Perhaps the most annoying aspect of holding
teleconferences is the fact that people"s attention
spans can be so short. Why waste valuable time putting
together a complicated presentation only to find that
some participants are checking their emails whilst you
are in full flow?
One of the tricks of keeping a meeting interesting is
to use "moving" images or audio recordings to interest
and stimulate participants. Ask questions at the end
of each clip to ensure full audience participation.
A participant will be more likely to concentrate if he
knows a question will follow. This may sound a little
"schoolish" but better this than wasting resources on
A virtual whiteboard is also another great tool to get
people involved. It not only makes for ease of showing
sketches in real-time, it also allows others to add
their own input to the board for all to see. This is
then captured by the computer for use and archiving
Recording devices are invaluable in these situations
since they accurately record conversations etc. and
can be used to transcribe events of the meeting. This
also keeps people on the alert since they may want to
show "the boss" that they were actively involved.
Above all else, these teleconferences should be
interesting and informative. Although they save the
expense of hotel bookings, flights and travel etc.,
they can deteriorate into hours of wasted time which
defeats the object somewhat.
Be innovative, time is money. "Move" with the times!