Quick Checklist for an Online Meeting: You are the host.
Virtual visitors are coming, is your electronic office clean?
Online meetings through GoToMeeting, Skype, TeamViewer and the like are convnient. We record training classes, webinars and share our desktops to quickly explain a concept or to share later and post to our sites. Are you ready when visitors are coming? Is your desktop full of open programs, private emails, shortcut clutter and inappropriate wallpaper images?
Quick checklist to prepare for an online meeting:
- Have you ever used this meeting program before? If not, be sure to test it with a friend or colleague out of state to make sure sound works both ways, that they can see what you are showing and there are no hiccups. Embarrassing to have to call a meeting on a count of technology snafus.
- What is your background image? Is it a slideshow? Simplify to a single image or, better yet, a solid background other than the blue-screen-of-death blue. Something easy on the eyes and not distracting. Also, sometimes slideshows slow down and delay viewing like a bad Japanese horror film. You want to be in sync with your attendees/viewers.
- What programs are open? Do you need them all? Close them, turn off notifications so that bells and bongs are not going off why you are speaking.
- Will you need documents handy or images to demonstrate something? Be sure to already have them found and available. Create shortcuts on your desktop to get ther fast so you are not fumbling and muttering as you look for the right image or document.
- How are those shortcuts all over your desktop? Can you quickly create a folder and shove them in there for the meeting? It demonstrates you are organized and focused.
- Is your phone on do-not-distrurb to prevent interruptive rings? If you work from home and have call-waiting, did you turn it off to prepare for focusing on your call? WIth Comcast, you dial *70 for your current call. Sends everything right to voicemail.
- Ambiant noise? This is especially for those of us working from home. Are pets put away? I have a parakeet that my clients all know because he's chatty in the background. They enjoy hearing him softly in the background. But, if I had dogs, neighbors using mowers and blowers or children home during my meeting, I'd want to make sure arrangements are made to prevent interruptions and distractions. I attended a conference call once that one of the attendees had two children home sick. He couldn't cancel the call, but his holding his hand over the receiver as he screamed at them to stop fighting was a bit… distracting.
- As the attendee – turn your phone and notifications off, as well.
- As the attendee – put the food down. We can all hear you, no matter how far away you put the receiver from your mouth.
- Everyone, smile when when you participate and speak. We can hear you if you are smiling and if you are grumpy. Put your best face forward, even over the phone.
Some online meeting programs if you are hunting for a solution:
- TeamViewer – nice program, easy to use. Great for troubleshooting and remote access.
- GoToMeeting – although it only works on my laptop, not my desktop PC – go figure
- Cisco's WebEx