tips To Keep Your Product Launch Webinar From Being Overly Promotional is a post from: ClickMeeting

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In today’s technological world, marketers understand the importance of hosting online webinars to introduce new products and services, but they also understand the dangers of being overly promotional. Consumers can be easily turned off if the product is thrown right in their face, if they feel pressured to buy, or if they perceive the company to be primarily interested in making money rather than helping them.

Unfortunately, many unscrupulous marketing practices both online and off have led to a general mistrust from consumers. Those companies choose to market in a way that is more helpful to their target audience as opposed to only considering their bottom line find that it actually benefits that bottom line in the end. Often, building relationships is a much smarter strategy that ‘selling’.

Finding balance in your webinar between promoting the product and appealing to the consumer is crucial, yet tricky. The following tips will help you find this balance. Focus more on the first tip if your boss has given you a lot of legroom to do what you want with the webinar; focus on the second tip if you have a little leeway; and focus on the third tip if your webinar must strictly promote the product itself.

 

Completely Spin The Topic

If you have the green light to get creative with your webinar, try picking a topic that will draw in the largest audience, and then subtly incorporate your product into the discussion. For example, if you are launching a new magazine about celebrities, host a webinar about ‘The Hottest Secrets in Hollywood’ or ‘Sneak Peak at the Latest Fashion Do’s and Don’ts’ and then somewhere in the middle or towards the end, talk about your new magazine and how it’s up-to-date on the latest information (as related to the webinar).

Another example would be a company that’s launching a new type of razor. It might want to host a webinar about ‘Does Shaving Really Improve Health?’ Topics like these are likely to draw in a larger crowd, which spreads the word about your product more quickly.

On the reverse side, people may not stay tuned in long enough to listen about your product information. That’s why if you take this approach, the product information needs to be toned down. Be sure to include your company logo (and even the name of your new product, if appropriate) on each slide of the webinar to maximize exposure.

 

Focus More On Outcome, Less On Product

If you have a little leg room to get creative but a large portion of the webinar needs to directly discuss the product, try focusing more on the outcome that your product will produce (think big picture) and less on the product details. Remember, that one of the key elements of marketing any product or service is to solve some problem the target demographic is dealing with.

For example, if you’re launching a new household water filtration system, focus on the importance of clean water to society as a whole and to households. Discuss the health benefits, the effects of clean water on other aspects of the environment, etc. Portray your company as one that cares about clean water. Then, discuss the details of your product and how it helps to achieve these outcomes.

This type of strategy takes into account the aspect of marketing that appeals to emotion, and need. When presented in this way it makes it much harder for anyone to say no to the purchase because they can see the obvious benefits.

 

Focus On Why The Product Was Developed

If your company strictly wants you to only discuss the product itself during the webinar, start the webinar by talking about why the product was developed. Talk about your company’s dreams of innovation, or about social responsibility, or about making life easier or more enjoyable. It’s important that your company be seen as contributing to the public good rather than as seeking profit.

For example, if you are launching a new smartphone, talk about how this phone is a result of the company’s vision to enable people to share the highest quality pictures and video in the easiest, fastest way possible. Once you’ve covered the ‘people’ aspect, then go on to talk about how the phone is unique, cheaper than the competitors’, more lightweight, etc. People want to know that your company cares about them and their needs, instead of one that just wants to sell another phone, so be sure to start your webinar off this way to avoid losing your crowd.

 

Bottom Line

The bottom line in reaching consumers is to think about their needs first, this is a solid foundation of creating not only a less-promotional webinar, but to improve conversion rates and ultimately your bottom line.

Tips To Keep Your Product Launch Webinar From Being Overly Promotional is a post from: ClickMeeting

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