Tips to Keep Your Next Videoconference From Running Wild
Video and teleconferences can be extraordinary resources for any professional. They allow you to have a structured meeting even when participants aren’t in the same country, let alone the same room. However, these conferences are only as successful if they are planned and executed well. Due to the technical nature of media conferences, without proper focus and control they can quickly become chaotic and fly off the rails.
Taking the time to plan and strategize the event in advance is essential, but it’s not enough. To assure success, you will have to take an active role while the event is occurring, too. By taking the initiative to oversee and regulate the process, you can best guarantee your next media conference will be a focused success.
Teleconferences can be efficient and cost-saving alternatives to getting everyone from a wide area to share viewpoints. However, media conferences also make it easier for participants to lose focus because they’re not in the same room as others, which allows their minds to wander. Since video- and teleconferences require participants’ full attention, agendas and goals need to be clearer and more explicit than face-to-face meetings. This means that you have to take control before and during the event.
Tips to consider include:
- Planning ahead. Preparing for the event of potential problems can help you reduce confusion and avoid unnecessarily wasting time during the conference.
- Making sure that the meeting starts on time. Punctuality is essential to keeping your meeting on track. Don’t waste people’s time by delaying the meeting for stragglers and latecomers.
- Controlling noise. Make sure your conference area is quiet and that remote attendees know how to mute themselves. This will help decrease distractions and prevent participants from talking over one another.
- Making introductions. Before the meeting begins, make sure to introduce yourself and every participant. This can decrease confusion as well as anxiety, as participants will be able to identify the presenters.
- Taking control. Make sure everyone knows that you’ll be regulating the meeting and—if need be—intervening to pull the focus back on the agenda. This is also a good time to set out ground rules quash potential distractions, such as asking attendees to turn off their cell phones.
- Keeping dialogue open. When you can’t see everyone, it’s hard to know when someone has a question or is confused. Let everyone know that it is okay to interrupt politely for clarification when needed. Also encourage participants to speak up by asking questions, debating issues that arise, and keeping the dialogue relaxed and open.
- Recording possibilities. Having a record of the meeting is always a good idea for future reference. Have someone act as secretary and take notes to distribute after the meeting. Better still, hire a conference reporting professional for all your recording needs.