5 Online Group Meeting Tips
By Lynette Chandler
A group meeting online is in many ways just the same as a face-to-
face offline meeting. You must choose visitors carefully in order to
achieve the results and answers you are expecting, as well as
take the time to plan out the meeting. Online, you also need to
have a good follow up plan like asking them to take action or start
them on an accountability plan.
Despite the similarities, there are some preparations that are
unique to online meetings. Here are a few tips that can help you
have a successful meeting online.
1. Enlist help. On the internet, you never really know what's going
on with the person at the other end of the computer. Each
computer is so different in make, model, operating systems and
personal settings. You may sound fine to yourself but others may
not find it that way. Because of that, it's a good idea to have
someone help you do sound checks at the beginning and
throughout the meeting. This way, whenever they hear a drop or
lag, they can quickly alert you and you can either slow down or
make adjustments accordingly.
2. Get someone to organize your presentation materials and get
your questions ready for you. We would have no choice in a
regular meeting but to have these things ready when we walked
in. When doing online meetings we tend to believe that we have
things under control and have a sense of security. We feel like it is
so easy to find everything we need with just a click or two there is
no need to prepare in advance.
That may be so, but even with powerful searches, you still need to
filter through the inaccurate matches. And sometimes, we aren't
quite as organized in our computer filing as we like to think. So
what happens is, you can end up wasting time looking for material
and information you should already have with you.
An assistant will help keep you organized and ensure any
presentation goes smoothly with as little interruption as possible.
They can also help you gather questions, locate information and do
all the nitty gritty small stuff. These are things that can quickly
confuse you while you're trying to facilitate the meeting. So don't
3. Next, send reminders. In the offline world, reminders are
important but in the online world, it's crucial. Simply because it's so
much easier for people to ignore an email than someone popping
into their office now and then. Of course, you do not want to send
so many emails to the point you're spamming people. Generally,
it's good to send one around 24 hours before and one about 1-2
4. Computers that are connected to the internet have a huge draw
and tend to suck people in. People can quickly get sucked up into
surfing, checking emails and multi-tasking and not pay attention to
your meeting. When a presentation is largely audio, people's eyes
tend to wander in search of something to look at. Help keep their
focus. Use visuals and white boards where applicable to draw their
attention back onto your materials and the discussion at hand.
5. This final point may seem obvious but be sure that those who
are broadcasting video have a high-speed internet connection.
You may be surprised at how many people actually try to
broadcast video to a large group on a dial up connection. This is
likely to slow down everyone's speed and it can also mean that
you'll be spending time with those on dial-up helping them to get
rid of the video lag. Politely ask your dial-up users to have their
video cameras off and tell them that the video coming into their
computer may also be on a delay.
In all cases, it's a good idea to have someone on stand by to hand
off technical support issues to so you're not trying to help
everyone during the meeting.
About the Author
Lynette Chandler thrives on helping small businesses utilize technologies like web conferencing in their marketing. She's prepared a report about how to make more with web conferences for you. Grab your copy at http://www.webconferencingworks.com/
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