Business meetings for any company are a time to discuss anything from new ideas, to new opportunities, or any number of things. There are also many different mediums to have business communications. One medium in particular that has been proven effective for progressive meetings is the face to face meeting. The reason is because having a face to face conversation not only allows you to hear what the other person is saying, but see how they are saying it; meaning non-verbal body language indicators. As a matter a fact, statistics show that only 7% of communication is spoken, the other 93% consists of the tone of voice and the body language. This makes it easier for there to be a mis-communication unless both parties are able to see each other. It’s important to understand this point because internal business meetings are a crucial time to make sure the company is on track. For example, meetings can be a time:
• To gather and impart information
• To exchange ideas, views, opinions and suggestions
• To discuss options
• To solve problems
• To make decisions
• And to devise plans
As a result of this, programs like Blue Jeans Network have been created to help fill in the visual gap that communications like the telephone and email can’t fill. This can be beneficial for any company because holding meetings online using video conferencing has its own set on benefits. One being that it helps save time. By using it, people are no longer required to travel long distances in order to have a face to face interaction. This helps make sure that both parties have a better understanding of the content being discussed during the meeting. A side benefit to video conferencing is that it also improves efficiency; most internet conferences can be done in as little as thirty minutes.
With the prices for traveling rising significantly, using video conferencing on a daily basis can help save you money. It helps eliminate costly travel charges like airfare, gas, meals, and accommodations. This can help reduce the effects of those rising prices and the effects of a harsh economy. In addition it allows any member of a company to meet with any other employee at any time. Not only does that increase the company’s internal flexibility, it leads to better team building since employees are able to speak directly to each other more often. Physical location is also no longer an issue in terms of hiring. Not only can you interview a potential hire via video conferencing from virtually anywhere in the world, you can allow them to work from their location without having to relocate.
With the growing popularity of video conferencing, it’s important to try and to make sure all members involved are able to contribute because it may be difficult to tell if all employees are paying attention during a meeting. One method for doing this is to make each participant responsible for a part of the presentation. Doing so helps ensure that all attendees are familiar with the meeting topic which in turn makes them feel more involved in the meeting. This also helps promote healthy dialogues during the meeting. Having smaller sized group meetings also encourages participation because people generally become more familiar and get comfortable with one another faster. Many video conferencing programs have interactive tools. Try to encourage employees to learn some of them ahead of time and apply these skills during the actual internal online meeting. For example, have an employee create a poll or survey to administer after the presentation/conversation.
There are also some subtle, yet important tips that help promote a successful online meeting; one being not to have a messy or inappropriate background. The place where you hold the meeting should mirror your attire. It would be unprofessional to show up to a meeting wearing pajamas, so don’t have the meeting laying in your bed. Choose a location that looks clean and free of outside distractions. It may seem obvious but that main component that sets video conferencing above other forms of communication—the fact that they can see you, can quickly turn those benefits into negatives if you don’t have the proper video etiquette. That’s why it is important to be mindful of your body language and working on other activities. If you appear uninterested or are working on another activity during the conversation it will most likely send the wrong message. This includes things like chewing gum, yawing, crossing your arms, and rocking in your chair.
Overall, holding internal company meetings online can be a great way to increase the productivity of a meeting. No two meetings will be exactly the same but using the information above can provide structure and help create the type of online meetings that match your company.