Hints for Running a Web Meeting
Prepare Visuals – Rehearse
Just like any other meeting you must prepare in advance. I have heard and seen a lot of issues that could have been avoided with a little planning and practice. How do you think the CEO of your company will feel if he arrives at the web meeting and is unable to join the event due to technical issues?
Here are a few hints:
- Countdown Timer or Clock – When you are practicing it is a good idea to have a countdown timer or clock nearby to help keep you on schedule.
- Multiple Screens – If you have multiple monitors available use them! I place my content in order of appearance on the right screen. If I have links that I want the audience to see via the web I will have those ready in a document. Also helpful is a list of interactions or your agenda items placed near your web cam. The audience does not want to look at you reading something on your desk.
- Practice with your tools – Nothing is more annoying than waiting for the presenter to figure out how screen sharing works.
- Back up recording plan – If you are recording practice with two separate people recording the event. Once again this will save you an embarrassing moment when recording important meetings.
Send out invites – Your invite should explain how to get the web conferencing software loaded / tested before the meeting. Make sure you highlight this to the attendees. If they are prepped beforehand you will have an audience that can join the event easily.
Keep pace with the audience – Use the polling tool to ask if the next topic slide is loaded. This keeps the meeting moving along without having to ask if the can see you slide every time.
Realize that web conferencing will have a slightly slower pace because of the time lag caused by variable bandwidths for each participant.
Use Assistant Leaders/Instructors – Designated member of your staff can be assigned to answer chat questions. This ongoing chat can then follow along with the main discussion without interrupting the flow. Some webinars need to push on because of available time while others can handle a slowdown and side discussions.
Make sure you plan for how you will handle questions when presenting.
Keep the Audience Engaged – With a large group use your polling feature and ask for opinions. Then share the opinion metrics with the group. Depending on the structure of the meeting or content hand raising can provide a method for keeping the discussion under control and eliminate talk-over conversations.
Keep it organized and to the point!