There are so many perks to being able to hold efficient remote conferences. First of all, you get to handle a team of telecommuters much more efficiently. Second, it gives you an opportunity to negotiate with international partners without having to embark on an expensive and unnecessary business trip. Third, it gives you a chance to hold the meeting in question instantly (provided that others are available and willing) instead of having to wait for everyone to arrive. Keep in mind that this is amazing in the moment of crisis. Still, how does one conduct a successful remote conference? Here are several tips to help you out.
Prepare in advance
The first thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that you’re doing this to save time, which is why it would be so absurd to come into the meeting unprepared. Not having your introduction, your main topic and all the points that you want to touch on is outright reckless and irresponsible. Instead, what you need to do is plan everything down, put it to paper or even have it in a text file somewhere on the screen. During a live meeting, looking at the paper all the time may leave a bad impression but for an online call, this is not the case.
Test out the tech
Sure, chances are that for this particular conference you’ll use platforms and devices that you’ve already used a hundred times before, however, testing it all just once more is never a bad idea. It only takes a minute or two and what you’ll need is just one willing participant to help you out. This can be someone from your company or even a personal acquaintance, provided that they use the same platform (Skype for instance). On the other hand, if you expect to use these services fairly often, what you could also go for agencies like Alpha Omega Video that have the option of conference video in their offer.
Behave like it’s an in-person meeting
The next thing worth mentioning is the fact that you should act like you were in a traditional meeting. This means behaving as if you were all in the same room. The appeal of getting distracted during the conference meeting is simply too high. You see, no one in the meeting can know what you’re really doing on your computer while they’re talking, however, this doesn’t mean that they won’t notice your lack of attention. Simply role-play that they can see your every move and just act like it.
One of the best ways to showcase all that you have to the other conference call participants is to share your screen with them. This way, you can display anything you need in real-time. Other than this, you also get to show them that you’re not playing a video game while they’re talking. Just keep in mind to check all that’s on your screen during the meeting. The last thing you want is for them to see your embarrassing Google search or a title of a YouTube video that you’ve failed to close. Needless to say, this merely takes a second of your time.
Schedule it properly
Just because people are technically able to log in at any time, this doesn’t mean that they’ll actually be available to do so. Therefore, make sure to announce this meeting in advance and try to get confirmation from everyone that they can make it. Keep in mind that these meetings don’t last for too long, which is why it would be a shame if someone had to be absent. With a bit of scheduling and getting the confirmation from everyone, this shouldn’t really be an issue. When working with international attendees, keep your eye on the time zones. One more thing, in-person meetings can waste as much as 31 hours per month and this can be an effective way to avoid it.
Regardless if you’re using a phone or a laptop for this conference call, what you need to bear in mind is the fact that all your employees need to have access to this option. When it comes to the BYOD system, the bare minimum that you can do is ask them to have the software installed. On the other hand, you might also be the one who needs to provide them with the necessary devices for them to participate in this call.
Prepare for some questions
Due to the fact that you’ll already have a plan for the meeting, what you should do is send it out to everyone in order to help them prepare for the meeting in question. This way, there’s a higher chance that people will actually ask questions instead of being too timid to speak up. Also, this keeps the meeting more dynamic and more interactive which is always a positive thing. Think about it, if the other participants aren’t going to… well, participate, what’s the point of the meeting, to begin with? Instead, you could just send out a memo and be done with it. This way, it’s all just way more effective.
Keep in mind that, in the present-day business world, conference calls are something that you’ll have to make one way or another. This is why the question is not whether you’re going to use them, it’s about whether you’ll be able to use them effectively. With the above-listed seven tips on your side, this really shouldn’t be an issue.