Even before the corona crisis, employees worked more and more often from home or project-related across the company and sometimes national borders. If you want to meet for a conference to discuss the latest progress, challenges or how to proceed, there is often a huge organizational effort. The alternative: web conferences or webinars. A must, especially in times of distance rules and stricter hygiene regulations.
Meetings? Pure waste of time!
“A pure waste of time” – without the crucial minutes of preparation time and with a monotonous moderation without change, a justified statement. Unplanned conferences without fixed goals put participants off in the run-up to the next online meeting. However, projects in which several members work together need a clear exchange of ideas without communication barriers. How else do you want to communicate effectively remotely?
Webinar: Virtual Instead of Face-to-face Meetings
Managing directors, project managers and team leaders have recognized the advantages of virtual collaboration for shared file access and the availability of employees working worldwide. Ultimately, this saves costs: unproductive business trips that waste too much time and effort – not to mention the stress of travelling colleagues – are a thing of the past. Instead, teams receive quickly made decisions in short reaction times.
Web Conferences, Webinars & Webcasts
There are three conventional ways of virtual exchange: web conferences, webinars and webcasts:
- Web conferences are virtual online meetings in private or with several participants. The role of those involved can switch between active and passive participation at any time. Beginners, in particular, can hold a meeting quite intuitively.
- In the webinar, a moderator presents himself to several, sometimes up to hundreds, of listeners. Participants often can interactively participate in the presentation via chat messages, ask questions, or give feedback.
- Webcasts enable virtual events to be held with many participants, but mostly without the possibility of interaction. As a rule, professional video transmission techniques are used for webcasts.
The Matter of Data Protection
In all three cases, the choice of the program also plays a major role. Not every program is well suited to hold a webinar about it. Find out about your options well in advance of the online appointment. Among other things, the video conference platform Zoom has established itself in the corona crisis. Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t take privacy seriously—an even more important topic for confidential data. Regardless of which platform you ultimately choose, you must deal with it beforehand and master the respective program’s basics.
Tips For Productive and Efficient Webinars
Tip 1: Prepare Instead of Being Haphazard
Prepare yourself; think about what you want to say and present. Avoid impromptu appointments – a lack of preparation quickly becomes like an unprofessional shot from the hip. But don’t overdo your topic planning – nobody likes to listen to a robot.
Tip 2: Take Turns in the Tree
Let everyone have their say, actively involve passive participants in the action, speak slowly and clearly – otherwise, there is a risk that your participants will switch off quickly. Also, the common exchange instead of a monologue promotes the flow of ideas.
Tip 3: Eliminate Mistake Devils
Imagine the facilitator showing a PowerPoint presentation that is full of spelling mistakes. No big deal, but embarrassing, ill-prepared and unprofessional in front of customers.
Tip 4: Don’t Forget Your Customers!
A first online meeting is like a first date: You appear as agreed, talk all night and leave without the other person having the chance to say anything. Ask if your participants have any questions – your customers will notice your appreciation. Interact in your presentation in such a way that you leave a lasting impression.
Tip 5: A Fresh Appearance as a Self-confidence Booster
The more comfortable you feel – well-coiffed, smartly dressed – the more self-confidence you exude in an appointment or online meeting. With a firm voice and convincing words, you lead presentations more to the goal than in a sloppy look. Your presentation’s content will speak for itself; a confident demeanour will help convey this to your participants.
Tip 6: The Good Old Days (Everything was Better Before Corona!)
Even if there are sophisticated tools and technologies for efficient online meetings: a personal conversation with colleagues, three offices away can sometimes lead to your goal faster than some sophisticated technology. Only use web conferences and webinars when it makes sense.