With the advent of the digital age, it is now possible for people from all walks of life to use technology to make their lives easier. Instead of paying the travel costs for dozens of employees to meet in one location for a conference, managers can set up a video conference for half the cost.
If you are a therapist or consultant and wish to meet with clients outside of an office setting or an instructor running an online course, video conferencing can be the best option.
Running a video conference doesn’t have to be stress inducing, you can be successful simply by following these 5 easy steps:
1. Get To Know Your Audience
The makeup of your audience will have a great effect on the tone and style of your presentation. A group of college students will expect a more laid back, entertaining style while a business meeting should be more formal.
The number of people to whom you will be speaking will also influence the style of the conference. If you are having a one on one therapy session or consultation, it will be a more intimate experience than a business presentation.
2. Create a Compelling Presentation
Once you have an idea of the style and tone of your presentation, you will want to prepare an engaging presentation. If you are using PowerPoint, try to avoid bullet points as much as you can. Use lots of graphics, photos, and other visuals to make your point more clearly.
Make a script that you can follow and allow time for a Q&A session. Consider whether you will need to share files, use a secure line, or record the session and set it up so that everything will run smoothly.
3. Test Your Equipment
- Check the Audio – All headsets and microphones should be in good working order without feedback.
- Check the Video – Make sure that everything comes up the way that it’s supposed to and determine what, if any, the lag time is.
- Load Your Presentation – Make sure that you can open and use the file. There’s nothing worse than opening the file and finding that it’s too large to use effectively.
- Make Sure the Mute Button Works – This is especially important for a large or professional conference. If someone else is speaking, keep your microphone muted until they are finished.
- Learn your Script – Practice saying your presentation through several times until you have it fairly well memorized. Knowing what you are going to say will help you to appear more confident and natural as a speaker.
- Login as an Attendee – This will allow you to see and hear everything that your audience will so that you can ensure that it all looks the way that you want it to.
- Keep an Outline Handy – Create an outline or a script and keep it with you. Don’t vary from the script any more than you absolutely have to.
5. Respect Start and End Times
One of the most common mistakes that people make when running a video conference is not showing a respect for the stated start and end times. Your audience is busy and their time is valuable. Starting on time without spending the first few minutes engaged in awkward chatter will give your presentation a more professional feel.
Make sure to start wrapping things up about ten or fifteen minutes before the time when the conference is supposed to end. Those last moments will be lost on the audience anyway as they check the time, plan how they will get to their next appointment, or generally fidget.
Following these five steps and understanding how video conferencing works will allow you to pull off a successful conference regardless of your past experience. Remember, it’s not how many times you’ve run a video conference in the past, it’s how well prepared you are for the one you are running now.
Sophie Evans loves Disneyland just about as much as she loves to write. She is a freelance writer who lives in Balboa Beach, CA with her two children and her husband, Rick. Her favorite pastimes include hanging out at Starbucks and surfing webpages like www.officedeskreviews.com on the Internet while conducting research for her projects.