Video conferencing has proven to be extremely useful amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Companies forced to operate remotely leverage the solution to catch up and give everyone a much-needed dose of interaction with colleagues. These days, some companies even use conference calls to conduct events over the internet, such as virtual happy hours and birthday parties.
To ensure the success of your conference call, whatever its context may be, you need to follow a number of rules and keep certain factors in mind.
Before the conference call
As with conventional conferences, adequate preparation is crucial to the success of your virtual meeting. Identify your agenda and create an outline of the topics that will be discussed during the call. Come up with presentations, visual aids, and other materials that will help you better convey your message and engage your audience.
If you’re using scheduling tools such as those found in Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook, you can send out invites to meeting participants. These invites will give you an idea of how many people will attend. They will also give participants an idea of what the meeting is all about. You can set up reminders — available in both Calendars and Outlook — to notify participants of the meeting up to a few minutes before it begins.
Check your hardware and the internet connection in the area where you’re hosting the call. If you’re at home, for instance, avoid rooms with weak connectivity. Find a well-lit and quiet spot where your smartphone or computer can capture high-quality videos and crisp audio, and remind the other participants to do the same.
During the conference call
Whether you’re hosting the video conference or are simply participating in it, make sure to be on time. Cooperate and provide input when asked, and take notes as necessary. If you want to record the call, make sure to ask permission from the administrator. Conferencing platforms like Google Meet and Zoom have a video recording feature.
If you’re hosting the virtual meeting, try to stay within topic as much as possible. You can use an icebreaker at the beginning of the call to get everyone engaged, but take care not to spend too much time on it. Use your outline to keep your discussion focused. This not only ensures that all pertinent topics are covered during the meeting, but that the call does not extend far longer than it should.
At certain points of the call, ask participants questions. This will keep them engaged and prevent them from getting bored and tuning you out. Some video conferencing platforms have features that will help you engage participants more effectively. These features include polls in Zoom and Q&A in Google Meet.
After the conference call
After the discussion and before you bid everyone goodbye, make sure to summarize your key points. Indicate your audience’s takeaways from the meeting, take note of action items, and answer any questions that may come up. These steps ensure that even if the discussion were to stray away from your outline, the participants will recall the conference call’s true purpose.
Don’t think everything ends after you thank everyone and hang up, though. Following the meeting, send all participants a written summary of the points raised and discussed during the call. Also, list down the action items identified. The summary will act as documentation for the video conference, besides being a handy reference for participants.
A managed IT services provider can also help you ensure the success of your conference calls. At Tech Squared, our experts can help you determine the best video conferencing platform that matches your needs and budget. More importantly, we monitor your network and ensure that potential disruptions, such as connectivity issues and malicious activity, are addressed promptly.
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