How to Improve Web Conferencing Engagement
Ease of use and more comfortable end-users don’t necessarily mean that everyone is engaged during web conferences. Some people still dread them. Maybe they’re camera shy, or perhaps they simply prefer meeting in person. Some may be bored or unsure of what their role should be. Whatever the case, if you want your web conferences to be productive, increasing your participants’ engagement levels should help. Below are a few tips to consider to Improve Web Conferencing engagement.
Technology and user adoption rates have converged, making web conferencing an increasingly popular communications tool. It’s become so easy, that obstacles that used to make web conferencing impractical no longer exist. Users are accustomed to clicking a link to launch a web conference in browser and signing in. Since most computers, tablets, and smartphones are already equipped with microphones, webcams, and speakers, there’s no need to purchase or set up equipment.
Your entire team doesn’t necessarily have to attend every single web conference you host. While it may seem to make sense to gather everyone into a longer session, it could be an engagement killer. Consider holding smaller web conferences with select individuals.
Run a Tight Ship
One reason people dread meetings is because they tend to drag on without a clear agenda. Creating an agenda and allotting a certain amount of each time per item is a good start. While you’re at it, assign a few key roles: timekeeper, chat moderator, and official note taker.
Send Personal Invites to Improve Web Conferencing
While most web conferencing software will automatically invite attendees, providing them with the pertinent scheduling and access information, sending a personal invitation gives you the opportunity to engage with participants before the conference.
For example, you might write, “Hey John, I’d like you to present the new product demo tomorrow during our weekly web conference. I put you down for 7 minutes. That should be enough time to show the video and share the story behind it. Let me know if you need additional time or have anything else you’d like to share.”
See what we just did? We set expectations. John now knows exactly what’s expected of him, so he can prepare accordingly. He’ll know to have the product demo video ready to go when it’s his turn to present. Not only can this help John better understand his role and eliminate any uncertainty he may have, we’re helping him to become more invested in the web conference. We asked for his input. He’s no longer an idle participant. This is true of the people you’ve asked to be the timekeeper and note taker, too.
Since John will be ready to present, there will be less time wasted waiting for him to locate and load the video. This improves meeting efficiency which will help with everyone else’s engagement.
Have a Little Fun
As your web conference gets underway, warm everyone up with a fun activity. For example, you could ask everyone to take and share a picture of their current view. This is fun when your team is located in different states or countries. Don’t spend too much time on this — just a quick warm up. Schedule this at the top of the agenda and then quickly jump into the heart of the web conference.
Draw Out the Introverts to Improve Web Conferencing
Web conferences are great for introverts, but they may still have trouble getting a word in if others tend to dominate the conversation. Periodically call on individuals, asking for their input. Encourage participants to use the chat box to jot down their ideas and questions throughout the presentation. Ask your chat moderator to keep track of these questions and ideas (culling out any duplicates or comments that have been resolved) so you can address them during the Q&A.
Keep Your Web Conferences Short
Shorter, more focused meetings tend to be more effective than long, drawn out ones, so keep your web conferences short, too.
Send a Follow-up and Share Your Notes and Web Conference Recordings with Participants
Finally, after the meeting, promptly send a follow-up, wrapping up what was discussed and what needs to be done. Including your notes and the recording is helpful.
Improve web conferencing engagement starts with a reliable, easy-to-use desktop web conferencing solution.