More and more small businesses are finding virtual meetings useful. Virtual meetings have many advantages:
To hold a virtual meeting, you’ll need a software app that works in your browser. There are many choices available, including Zoom, UberConference and GoToMeeting to name a few popular choices.
It’s easier than you might think to hold a virtual meeting. The learning curve is more psychological than any skill or equipment needed. You’ll need a computer, and you can use your phone or your computer for audio. If you use your computer for audio, you’ll need a microphone and speakers.
For best results, you should also have a webcam built into your computer, or you can purchase one separately and connect it. Everyone is camera-shy, or webcam-shy, but don’t let that stop you! You can always host a meeting without video.
If a service offers a free account, use that option to try out virtual meetings. Just be aware of the limitations (such a number of attendees, time limits, etc.) that may be attached to a free service.
Once you’ve set up an account, you can schedule a meeting or host a meeting on the fly. Setup choices include whether you’ll use computer or phone audio, whether you want the video to be on or off, and whether you want to record the session, which can be very handy. You can also mute and unmute participants, so that it can be used for classes as well as meetings.
Here are a few tips to make sure your virtual meetings go off without a hitch:
- Treat a virtual meeting with the same importance as a face-to-face one: be on time, have an agenda, and make sure everyone is heard.
- Audio quality is probably more important than visual quality. If you are new to the software, do a test run before you start inviting clients to meetings so you can get through any learning curve. Consider using a microphone headset for higher quality sound.
- For good video results, face a window or light source so that your face is not in shadow. The brighter the better; everyone looks better with more lighting because the light erases wrinkles! If possible, the webcam lens should be at eye level or above. You can use books under your computer to raise it if you need to.
Try virtual meetings in your business and see how they can help improve your ability to serve your clients and support your business needs. We’ve seen it in our business. We can assist clients from anywhere as needed. This allows us additional schedule flexibility to support your success.