Article Categories Communications Video-Conferencing

5 Dumb Mistakes That Will Kill Your Web Conference

By: Marv Toyer

1. Starting late
Don't break the cardinal rule of hosting a web conference, distance training seminar, or sales presentation. Be at your desktop and on the phone at least 10 minutes prior to your pre-arranged meeting time. Use the time to 'get in the zone', put on your 'game face', and organize your online presentation physically and mentally.

2. Technical problems
When done well, a properly executed web demo will impress your prospects, 'wow' your colleagues, and make rain fall from the sky. When you spend 20 minutes trying to debug somebody's home network, firewall, or 3G connection, you look like a schmutz -- and Mr. Opportunity has already left the building.

Here's a tip: stay away from smaller or newer web conference providers - especially the ones that are Java or Adobe Flash based. If your user doesn't have Flash or the right version of Java already pre-installed, your sunk. Use a 'name brand' service that doesn't require 3rd-party software and has been around for a few years to smooth out the kinks. A good online meetings and web conference service guarantees connectivity through any firewall and doesn't require third-party add-ons to make it work.

3. Getting an email or instant message interruption
We've already established that you're a technically savvy rain-maker - so you're using online web conferencing to display your nifty PowerPoint slides, brag about the re-designed web site, and show off your cool software widget right from your desktop. Desktop sharing is a great feature to 'virtually' connect everybody to the same desktop in the same room - whether your attendees are a cubicle or a continent away. But don't risk getting interrupted by an embarrassing Instant Message from a colleague that gets broadcast to everybody in your meeting. Prior to all of your online web demos, make sure you close your IM, email, and other social-network programs.

4. Boring content
Don't limit your spiel to a 20-page canned PowerPoint presentation. Your goal is to keep your participant's attention. Keep it interactive with discussion, surveys, or pass control to your prospect and let them "Drive" to see for themselves. We recommend just a few introductory slides, then a quick interactive tour of your product or web site.

5. Boring pace
Respect everyone's time and keep your presentation flowing and interesting. Don't get side tracked and leave individual discussions and scenarios until after the meeting. And I'll end the article here, or risk myself being boring and disrespectful of your time.

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