Desktop Meetings

By Kimberly L. McCall

Web conferencing is a practical method for saving on travel costs and beefing up meeting frequency. Because all a participant needs is a computer, Internet access and a telephone, remote-meetings have become an increasingly popular way to connect with clients. Without the face-to-face element of a presentation, however, how do you ensure that your Web conference is both memorable and interactive?

“The key to making any meeting memorable is to ensures that all participants actively take part in the meeting. The features of today’s best Web conferencing systems let users do almost everything you would want to do in a face-to-face meeting – just virtually,” says Tony Terranova, vice president of marketing and sales training for Genesys Conferencing (www.genesys.com), a provider of integrated Web, voice and video-conferencing services based in Highlands Ranch, CO. Terranova offers a few sensible guidelines to make your next Web conference engaging for your audience.

  • Add a photo of yourself to the Web conference or use a Web camera to introduce yourself at the beginning of a meeting.
  • Present a demo or give the participant the opportunity to try a product using the application-sharing mode.
  • Think visuals. The visual, participative element can prove invaluable to the communication process. According to research conducted by the Human Factors Institute, audiences retain 30% more by getting directly involved. Specifically, the research found that involved audiences retain:
      – 10% of what they read
    – 25% of what they hear
    – 30% of what they see
    – 55% of what they hear and see
    – 85% of what they hear, see and do
  • Add surveys and polls to your Web conference presentations and provide real-time results to get your audience involved and hold their attention.
  • Upload your conference participant’s logo and have it on display during the meeting. Doing a tour of the participant’s Website also tends to impress. A Web tour lets you guide all participants through a Website, so everyone’s literally on the same page.