Before we can discuss the prerequisites to a successful online meeting via web conferencing, let’s start by having a look at some of the most common factors that exert a detrimental effect on the quality and efficiency of group-level communication. |
- too many absentees or latecomers - excessive noise conditions - lack of preparation for the topic at issue - lack of productive feedback during presentations - poor time management
To avoid stumbling upon these obstacles during your live online meetings, consider respecting the following five steps:
1. Present a short summary of the topic to be discussed
If you expect your attendees to do their homework before showing up to the meeting, make sure you respect the same rule and come well prepared. Prior to getting into details, make sure you warm up your attendees by providing them with a succinct summary of the topic at issue. Moreover, consider allocating a couple of minutes to answering any eventual questions before going in greater depth with the presentation.
Since certain online meeting tools may require software preloading, it is advisable to perform this process in advance to minimize the risk of technology-related delays.
2. Be punctual
Since punctuality is just as important with online meetings as it is with real-life sessions, make sure you always show up on time and ask the same of all other participants.
If you are expecting attendees from locations with different time zones, account for this factor long in advance and verify that everyone knows how to synchronize according to the actual start time of the meeting.
3. Try to maintain any background noise to a minimum level and avoid unnecessary interruptions
To make sure the online meeting will run smoothly, you will need to create the right conditions for this. You can start by minimizing or eliminating any distracting background noises such as paper shuffling, breathing too close to the microphone, and bothersome whispering or talking in the background. Additionally, to eliminate any external sources of loud noise, all participants should attend the meeting from the quiet of a private office.
4. Encourage attendees to take on active roles in the discussion
Everyone should be allowed and encouraged to bring its own contribution to the progress of the online meeting by asking questions and providing feedback whenever necessary. As a presenter, allocate some time exclusively for answering questions; as a participant to the presentation, pay close attention to the topics being discussed and don’t hesitate to make relevant comments and ask constructive questions.
5. Assuming the role of presenter also requires being a good facilitator
One of the common mistakes made by online meeting presenters is conducting monotonous, uninteresting discussions. To prevent this from happening, you should consider developing your skills as a facilitator first. This mainly involves providing your attendees with concrete examples, engaging them in conversations by regularly asking for their opinion, avoiding prolonged web conferencing meetings, and conducting brief reviews of the ideas addressed before ending your meetings.
For more resources about web conferencing or about online meeting or even about online meetings, please review these links.
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