Effective Teleconferencing For Effective People
Teleconferencing is, probably, the most efficient communication breakthrough of the 20th century. The underlying thought is to allow a group (three or more people) interactive communication through an electronic venue between people at different locations!
Teleconferencing is being used in the following ways this minute:
- Audio conferencing, utilizing telephones
- Video conferencing, making the most of interactive televisions with sound,
- Digital conferencing, using printed communication over computers and keyboards.
Impressive cost saving on group meetings that includes cost of flying, setting up the venue, food, and other related costs.
Meetings are focused and a lower amount of time is lost.
People and speakers who cant spare effort for face-to-face meetings can participate.
The most basic trouble with teleconferencing is technical failure. A nightmare for all organizers, teleconferencing also requires basic training or orientation for participants in use of equipment. Teleconferencing is also a hindrance in interpersonal communication required for negotiation and bargaining.
It is also hard to break ice during a teleconference and establish a connection between participants. A top notch teleconference depends on detailed planning of the event.
The following tips can help you have a better teleconferencing session:
Think through the Agenda
It is surely imperative that you plan your items on the agenda. The agenda itself should be uncomplicated, well defined and should spell out the expectations from the participants. Keep in mind the participation and if you expect an input from everyone on every item, then make sure that you have built in a sufficient amount of time for the meeting. Also, recommend to the participants that they go through the agenda before the teleconference.
It is central that all participants have prior access to dial in number and pass-codes. You must also convey if you are offering a toll-free number. Check all supplies before the conference and ensure that you have a back plan for technology failure.
If you are the facilitator, it makes sense to be the first one online. A team-building activity could help get the meeting to a good start (specifically if the group is diverse and is meeting for the first time!). Be careful to demonstrate the protocol and the talking order to avoid confusion and an arrangement where one person monopolizes the meeting.
Least disturbance should be the decorum of all teleconferences. As a participant it is your job description to ensure that you dont introduce noise in the form of noisy background, buzzing sounds of low grade cordless phones, reception errors of cell phones any other noise like rustling paper or tapping pens. If the calls are long, the organizers must offer breaks at predetermined times.
If the call is an international one, be aware of accents and stay away from speaking too fast.
Other Hints for Organizers
- Use names to get notice.
- Use more than one speaker to break monologue and tedium.
- Involve everyone and if required go around in circles asking for input.
- During breaks, pair off people to facilitate interaction.
- Share duties, like taking notes, with participants to encourage interaction.
- Do take ongoing dialogue for which you need to be ready with constructive criticism forms.
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