Video Conference vs. Audio Conference

Conference call etiquette…who needs it? You do!  According to a survey conducted by Wainhouse Research, virtual meetings now outnumber in-person meetings. The study found that virtual meetings save time and money and improve productivity. It also mentioned that conference call technology is growing at a rate of 60% every year.

This is a growing technology so it is important that you understand basic conference call etiquette:

Here is a quick review

Video Conferences should be treated as in-person meetings and therefore you should dress accordingly. Avoid clothes with patterns (such as stripes or prints) because they can sometimes cause interference when the compressed video signal is distributed. You should speak clearly, look at the camera, and don’t leave the room unless you have to.

Audio conference calls have their own challenges. You should always introduce yourself when you speak so that other participants know who is talking. Avoid using a speakerphone and turn off (literally) background noise distractions.

PowerPoint is bad for your brain

Seth Godin points us to this article which says PowerPoint is bad for your brain.

To be fair, the problem is not PowerPoint itself, but how people use it.

This quote says it best:
"It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented."

Video Conferencing versus Business Travel

Companies spend a lot of time, money, and energy on business travel when they could accomplish the same goals with video conferencing. There are outstanding benefits to video conferencing -- some of which you may not have discovered.

The first benefit is that you save time. With video conferencing you can eliminate the time-consuming business travel process. Avoid searching for a rental car, hotel or flight and don’t waste time flying or driving to your meeting. Instead of spending an entire weekend away from your office or home, get it over and done with quickly.

The second benefit of video conferencing – reduced cost.  Hotels, car rentals and flights can be surprisingly expensive, not to mention the other miscellaneous expenses like lunch and dinner. Video conferencing technology and equipment has become much more affordable in the last few years (whereas restaurants and traveling has become more expensive!).

Video conferencing is also better for your health. Why? Business travel can be stressful because you spend time away from family and you are forced to operate outside of your regular routine. This is also why video conferencing also make you more productive because you can work out of your own office, at your own computer, on your own time. Working out of your own office gives you access to important information the moment you need it.

Do you still need more reasons to start video conferencing? How about the fact that you can video tape and record your meeting for future reference? Or how you can enhance your meeting experience by using polling and file sharing features? Or the great impression you’ll make with your associates because you are utilizing cutting edge technology?

The next time you’re sitting in an airport for a three hour layover, or you’re in a hotel paying 25 dollars for internet access --- give us a call or visit our website for more information.

Web Cameras - Smaller and Sophisticated

Seeing people on screen while talking with them by phone has its advantages, but consumers have been slow to take to the video technology and its often grainy images. But there are now better cameras and video services that can change all of that.  There are also portable solutions which are very helpful, as discussed in this New York Times article.

So if you’re in the market for a new web cam, check out these web cam reviews at CNET.com.

PowerPoint Tips for the “Presentationally-impaired”

Bad presenters are like toned-def singers… they don’t know how bad they reallyare. So just in case, here are some tips that will catapult you to becoming the next presentation guru (…or at least point you in the right direction)!

The 10 / 20 / 30 Rule – This stands for ten slides, twenty minutes, and thirty-point font. This is a formula you can implement as you develop and revise your next power point. Remember that the average person can only comprehend about ten different concepts in one sitting. Keep your presentation under twenty minutes to ensure that you leave enough time for Q & A and that you don’t bore listeners with too much information. Lastly, using 30 point font will force you to use fewer words and make your slides easier to understand. This tip comes from Guy Kawasaki (http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2005/12/the_102030_rule.html), who’s blog points us to this PowerPoint competition.

Six Words Per Slide – So why use fewer words? Seth Godin, best selling author and marketing consultant, suggests no more than six words on a slide, EVER (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/01/really_bad_powe.html ). He says that PowerPoint is meant to compliment you as the speaker and not become a replacement. Instead, he suggests using captivating images and catchy headers that will blend well with what you are saying. The fewer the words and the better the image, the more memorable it will be.

Cue-Cards & Handouts – If you limit the amount of words for each slide, then you should make yourself cue-cards to remember the details. You should also create a hand-out with important information on it for your listeners. We advise however that you don’t provide a hand-out until after the presentation or else people might leave early or become distracted by your notes. 

Web Conference Light

web conferencing is a new product specifically designed to enhance the conferencing experience for AccuConference audio accountholders by allowing you to share PowerPoint presentations over the web. It has been demonstrated that including a PowerPoint presentation with your audio conference significantly increases the attention span of your participants.

Web Conferencing light is included in all audio conferencing accounts at no extra charge. It’s time to take advantage of this service and add an exciting new element to your conferences!