Web conference calls provide greater communications opportunities for small businesses that can’t afford the travel expenses associated with business trips. Online video conferencing creates a face-to-face meeting, without the cost of business travel. When preparing for video conference calling, make sure the equipment and software are set up properly, and that participants are ready on time.
Equipment for Webcam Conference Call Solutions
Webcam conference calls do not require extensive amounts of specialized equipment. It is possible to conduct a video teleconference with nothing but a webcam-enabled netbook, but computer components designed for web video conferencing do improve the quality of the call. Equipment that increases call quality includes:
Noise-Canceling Microphone – A noise-canceling microphone only picks up audio from the immediate area of the mic. This reduces feedback and background noise, enhancing the ability of both parties to understand all parts of the conversation.
Online Conferencing Webcam – Internet webcams are relatively inexpensive, with low-end models that cost around ten dollars. Even the least expensive webcam can provide an excellent image for online videoconferencing. More elaborate models that offer additional features, such as tracking image movement, are available at a higher cost.
Video Conferencing Monitor – The monitor used for web conference calls should be large enough to get a good view of the other party. It’s not necessary to devote a monitor to video conferencing, unless webcam calls are frequent.
Online Conference Calling Software
Online conference calling software, such as Skype, should be installed and configured long before the scheduled meeting takes place. Ensure that the video meeting software works properly by testing with another site or another computer with the software prior to the meeting date and time. Conferencing software should also be updated to ensure that both sides of the meeting are using the same version of the program.
Scheduling Web Conference Calls
When scheduling web conference calls, it’s a good idea to confirm the meeting on the day before, and to establish who will be initiating the conference so that both sides don’t simply sit and wait for a call. In addition, try to take the other person’s location into consideration when choosing a date and time. For example, it’s a good idea to check to determine the time zone of the other person’s location. Don’t schedule an 8AM meeting on the Japan cams when the other person is Europe – they will be less-than-thrilled with a 5AM webcam conference.
Telephone Conference Calls to Manage Meetings
Business telephone conference calls have become more popular with improved technology. A small/home business owner can plan and organize a conference call based on company needs.
A conference call service is a telephone service which allows numerous participants to connect during a pre-arrange date and time. For instance, training a class of 25 people in a physical location may require locating a space at a hotel, ordering meals, and paying for conference space.
By using a business telephone conference call, a business owner holds virtual meetings on a regular basis. A business does not have to shut its door for several hours because the staff needs to commute to a physical space.
There are several specific reasons when a business owner can use a business telephone conference call. Some reasons include sales presentations, project meetings, weekly team meetings, training classes, and monthly team meetings.
During a telephone conference call, the conference speaker may provide conference participants with helpful reminders on increasing presentation skills to a target sales audience, upgrading selling skills, and finding a sales mentor.
Conference calls can give a project manager ideas about establishing a budget, scheduling company meetings, and hiring staff.
Weekly Team Meetings
A weekly team meeting is centered around a short time frame. For instance, the district manager for clothing company may need to know about a 2 day sale. This information will allow the manager to create a quick plan.
A conference call can explain new training information. An example is a corporate librarian who wants to explain the new catalog system to the library staff. The librarian can encourage questions and answers to help clarify any information.
Monthly Team Meetings
A monthly meeting can be centered around a specific issue which needs several weeks to see results. A perfect example is a sales manager who may need to perform follow-up for a new commission plan. A conference call can allow sales staff to give detailed sales updates.
Things to Remember When Teleconferencing:
Typically, telephone conference calls are short.
The most simple telephone conference can be performed using a three-way call via a telephone company while a standard business teleconference will have 4 or more participants who call on a specific date and time.
A company-related telephone conference should discuss only business issues.
A conference leader should research numerous conference call providers to find the best service. Some services may be better geared towards smaller companies than larger companies.
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