Managing Web Meetings and Hangouts

As more organizations adopt Hangouts and other web meeting tools, some of the etiquette rules common for in-person meetings warrant an updated (or just a friendly reminder).

Here are 5 ways to better manage web meetings

1) Understand and Manage the Technology

Make sure you understand how to use the technology and take time to hold practice meetings to tune your skills.  In addition to leading the meeting, you may need to manage features such as mute, document sharing, desktop sharing, chat, and questions.  You may also be managing which video feed attendees see by default.  Controlling these features while conducing a meeting takes practice.  In some cases, you may want to have a “producer” work the controls for you.

2) Define Your Purpose and Outcome

All meetings should have a purpose.  Before scheduling the meeting, define your purpose. Whether to discuss an issue, review status, or make decisions, communicate the purpose clearly with invitees and set expectations so that people arrive on time and prepared.

Consider the desired outcome as well.  Who are the key stakeholders and who are the influencers?  What do you want attendees to think or do after the meeting?  Keep in mind that “Deciding between A and B” is a different desired outcome than “Decide to do A and not B”.

3) Be Professional

Preparation is critical.  More than an agenda, provide invitees with appropriate background materials and sufficient time to review and formulate questions or concerns. Solicit input and suggestions of issues that may arise in the meeting so that you may address or alleviate these before the meeting.

4) Make Your Points; Support Your Ideas

During the meeting, present and speak confidently.  It is fine to be assertive, but not aggressive or defensive.  Be clear.  Be concise.  Organize your thoughts and make your point in a concise statement.  Continue with supporting information as needed.

Questions will be asked.  Expect them, be ready to answer, have your supporting facts and opinions, and don’t take them personally.

5) Manage Conflicts and Stay in Control

Conflicts will happen.  While never desirable and sometimes unpleasant, with sound preparation and confident meeting skills, conflicts can be managed.

Understand who is attending the meetings and, as much as possible, their priorities and viewpoints.  After providing an agenda and supporting materials in advance, solicit invitees for issues and concerns.  Don’t wait for the meeting; start to work on resolving them before the meeting.

If conflict is anticipated, or arises during the meeting, step back and introduce more formality.  Refresh the structure of the meeting and how people can best participate.  Keep the meeting focused on the agenda, and control the microphones if needed to maintain order.

With planning and practice, web meetings will take advantage of the convenience and ability to share information dynamically, without sacrificing decorum and effective outcomes.



Cumulus Global Offers Solutions and Seminars at FETC 2014

FETC-2014Visitors to FETC in 2014  in Orlando later this month have a unique opportunity to learn how Google Apps for Education can serve as platform for robust administrative and classroom computing.

Cumulus Global (Booth #256) is hosting a series of in-booth seminars covering a range of topics from system administration, data protection, and security, to 1:1 program design and professional development for faculty.  Cumulus Global is webcasting the sessions as well, for those unable to attend FETC in person.

With more than a dozen sessions, Cumulus Global intends to offer attendees new perspectives on how schools can effectively Deploy solutions, Gear Up with the best devices and infrastructure, and Transform the learning process.

Session presenters include experts from Backupify, Bettercloud, CloudLock, Edsby, and Eduscape Learning.

Click Here for more information, or to register for one or more of the webcasts. Feel free to Contact Us with any questions.

As a featured exhibitor, Cumulus Global is able to offer the following discount codes for FETC 2014 attendees:

  • Register using code FREE974 for your free Exhibit Hall Pass and access to the Learning Labs, a $50 value.
  • Register using code EDUCATE to save $60 on FETC Full Conference Registration.

Google Presentations Getting Better with Master Slide

masterslideSince its launch, Google Docs has often been criticized for its lack of maturity when compared to Microsoft Office. With major upgrades to Documents and Sheets, the gap has certainly closed quite a bit over the past 18 months.

This months, Google Slides takes a giant leap forward as well, with the addition of the Master Slide feature.  With the ability to create a master template, specific to your presentation, you no longer need to edit common elements on every slide.

This video from Google provides and overview and demo.