Welcome to all those who have migrated to ConnectNow from Acrobat Connect; we hope you will enjoy the new-to-you service.
In light of the attention that ConnectNow has been receiving, it seems like a good time to put forth a collection of quick tips for hosting and participating in online meetings. These are just a few things to keep in mind while you’re in a ConnectNow meeting room, but nowhere are these written in stone. You may find that this is a list that you’d like to convert to PDF and have your employees read through and sign – or you might decide that these suggestions simply don’t apply to you (although if the latter is true, you may find a version of this list in your inbox sometime soon, along with a request that you sign it).
Hello, My Name Is…ConnectNow.
When you begin a meeting, quickly introduce the program so that those who aren’t familiar with it will be able to keep up. If you value the message that you’re sending over the course of a meeting, it’s in your best interest to be sure that people are paying attention to you instead of clicking around the various pods trying to figure out why they can’t find the chat feature.
Say it to my face
It’s okay to insist on all participants using their webcams. That way, you can see who’s speaking and what sort of face she is making when she does. As in any meeting, there will be people who won’t have much to contribute verbally; but you can gauge someone’s reaction to various statements by simply noticing her expression, even if she chooses to remain silent. An active webcam will also encourage people to pay better attention instead of chatting or playing mind-numbing online games as you try to discuss strategy.
Further note: If webcams make people nervous, just remind your participants that they can pause their webcams if they need to step out for a moment. No one has to know.
Click… Pause… Now talk.
Ahh, screen sharing in ConnectNow: the one time that it doesn’t feel plain wrong to let your coworkers read over your shoulder. Letting others watch your screen from remote locations is certainly exciting, but there may be a slight lag between your actions and their appearance on others’ screens; it’s a perfectly normal occurrence known as latency. Just remember this word as you’re walking a client through a presentation; if you’re clicking around like mad and don’t allow for the changes on your screen to register on hers, she won’t be able to make any sense of what you’re saying (“What button? There’s no button there! Where are you now?” etc).
That’s not part of the meeting.
Do you get alerts for every new email that comes into your mailbox? How about when there’s a reminder from your calendar? Don’t even get me started on instant messages. These things could pop in the middle of a screen share, and (if you’re sharing your desktop instead of just one application) everyone in the meeting will see the email telling you that your Entomological Quarterly subscription has been successfully renewed. To avoid that sort of public humiliation, you may want to disable alerts or sign out of your email and chat applications before beginning a meeting. You can also maximize the window being shared to cut down on the amount of gray space that the other participants will see.
Further note: Even if you’re only sharing a single application, canceling alerts is a good habit to get into so that the little boxes don’t invade your screen and distract you and others. When you’re on a Mac, your Control Panel will invade in just this way if you don’t minimize the window while sharing.
Remember, the code of conduct for regular meetings still applies, so just because I didn’t say not to interrupt others and didn’t explicitly instruct not to roll your eyes at their comments doesn’t mean you may do so in ConnectNow. This list is comprised of just a few friendly suggestions.
Did I miss anything big? Do you see behavior in online meetings that you’d like to be addressed? Leave a comment below, or write to us at email@example.com.