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9 Things to Know about Web Conferencing

If executed correctly, a web conference can save you the money and time generally associated with business travel. Conversely, a poorly planned web conference can do more harm than good causing loads of confusion and frustration for all the participants. Here are 10 tips for hosting the perfect web conference:

1) Distribute materials beforehand
Make sure everyone involved has received all the relevant documents well in advance of the web conference. This way, you'll be ready to roll when the conference begins.

2) Distribute password and login information beforehand
As with the materials for the conference, it is crucial that everyone has the correct URL, login ID and password required to get into the meeting. Send out this information the day before the meeting.

3) Test your camera prior to the start of the conference
Grab a co-worker and test out the appropriate camera angles for the web conference. Webcams can be fickle sometimes, so it never hurts to see how you will appear onscreen before the actual event.

4) Test the audio out before the conference
One of the biggest potential problems with web conferencing is a lack of audio clarity during the event. When everyone is settled at the start of the event, say a few words and make sure everyone can hear you properly.

5) Reduce glare
Never hold your conference in an area where light is coming in from behind you. The lighting in your room should always be in front of where you are speaking. Test out the lighting at the same time you test the sound and camera angles.

6) Warn participants about their firewalls
Firewalls can often block users from gaining access to the web conference. Instruct participants to turn off their firewalls before entering the conference, preferably the day before the conference.

7) Listen up for unwanted noise
Shuffling or crinkling papers on your desk might seem quiet to you, but they could deafen your remote participants! Keep still and always remember that there is a microphone present.

8) Run the software through its paces
This is especially important if you have never used the web conferencing software before. Nothing is more embarrassing than fumbling for control during an important web conference. Hold a test conference with your coworkers the day before the event to get comfortable with the functionality.

9) Practice makes perfect
Rehearse your lines before the event. This will help you present more smoothly and give you a proper idea of how long each segment will run.

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