Tips to make the best of web conferencing.

By: Thomas Hunter

Web conferencing offers many advantages but with a little preparation, there are still many ways you can maximize its benefits whether you are hosting or attending the conference.

Ensuring the success of your web conference can begin long before the actual session. If you are opting for a session that has video capabilities, then obviously your camera will be an integral part in the success of your web conference. Here are some tips on deciding what camera best suits your needs. Ideally, a web camera should produce at the minimum a 640X480 resolution. Also check how many frames per second (FPS) your camera can handle. An ideal FPS for video conferencing would be about 30 FPS. Digital video cameras meantime offer sharper and faster images but need a device that can support USB to allow it to link you with online applications. A firewall digital camera meantime will especially allow you to see minute details.

If you plan to adopt a web conferencing service especially one with video capabilities for your business, you will need the appropriate bandwidth. You will have to assess how many systems you will have to support at the same time and if your network has end-to-end bandwidth.

Depending on your needs and your budget, you should also keep some things in mind when you choose a web conferencing system. You should know if you will need to interact with people from many different and changing locations or if you will just be communicating with only one location such as a branch office. Some systems offer a fixed connection while others allow access to more locations and can let other users log in. You should also know what extra features you will want. For example, some systems have polling features that will help you in sessions that require secure vote taking.

Before the actual conference, be sure that all your attendees have the proper information they need in order to access the session. Provide log-in information, passwords and make certain that they will not be blocked by firewalls to ensure full participation. Make sure that you can be seen and heard clearly and set target duration for your conference. If possible “pre-flight” your participants. A pre-flight is a check provided by a service provider, usually through web pages, to ensure that everyone’s computer is capable of taking part in the conference.

Also before the conference, try to familiarize yourself as much as you can with the software. Learn what tools you have at your disposal to make your presentation more interactive and increase the impact of the session.

Once you have everything you need, you still have to prepare your presentation and its delivery. Like a director you can employ basic techniques to produce a professional, clean presentation to have more impact. Make sure the web camera is adjusted so that you are at the center of the screen with some head room. Adjust the focus in advance so it will no longer be a consideration during the conference proper. Try not to make any jerky movements as this may distract your audience and cause the screen to blur. Also make sure that you don’t aim lights directly at the web camera. Try to minimize glare by shutting windows.

Try to position your microphone, speakers or headphones to achieve the best position to erase any feedback but make sure that no equipment is blocking your face during the session. Try to eliminate any background noise by turning off other equipment you don’t need such as radios and remember that the sound of shuffling papers, eating or drinking may be picked up by your audio equipment and broadcast during the conference.

Whether you are a businessman, teacher or are using web conferencing for personal targets, it is likely that you have given a presentation before and are familiar with the Internet. It may appear as a novelty however to combine the two. In general however, delivering an on-line presentation and hooking your audience’s interest generally still follows the basic guidelines as giving a traditional presentation.

You should begin your presentation quickly. Just as delays can lessen the impact and the audience’s interest during a traditional presentation, delays can be magnified in a live web conference. Give yourself about an hour to an hour and a half for the presentation but be sure you interact with your audience throughout, allowing them to ask questions. If you need more time, it might be more helpful to schedule additional conferences instead of tackling the whole issue in one go and risk losing your audience’s interest.

If you are new to web conferencing, it might also be more effective to leave the sophisticated features out of your session for the meantime. Make sure you know how to handle the basic elements before you take on the more fancy features such as whiteboarding and application sharing. Try to keep your slides simple with just a few colors. Full-screen photos may take awhile to be displayed to your audience. A few colors and simple graphics will best be displayed.

Even if you are a presenter, web conferencing can allow you to practically put yourself in your audience’s shoes. This can be done by setting up one computer with your view as a presenter and another as part of the audience. This will help you keep a finger on the pulse of the audience during the presentation and see what they are seeing, so you can adjust your presentation.

Because each participant will feel as if they are interacting with you individually and have direct access to you, you should prepare yourself for more questions. This can be handled by having a specialist with you to answer the questions. This way your participants can receive a personalized reply while you can focus on your presentation. Some people even rent emcees for important web conferences in order to eliminate dead air and helping to facilitate the session. These emcees are usually versed in specifically keeping on-line events smooth and flowing.

Wake Up Richer Every Morning... Instant Internet Business Makes Money Automatically... Thomas Hunter is an Internet marketer, author and publisher and has helped hundreds of people become successful Niche Marketers. Explore the highly profitable world of Niche Marketing at our popular website.
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