As far as communication techniques go, two-way video has revolutionized the way that companies and organizations communicate perhaps even more than the telephone. Video communication can bridge the gap between time zones and countries, office staff and off-site staff. However, the age of video might mean some changes in how new materials and meetings are presented. Using an Enterprise video conferencing app is a tool, and here are some tips and tricks on how to use it.
Banish Bad Meetings
Everyone has been to meetings that make one long for maxillofacial surgery. Your eyes glaze over, your leg goes numb, your brain become so desperate for stimulation that you end up playing games on your smartphone just to stay awake. Some of your colleagues may demonstrate the eyes wide open sleeping technique exhibited by undergraduate students. Nobody is paying attention even if the subject matter is relevant because they are being bored to death. Part of the reason is that large meetings are unwieldy, and it takes a certain amount of finesse to keep everyone engaged much less awake.
Part of the reason that meetings are boring is that by and large, they don’t need to exist at all. Even the Harvard Business Review questions the need for a meeting for everything, and takes aim at superfluous meetings with a flowchart.
Yes, it really is that simple. Not everything needs a meeting and if you don’t need a meeting, then don’t hold one.
Don’t Abuse It
If two-way video revolutionized organizational communication, then the addition of Internet capability and interactive video casting has opened up an entire new dimension. That being said, one of the quickest ways to make a tool useless is to overuse it. Making your corporate videocasting effective depends on how it is used. With apps like BlueJeans being able to record meetings for later playback, access the documents in media in app, and use moderators’ controls to keep things running smoothly, corporations that have mass meetings, seminars, or training sessions only to themselves to use best practices. Let’s look at five points that can make your communications and videocasts more effective.
- Create an agenda. Part of creating an agenda is deciding how much time it will take to address a given subject. When someone makes a presentation for five or 10 minutes, it is appropriate to include a question and answer session immediately following. The way to create a realistic agenda is to estimate how much time you will need to hear from your colleagues.
- Hold the point. Invariably there is always one person in the meeting who will want to bring up items that are not on the agenda. Simply brushing them off will not do, as their concerns are valid to them. It’s better to ask for a chance to communicate with them outside of the meeting, and to hear them out.
- Communication is a two-way street. Communication is not about one person doing all the talking, and everyone else doing all the listening. Speaking and listening are two parts of communication – one part cannot exist without the other. Keep interruptions to a minimum, but at the same time allow for open communication within the agenda.
- App training and usage. When using a new application for videoconferencing, it can take some time for people to learn the new system. Institute training days for everyone to get a crash course in the basics, and then ask people to use it as a matter of daily routine. This will familiarize them with the applications usage, and make meetings proceed smoothly when they are called.
- Keep it short. It’s easy to say that meeting should last no more than 20 minutes, or 30 minutes, or 90 minutes. The reality is different subjects will require different amounts of time. Some standing meetings can take five minutes in a hallway, however videocasts are something different. If your subject is a lengthy one, such as an all-day seminar, breaks and meal time should be scheduled appropriately.
TED and You
Remember, TED talks top out at 18 minutes for a reason. It has been said that 18 minutes is just enough time to be serious will not being too long to hold people’s attention. Presenting your material in the format laid out in Forbes magazine will greatly enhance your effectiveness. This is how people sit through an entire day of TED talks and never get bored, indeed, they revisit the lectures, remember them, and are profoundly affected by them – this is what an effective meeting or videocast does. Your organization has a powerful tool at its disposal, and as you continue to hold videocast and video conferences you will find that your skill is refined, and that your audiences are much more receptive and engaged.