If you are new to video conferences, you may be hesitant to use them as a communication tool. Professional video conferencing can work in a lot of different scenarios, however, and learning how to run a great conference is pretty easy, even if you know next to nothing about giving presentations. You can run a cross-country meeting, counsel a patient, or even teach a course through professional video conferencing.
Before you begin, you should make sure that you know how exactly you will be running the conference. Is this a meeting where you will be presenting information while at the same time receiving feedback from staff, or are you giving a lecture with few breaks for questions? The format will determine how you initially set up your presentation and audio equipment.
One of the first things that you should ask yourself is how many people will be there and who will be speaking. If you are going to open the floor for Q&A, will everyone have access to the microphone or do you need a local moderator? The security of the line should be the next thing that you ask, because a secure line is a little more complicated to set up than an unsecured line. Also, you need to consider whether your conference will need to be available to people who cannot attend. In that case, you might want to consider edit the video to develop a video post at the company intranet. Make sure that you know what you need before you get started and then follow these 8 tips for a successful conference experience
8 Tips for Success
- Prepare Early – Create your presentation well ahead of time so that you have everything ready to go when the time comes for your big debut. Avoid procrastinating until the last minute. If you use a PowerPoint, try to limit the bullet lists and never have screen after screen of just text…that’s the fastest way to lose the attention of your audience.
- Create an Outline – Keep your outline where you can see it but where nobody else can and refer to it often. Stick to your script, because if you don’t you are likely to fumble or fail to mention some key points.
- Test Your Equipment – Equipment failure is incredibly common, so don’t assume that just because the conference room is shiny and new that everything will work right the first time. Test audio and video and learn how to use the mute button.
- Upload Your File Ahead of Time – If you can’t get your presentation to load or don’t know how to bring it back up if something takes you away from the screen you will look incredibly unprofessional. Load your presentation and make sure that it works before it’s time to start the conference.
- Practice! – Practice your presentation multiple times until you can give it comfortably and naturally.
- Start On Time – Banter and awkward small talk at the beginning of a conference puts a less than professional taint on the whole event. It may also lead to you running out of time before you are finished.
- End On Time – Unless it’s incredibly important, start wrapping up at least ten minutes before the time when you are supposed to end. This will keep your audience from fidgeting and show them that you respect the value of their time.
- Prepare For the Unexpected – Try to prepare for everything to go wrong. If you have a plan in place for when the video goes out all of a sudden or for when someone forgot to mute their headset, you will be able to navigate snafus like a pro.
Even if you have never run a video conference before in your life, with the proper preparation, you will be the only one who ever has to know that. In the end, keep in mind that you are speaking to people, and take your cues from the audience. Eventually, you will be more comfortable with how video conferencing works and be able to naturally roll with any issues you come across.
About the Author: Sophie Evans is a self-proclaimed Starbucks addict and freelance writer. She enjoys the freedom that working from home gives her to spend time with her family and pursue her other interests which include going to Disneyland and keeping their Balboa Beach, CA an eco-friendly environment. As a writer, she has ample opportunity to surf through interesting Internet sites like www.officedeskreviews.com, which provide the fodder for her many articles.