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Have you ever left a video conference thinking “another bad WebEx” or “another bad Live Meeting?” Most likely there was no technical issue with either of these web conferencing tools. Both have a long list of features designed to help facilitators present information to their audience in engaging ways. The reason that these types of meetings are given this label is because the facilitator does not know that these functions exist or does not know how to use them adequately.

As a Technology Leader it’s important that you are able to utilize web meeting tools at an expert level for two reasons.

1. As a Leader you want to ensure that you are engaging your audience before, during and after the meeting.
2. As a Tech Pro, or subject matter expert, you need to ensure that you are leveraging  technology so that it is amplifying your expertise.

Three ways to make your next Web Meeting more effective.

Start with A Personal Touch

Create a Personalized Welcome Message – An easy way to use something other than the default welcome message is by informing the participants that the meeting will start 3 to 5 mins after its scheduled time. This is very effective when you want to give participants, who are perhaps running late from another meeting, additional time to join your meeting. An added benefit is that it also gives you more time to complete final setup.

• To activate and customize the welcome message, Go to -> Meeting -> Welcome Message
Live Meeting
• To create a welcome message, Go to -> Content -> Share -> Text Page

Share an Interesting Photo – Share a recent photo of a team outing, humorous photo of yourself, a recent vacation or of your family. Doing this creates an instant conversation starter that will easily get everyone talking and eager to participate.

• To share a photo, Go to -> Share -> File, select your photo
Live Meeting
• To share the photo, Go to -> Content -> Share -> Upload File (View Only), select your photo

Share the Whiteboard – The whiteboard is a very interesting tool that you could use to display your welcome message, the meeting agenda, an interesting quote or a statistic. One of my favorite things to do is to allow and encourage participants to draw on the whiteboard. Do this by writing an interesting welcome message that invites everyone to start drawing (like, “The meeting will start 3 minutes after the scheduled time. Until then please feel free to Doodle… Doodle as in drawing, not what you were thinking.”). Then, sketch a small tree, sun or heart on the white board. Next, turn on the participants’ annotation feature so that they can draw as well. Lastly, once the discussion begins inform participants that you will send everyone the artwork after the meeting along with any follow-up documentation. This always results in people eagerly waiting to get your follow-up email.

Web Ex
• To share the Whiteboard, Go to -> Share -> Whiteboard
• To active the participant’s annotation feature, Go to -> Participants -> Assign Privileges -> Participants tab -> Document column, check mark Annotate
Live Meeting
• To share the Whiteboard, Go to -> Content -> Share -> Whiteboard.
• To active the participant’s annotation feature, Go to -> Attendees -> More icon -> Permissions, check mark Annotate current content

Turn on the WebCam

Create the feeling of a One-On-One experience by turning on the webcam. For example, perhaps you will tell a joke and the raising of your eye brow will help deliver the punch line. Or maybe you are meeting with your team to congratulate them for successfully completing a project and they are able to see the sincerity of that praise through your smile. Often times individuals shy away from using the webcam but you will embrace it because you’re a leader who maximizes the tools available to you and because you are aware that the ability to see your face allows others to read, absorb and react to the emotion in your facial expressions. This effort makes the meeting more personal thus increasing engagement, so make sure that you “turn on the web cam”.

Web Ex
• To turn on the webcam, Click the Video icon next to your name in the participants list (Focus will be on the person actively speaking)
• To lock the video focus on a participant, Click your host name in the active Video window to open the Lock Focus function, then Click the radial button next to “chose a participant” and select a person to focus on
Live Meeting
• To turn on the webcam, Go to -> Voice & Video -> Web camera drop-down menu -> Start My Video

Record Your Meeting

Record the meeting so that it is available for later use. Instead of taking notes during the meeting focus on the conversation and the delivery of your message by letting the application do the In-Meeting-Documentation work for you. Using the video conferencing tool’s recording option allows you to reference the discussion and the information shared during the meeting at a later time for note gathering and/or creating meeting minutes. In addition, you can also share the recording with anyone who wasn’t able to attend.

Web Ex
• To activate the recording option, Go to -> Meeting -> Start Recording
• To manage your recordings, Go to -> My WebEx -> My Files -> My Recordings.
Live Meeting
• To activate the recording option, Go to -> Recording, Click Record
• To manage your recordings, Go to -> Live Meeting Manager -> View -> Recordings