How webinars can help your business grow

Are you ready for your business to reach the next level? Make sure business webinars are on your list of things to do. They can be a valuable ingredient to the sustenance that helps your company grow.

Here's how webinars can help boost your business:

Establish a trusted voice

People see webinar hosts as credible experts who have something worthwhile to say on the subject. With their live, interactive nature, webinars allow you to promote your expertise while still building a rapport with the audience. By addressing questions and comments with natural, unrehearsed responses, viewers begin to trust and value your thoughts and opinions. As you continue to share stories and insights and engage with viewers, your audience will begin to view you as a likable authority figure in the space. In turn, they'll be more likely to choose your company over and above your competitors.

Reach a worldwide audience

As with anything online, webinars allow you to reach people no matter where in the world they're tuning in from. Plus, there's no need for you to dish out costs for travel, venues or other in-person seminar expenses. You get to do the hosting right from the comfort of your own office – and your viewers can enjoy the same perk when they attend the webinar. To that end, webinars also open up partnership opportunities with other brands or influencers who tend to target the same audience. New viewers is a perk for all parties involved.

Generate worthwhile leads

If someone takes the time to register and attend a webinar, odds are they're genuinely interested in the topic, host or brand. That means your list of webinar subscribers includes those who are already more engaged than the average consumer. You can utilize the registration process to collect pertinent information, making it easy to follow-up with attendees and build meaningful connections.

For inspiration on planning, creating and hosting webinars that have that business-growth spark, check out our resources and insights on improving your skills. When you're ready to roll out your engaging and polished content, make sure you have the webinar software to meet audience expectations. ReadyTalk Webinar can be your trusty companion for business-driven presentations, complete with flexible audio options, customized registration pages, marketing integrations and analytics.

With that, we'll leave you to rack up those leads and reach the next level!

Can we all stop doing these five things during conference calls?

We're all guilty of joining a conference call, promptly switching our phones to mute and half-listening to the meeting as we continue to work on other projects. But more than this occasionally absent-minded attendance, there are certain common conference call faux pas that truly drive employees crazy.

It's time to break your bad conference call habits – starting with these five:

1. Failed spontaneity

Without an agenda, we risk sending all attendees into the Wild West without a relevant purpose. While spontaneity can work for brainstorming sessions, everyone should be on the same page about what the conference call intends to accomplish.

2. Unnecessary introductions

We've been working together for months now, which means we don't need to introduce ourselves every time we hop on a call. Sure, we can introduce newbies, but let's respect each other's time, skip the lengthy pleasantries and get to the point.

3. Accidental interruptions

There's nothing like talking over someone to invalidate their point – even if it's not intentional. Even worse are employees who purposefully cut off other attendees, which not only creates an uncomfortable tension for everyone involved but can also lead the conversation down a dark and unproductive tunnel.

4. Awkward pauses

When you aren't physically sitting in the conference room with other attendees, it's easy to avoid participation. We've all been there: The conference call meeting leader asks a question met with dead silence, leaving every attendee praying that someone else will speak up. These awkward pauses also happen when people aren't prepared for the call, or if the organizer failed to provide that oh-so-valuable agenda.

5. Etiquette blunders

There's always that one attendee who joins the call and overwhelms it with distracting background noise. Sure, you can take the call from a coffee shop, but be mindful of the rest of us who are trying to have a conversation without distracting sounds. The same goes for notoriously late joiners. We can only make so much small talk before we give up and start the meeting without you. There's also those who forget to identify themselves before launching into their spiel, leaving the other attendees wondering who is talking rather than focusing on what's actually being said.

We can all avoid these conference call no-nos with web conferencing, which provides tools that make these meetings more engaging and collaborative. Video and screen sharing give participants a reason to pay attention, and the software makes it easy to identify who's participating in the call. Request a live demo to see how web conferencing can nip these annoying conference call habits in the bud.

Why are communal office spaces great for collaboration?

Cubicles can be cages for creativity – and desks sans makeshift walls aren't always better. While there are times when we need to put our headphones in and hunker down without distractions to cross important items off of our checklists, other projects require collective efforts. That's where communal office spaces join the party, providing the interactive working environments that employees need to effectively collaborate with each other.

If you aren't already on board, we're here to open your mind to the benefits of communal office spaces. Here's why they're so valuable for collaboration:

Humans are social beings

We're all guilty of falling prey to some juicy office gossip, but communal office spaces are for more than catching up on the drama and making weekend plans. They create opportunities for employees to converse with peers, brainstorm ideas and bounce thoughts off one another. Instead of resorting straight to Google searches, employees can learn from each other and share perspectives that may enhance the final results of their work. Plus, brief social conversations can also give employees the break they need between tasks before returning to their to-do lists.

Everyone needs a pat on the back

Communal office spaces create a sense of community, which adds a valuable support network to everyone's individual experience. It's comforting to have others around for guidance or feedback, and sometimes sitting in a room surrounded by people being productive provides the boost of motivation we need. Researchers at Stanford University even found that participants in a collaborative, supportive working environment stayed on task 64 percent longer than those who worked alone. Thus, communal spaces that inspire collaboration can be linked to better performance and higher engagement levels.

The minds must meet

When calendars are filled with conference calls, sales demos, trainings and brainstorming sessions, open meeting spaces allow all important team members to be in one place together. Personal web conferencing technology takes it one step further, allowing all meeting attendees to be in the same room despite where they're actually sitting. With video and content sharing, employees can easily connect, even if some members work from home or in a different office. Plus, collaboration technologies make it easy to connect with external teams as well, including clients, consultants and contractors.

With all that in mind, consider breaking down the walls and opening your office spaces for a more collaborative, engaging and productive workplace.