Last week, Simon Mackie, editor at Web Worker Daily, published the Top 10 Teleconferencing Tips. The article includes great advice, much of which is applicable for in-person meetings too. The list was targeted at conference call organizers but participants on audio and web conferences should also consider a few tips to ensure they get the most from the meeting:
- Avoid Distractions. Because no one can see you, it’s easy to continue working on other items or follow up on some unanswered emails. You’ll get more from the call and your colleagues will appreciate it if you stay focused and engaged. Close email, web browsers and other applications so that you can focus on the information being presented.
- Location, Location, Location. Much like the chairperson, the participant’s location is also important. Muting and unmuting your phone can be troublesome and collaborating from a loud, busy location can be difficult. Find a quite environment—no dogs, no kids, no traffic, etc.—so that your colleagues can appreciate the fine points of your ideas. And, remember, the organizer may not have you on mute, so before you ‘think out loud’ make sure you’ve muted your own phone.
- Participate. If you’re joining a collaborative conference call or meeting with your colleagues, be sure to verbalize your thoughts. If you agree with the discussion, don’t just nod because no one will see you; let the rest of the group know. It can be awkward to interrupt to let the speaker know that you agree, so take notes on what you agree and disagree with and important highlights. When it’s your turn or the appropriate time arises, share your feedback on the topics being discussed.
Always Be Prepared. To ensure that you have the best audio and web conference experience prepare ahead of time:
- Review the agenda and gather notes
- Check to make sure your computer is properly setup for web conferences
- Dial-in 5 minutes early so you’re not frazzled for the start of the call
Audio and web conferencing is a great way to share information, collaborate, train and educate. BUT, it is what you make it. In order to get the most from teleconferencing, participants and chairpersons need to consider best practices and tips for success.