How to create a better online meeting
Distance meetings via the internet are becoming increasingly common. They are certainly quick and convenient, but you don't want the simplicity to compromise the quality and effectiveness of the meeting. Here are a few tips that can pave the way for successful meetings online.
Meeting remotely instead of travelling can save a great deal of money. On top of the financial gain, there is also the socially important matter of employees avoiding long journeys, plus distance meetings are better for the environment. These are three key reasons why distance meetings on an online platform are growing among responsible companies all over the world.
Draw up a clear agenda
An online meeting has to be taken just as seriously as any other meeting. There should therefore be an agenda that is shared with everyone involved, plus technical equipment that everyone can use with ease. The main advantages of an online meeting are that participants can share screen images and documents and often see each other via video. This creates a good sense of involvement. If these media forms are not essential, you should definitely consider audio conferencing instead – it remains quicker and easier.
Choose the right meeting tool
All sorts of tools are currently available to make your online meetings more effective. These can roughly be split into two types: one that you run directly in your web browser (sometimes with the support of a plug-in program) and one where you use a special client for your PC or an app on your mobile. One common feature of most online meeting services is that they are cloud-based. This makes them easy to access via the internet, no matter what device you use.
Many meeting tools are now cloud-based and easy to access, whatever device you use.
Skype for Business, GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, Avaya Scopia and Vidyo are just a few examples of popular tools for online meetings. For the best possible sound, we recommend Konftel's speakerphones or conference phones with a USB port. The Konftel 55-series belongs to the first category – stylish speakerphones with or without Bluetooth and the option to connect expansion microphones for large meetings. The Konftel 55/55Wx provides a simple hub for all your connections. The Konftel Ego is designed for personal conferencing and up to four participants. The Konftel 300, 300Mx and 300Wx are also excellent for online meetings, as they have USB as an alternative to the primary means of connection.
An online meeting requires careful preparation. Any documents or presentations that will be shown should be simple and concise, with the information kept as brief as possible on each slide. If you practice using the technology and showing and changing presentation slides, things will flow better during the meeting. A simple rule of thumb: close all the other windows on the screen, show just the relevant one in full screen. Also bear in mind that many meeting tools allow you to use video clips, for example from YouTube, but don't make the meeting just one long showy display of fantastic technical tricks. The content you present should be relevant and add something to the meeting. If the text in a long document needs to be discussed, it is worth e-mailing the document in advance, so the participants have time to read through the text in their own time.
Try to gather groups of participants in the same place instead of all sitting separately in your rooms. This is better for the audio quality and leads to fewer interruptions because of people talking over each other. There is also more of a 'meeting' feel when several people get together in a room. Our speakerphones deliver optimum sound for group meetings on the internet. If, for some reason, you find it difficult to gather in one room and need to sit separately, a speakerphone can still be preferable to a headset. The sound quality is at least as good and you avoid the bother of dealing with a headset. The Konftel Ego is designed as the perfect addition to your personal desk and is excellent for meetings with up to 4 participants, with sound quality that is on a par with a premium headset.