Choices don’t have to be binary. So embracing webinars and virtual meetings doesn’t mean you’ll never get together in person again. Nor does opting for a face-to-face meeting mean you have to turn your back on the wonders of technology.
Enjoying work means not being completely miserable, especially with the other human beings on your team. Which is why meetings can actually be fun - as long as you don't confuse 'fun' with 'fluff'.
We all complain about how much time we waste in meetings. But some meetings do have a point and there are lots of good reasons to have one. Equally, though, there are some compelling reasons not to.
It's one of the great unanswered questions of the workplace. If the main purpose of our having a job is to get work done and the meetings aren't part of that work, why do we have so many of them?
Many people suffer from an irrational fear of running a webinar or remote meeting. Since this is a very real barrier to team success, its worth exploring what it is that people are afraid of – and how to get over these fears.
Studies tell us that most people think two-thirds of the time they spend in web meetings is wasted. That means organizations are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars down the tube every year because they can't or won't make their web meetings better. And that makes me angry.
Many companies today are doing more internal training with in-house Subject Matter Experts. But while webinars are a terrific tool for leveraging the brainpower in an organization, sometimes these sessions don't turn out to be quite as successful as we would like.
All good webmeeting platforms allow you to set permissions for what attendees can and can't do while they're online. And if you don't give people permission to use the tools available to them, you'll never get the most out of the experience.
One of the most important functions of a meeting is talking to each other. And that's why the Chat and Q+A features of webmeeting platforms are so useful. Here's how to use them more effectively.
Some webmeeting platforms make it hard for you to leverage their full capabilities. In fact you sometimes find yourself wondering whether the engineers who designed the darned things have ever actually tried using them to get any work done.
One of the most common ways to get feedback in a live meeting or presentation is also available, in one form or another, with online meeting and conferencing platforms. I'm talking about the good old raising of hands.
Not everyone is wowed by virtual meetings, but debates about whether meeting face-to-face is always preferable are spurious and counter-productive. There's a time and place for both, and the decision to have a virtual meeting is not always about money.
Getting a remote team to innovate and generate ideas exercises a very particular set of leadership muscles. To be effective, you need to cultivate your situational awareness.
The consensus is that brainstorming is far more effective when everyone's together in the same place. But it can be accomplished via webmeeting and other tools - if you know what you're doing. The secret is to create an environment where outcomes come before process.
The problem with most web meetings is that you aren't taking full advantage of the tools available to help you. In fact, 80% of presenters and meeting leaders use only 25% or so of the features available to them.
To get the most out of people in a webinar or video-conference, you need to separate input from speaking and understand that there's a distinction between getting input and the form that input takes.
Einstein knew that time is relative. And if presenting online or conducting webinars had been around in his era, that fact would have made him feel very comfortable. Because the key thing about webinars is that they too are all about the passage of time.
Turning raw data into meaningful information is a key part of a manager's job. And smart managers know that webinars or videoconferencing tools can help translate one into the other.
If you think that you can deliver the same presentation online or as a webinar as you do in a classroom or conference setting, think again. The online presentation environment is different for both the presenter and audience. And that means your presentation needs to be different, too.
You don't always have to meet face-to-face. But equally, you can't expect to be an effective leader or manager if you rely entirely on videoconferencing. In the real world, it isn't a simple choice of one or the other, but more 'how' and 'when'.
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