You’ve had enough experience with videoconferences in the past that you’ve got the basics down: make sure you look presentable, make sure there are no distractions in the background, and check the audio and video to make sure everyone can see and hear you clearly. You have even double-checked your network and Internet settings to prevent any technical glitches from disconnecting or disrupting the meeting.
It should be all smooth sailing from here on out, right? Unfortunately, the technical aspects of a videoconference are no guarantee that the meeting will be a success. A little planning can help hone your presentation skills, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or are running a meeting for the first time.
Tips for Hosting a Successful Videoconference
- Before you start: set your goals. It’s important to have a single goal in mind for the outcome of your meeting. “Talk to the home office” is not a clear goal; however, “decide on a solution to our problem” is definitive and sets up the team for the next step (implementing the solution).
- When meeting with one other person: It is usually best to keep things informal when meeting with one other colleague. However, if you are conducting an interview or meeting with a customer, you should maintain professionalism and treat him or her exactly as you would when meeting in person.
- When giving a tour: Videoconferences can be a great way to have long-distance contacts “visit” your office. However, many presenters are so focused on walking and talking that they fail to adjust the camera, giving the audience a view of the floor or ceiling. If you are leading a tour, consider having another team member shoot the video while you concentrate on the presentation.
- When recording a conference: Many business owners may wish to record their conferences for their records. Conference recordings can be used internally (to share with attendees who could not make it to the meeting), but also as training or marketing materials (usually made available online to employees and customers). If you wish to record the meeting, you should first make sure all attendees agree to being taped.
- Before you go: You should always leave enough time to give others a chance to ask questions before ending the meeting. While you have everyone on the line, decide whether you will need a follow up meeting and schedule the date—it’ll be much faster than coordinating through email later.
Need a location to host your next videoconference? Visit our Online Scheduler page to book our conference room.