If you run your business from different cities and possibly countries, you understand the need for online meeting and web conference software. Programs like GoToMeeting and Infinite Conferencing have revolutionized meetings for large companies and organizations. The USPS, United States Post Office, has many rural, out of the way locations. These post offices use similar software programs for training and mass meetings. These programs are very simple to create, schedule and organize a meeting.
The problem with these meetings is the same problem of any meeting: How do you get people to attend your meeting, and how do you keep your audience engaged and interested throughout the meeting?
Many of these online meeting programs offer email invitation features that you can use to invite the people you would like to join your meeting. Many know how to send mass emails, and with the advancements of email programs and integrations with these conferencing tools you can invite people with just a few clicks. Highlight, cut and paste the meeting URL into the body of your email when you send your invitations. These programs will instantly take the participant to the virtual room for the meeting so all the participants have to do is click the link within the email.
Web-based and java-enabled, it is simple to use these software programs. Each software will ask for some basic information such as what time and date you want your meeting and will then generate a URL for the meeting. You may then cut and paste the meeting link into an email or other electronic message for people to attend.
When people click the link, a java-based window opens with a few controls like microphone, keyboard, pen, text boxes and highlighters. The moderator, the one who created the meeting, is able to control these applications for the meeting guests. Normally a presentation is used along with the meeting software so those in attendance will have a guide to follow what is being shared in the meeting.
Practice a Lot
It may seem silly, but rehearsing what you want to say is a good idea. It will make your meeting flow more smoothly and allow you time to clear any bugs out of your presentation. Your goal, after all, is to have your audience listening to you actively and not passively. Your presentation is an outline of information not the entire meeting. With an online meeting, you are guaranteed to lose them if you are doing nothing more than reading exactly what is on the screen. Practicing what you want to say and use your presentation as an outline not the entire meeting.
Schedule Carefully, Less is More
Your business runs at the speed of business. The longer you keep your employees in a meeting the less interested they will be. Keep your meeting short, sweet and if you have a schedule, stick to the schedule. Try to leave things out in your presentation where possible, it will help you to make your meeting interesting from the first second to the last.
If you liked this article and would love to learn more about organizing decent online meetings, we also recommend you to read Microsoft's article with online meeting tips.