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Tips for Trouble-Free Online Meetings

Online meetings have taken on an entirely new level of importance during the pandemic. It became the only way to meet “face-to-face” with clients and coworkers for several months and is still a preferred method in many companies.

Use of cloud solutions like Microsoft Teams and Zoom have skyrocketed as companies use it to conduct business activities that used to be done in person. For example, 86% of businesses conduct employee interviews via video call.

But the move to video for team meetings, client conferences, training, and more hasn’t been without its problems. Common video conference road bumps include:

  • Difficulty joining the meeting
  • Presenter not understanding sharing or muting controls
  • Frozen and dropped connections
  • Too much time wasted dealing with technical issues (sound/video)
  • Company firewall blocking a meeting software download
  • Screen Sharing mode revealing sensitive data

Video calls are a great way to feel connected without having to travel or worry about safety concerns. Adopting the following online meeting best practices can help yours go off without a hitch.

Have Someone that Can Handle the Meeting Controls

If you’re running an online meeting, having to stop mid-stream to let in a latecomer can throw off your flow. 

If you’re having an important meeting or one with more than a couple of participants, you can ensure things go smoothly by have a “helper” on the meeting with you that can hand things like entry permissions, muting or non-muting participants, granting screen sharing permissions and other technical aspects of the meeting.

Practice with the Software Before You Use It

Some software can be cumbersome to those trying to join a meeting because it requires a download and installation. If the download sticks or their office network firewall blocks it, you can end up with people not being able to attend.

You want the meeting experience to be as seamless as possible, so practice with your colleagues first to see how easy it is to join and what the experience is on the participant side.

You may want to test a few different video conference apps and look for those that have a fast and easy meeting join experience. Look for tools that might be available in your company VoIP application or platforms like Microsoft Teams that allow you to join using a web browser if you don’t have the app.

Use QoS to Prioritize Bandwidth to Your Online Meeting App

Quality of Service (QoS) is a feature that most Wi-Fi routers offer as a way to prioritize which devices and applications get priority when it comes to bandwidth.

If you have issues with your video calls sometimes freezing or breaking up, it can be because bandwidth is being taken by other processes happening on your network.

Use a QoS rule in your router settings to give your video conferencing application a high priority. This should help alleviate connection and freezing problems during your meetings.

Use Meeting Security Settings to Keep Out “Zoom-bombers”

Zoom-bombing is a phenomenon that came into the mainstream during the pandemic because of the significant rise in video meetings. 

It’s when an uninvited party crashes your video meeting for the express purpose of disrupting it, either by shouting or screen sharing inappropriate things.

There are certain security precautions you can put in place to prevent unwanted parties showing up in your meeting:

  • Password protect your video meetings
  • Use the waiting room feature that requires approval before entering the meeting
  • Do not enable screen sharing by default for all participants
  • Don’t share the details of a video call online on a public site

Use Good Meeting Protocols

You should treat video meetings just as you do in person meetings. Which means doing things that promote efficient meetings, such as creating and sharing a meeting agenda ahead of time and honoring the time of participants by ending the meeting on time.

You’ll also want to send out meeting reminders right before the meeting, so someone has the link at the top of their inbox and doesn’t have to go looking for it.

It’s also a good idea to add in an additional 5 minutes to the front of the meeting to give people time to join, get their audio/video turned on, etc. If you plan for this in advance, then those extra minutes won’t take away any of your meeting time.

Prepare Your Computer Desktop

Screen Sharing can inadvertently cause an embarrassing situation or a security issue if something flashes across your screen that shouldn’t.

The biggest culprit is the automated email banners that many people have on incoming email messages. Another problem is having sensitive files up on your computer.

Avoid screen sharing issues by:

  • Pull up all files, websites, etc. you’ll need in advance of the meeting
  • Close any sensitive files 
  • Turn off your banner alerts for email and other programs (Slack, etc.)
  • Practice moving to the files/sites you need, so you can ensure a smooth flow

Get Communication Solutions that Work for You & Your Customers 

GEEK911 can help your business put video meetings and other cloud communication solutions in place that are easy to use and effective.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Call 1-866-433-5411 or reach us online.

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