. Video conferencing is an art in itself. Most would assume its very easy to pick up and run with and although technology has allowed this to take place as smoothly as possible, you need to follow some simple guides to ensure your conference has the maximum impact.
To start with make sure you are using the right conference software. Chose a reliable and already established, reputable company. Dont go for a free option, you must expect to purchase a package. However this doesnt have to be expensive, and by purchasing a good product, will save you money in the long run.
You will need the following features included in your conference software package; file sharing, desktop sharing, white board, show, video share, power point presentation share, multiple video chat, and give yourself enough seats. Also go with an online conference software package which is streamed from a server, you dont want attendees having to download and install software as this can get messy and complicated and is not always compatible with different systems.
This is how to run a successful online video conference. Your first task starts before you actually have the conference, as you will need to practice speaking into the camera and not at the screen. To gain maximum impact on the attendees, eye contact is vital and takes a bit of practice. I understand that you will need to glance at the screen throughout the conference but you need to try to train yourself to engage the attendees with your eyes. Once you have mastered this, its time to plan your conference.
Plan to have more than one speaker. Stats show people will absorb more information if it comes from different sources. Split the conference into a start, middle and closing section. Keep it light and not overly formal, with a bit of humour to kick things off; this will break the ice for both you and the attendees. Allow text chat for a small part at the beginning of the conference and individually welcome people in. Once the conference starts to flow and you have done the opening section have a slot ready for another moderator to take over and then take turn off the text chat. This will give you a breather, everybody is comfortable now and your moderator can make use of the tools such as power point or video. Now you will find that the conference is running very smoothly and you can return to the conference and continue on yourself with possibly another slot for another guest speaker before you close. Finally at the end, turn the text chat function on again to engage in questions briefly. Make sure your conference doesnt over run. Bad timing leaves a bad stain on your conference, people join your conference expecting to leave at a certain time, try not to let them down.
Following these guidelines will really boost the effectiveness of your conference. You will have delivered an engaging, fun and productive online meeting that your attendees will remember.