Online conferencing has certainly made the business world far more convenient than ever before. However, oftentimes it can be tricky to hold the attention of an audience, and this seems to be even more so for online meetings, which is why we are here to offer these great tips on engaging with your audience, cutting out the distractions and holding effective online meetings.
Ensuring Great Quality Audio and Video
Within the business environment, it’s always prudent to try and find ways in which you can save time, money and energy, and the greatest business minds will understand that each second has value. This is why ensuring that your equipment is set up properly is critical. Before you even decide to host an online conference, get your IT department to help you set up your equipment, so that the video and audio are clear and nothing is limiting your ability to communicate. The reason for this is because nobody necessary enjoys a fuzzy or static-ridden broadcast, and asking people to repeat themselves because you couldn’t hear them properly can be frustrating for both you and them. Additionally, especially for online business video meeting standards, you want to ensure that you enlist the services of a reputable provider like BlueJeans Network – because the quality of your broadcast can be greatly affected by provider capabilities.
Preparing Your Information in Advance
In a similar fashion to any other kind of meeting, you want to ensure that you are completely prepared before connecting with your audience. You wouldn’t walk into a physical meeting without your notepad and necessary documents or information, so be sure that you have everything that you need open and easy to access. And while this may mean spending an extra few minutes before the conference, it can save you a lot of time and frustration. Rather than having to find and open up documents or files when they are focused on – while wasting other people’s time – you can simply bring the pre-opened file onto your desktop and be ready to utilize it within seconds. So be sure to take 5 to 15 minutes before connecting to open the necessary files and minimize them to your taskbar. This way, nobody will ever have to wait and lose focus while you are finding the information you need to share.
Remove Clutter and Distractions
Whether you are the host or simply an attendee in an online video conference, you need to remember what other people will see and hear when you are connected. As Entrepreneur shares, whatever is directly behind you will likely be seen, and whatever is making noise within your vicinity will likely be heard. So take some time to set up a location, and consider whether you need to move the position of your desk or clean up a specific wall or corner behind you. Additionally, just before connecting you may want to mute or silence any phones or noises around you. This way, you won’t be distracting others with a vast array of exotic colors and sounds, and everyone can focus properly.
If your office or immediate area is simply in an unfortunate location with excessive clutter and noise – like in a warehouse for example – consider changing locations completely and connecting wirelessly with your laptop or phone if possible.
Engaging with your Audience – Keeping their Attention
Just like any other meeting, if you speak slowly and monotonously and seem to be bored about the entire ordeal yourself, the chances are pretty high that your audience will get bored, lose focus and engage with you less. And as Computer World agrees, rather than being eager to bring up important issues, they may simply want to get out of there as soon as possible. So be sure to engage properly with your audience as if you were having a dinner conversation with them. Despite being on the opposite side of the office – or even in another country – you can connect with them face to face, keep them focused and make your broadcast far more effective. Ways to do this include asking various individuals questions or beckoning for opinions, keeping the group in high spirits with a joke from time to time, or even simply calling for a two-minute stretch break if the conference is going on for a long time. And do be afraid to get creative if you must, but keep your audience focused on you to ensure that your meetings are effective, fast and efficient.
With these great tips, you will certainly be holding your next online business meeting like a pro, but don’t be disheartened if it isn’t as good as you expect. Simply use each time as a lesson, and record your sessions to review and understand how you can do better. For more personalized information on how online conferencing can help you and your business, the fine folks at BlueJeans are always eager to help both new and existing customers.