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While technology is continuously improving to facilitate seamless web conferencing tools, there are no technology advancements to set up an engaging Web Conference. Thankfully, we’ve put together 5 straightforward tips to engage with your audience so you don’t have to wait for IT to develop a solution.
An engaging Web Conference require preparation time
If you’re hoping that participants will contribute to the call, it is important to give them time to prepare. Otherwise, they’ll be too busy figuring out how they can contribute instead of listening to what other participants are saying. A simple way to achieve this is to prepare an agenda and ensure to clarify at what points in the web conference they will be contributing. Also be clear on what type of participation you’re expecting – Should they prepare a powerpoint slide? Is there certain data they should have prepared? etc.
Only invite genuine stakeholders in the discussion
When preparing your invitation list, ensure that you’re not inviting everyone on your contact list. If the conversation impacts everyone on the call, you will find they are much more attentive and will contribute more, adding to how engaging the web conference is overall.
By acquainting everyone with each other and fostering connections between different participants, your guests will be more engaged in the conference.
You can do this by referring to people by their name during the discussion. Some web conferencing solutions will jump between participants’ webcams as they take turns speaking, mimicking a more engaging, real-life conversation. If this is not the case, you might consider showing profile pictures and names of the different participants.
Keep the goal of the meeting to the fore of the conversation
Make sure you have a goal for the discussion and once you have that goal in mind refer to it during the conference often. This will help participants remain clear on what they need to achieve, creating a feedback loop (How close are we to achieving that goal?) which will keep participants invested throughout the conversation. They will also have confidence that the Host of the conference isn’t wasting their time and has a clear plan of action to stick to. And believe me, there is nothing more engaging than that!
Don’t stick to powerpoint! Use a variety of mediums!
One of the major benefits of using Web Conferencing as a collaborative medium is that you have visuals and other communication tools to work with. Make sure that you’ve gotten full training on your chosen web conferencing solution so that you have a grasp of all the features available to you. Don’t just stick to a powerpoint that summarises what you’re saying, use multimedia to give participants variety and to keep them engaged. You can even use interactive mediums such as in-conference polls to get feedback from your participants. Whiteboards are also a great way of bringing people to contribute.
While everyone and every audience will be different, these five tips should get you started on hosting more engaging web conferences.
Let us know if you have any tips you’d like to share!