Years ago, the only way to gain a large audience for an event was to put it on television. This is why sporting events and other similar television shows were aired on television. This allowed the event to gain a national audience, drawing in big-name sponsors as well.
During the early years of the television, it was quite expensive to produce and air a television show of any kind. This is why the majority of shows weren’t broadcast live and most of the taped shows were provided by the largest sponsors.
Today, the use of the Internet has become a much cheaper option when it comes to producing a live video broadcast. With the high transmission speeds and video clarity, live streaming video over the Internet can be the best choice. However, there is still the question of whether these live Internet webcasts are actually better than television. Detailed below are five ways that live streaming video can be more effective than the traditional television broadcast.
Target Your Audience
Most people in the business world understand the importance of targeting your audience for the best results. When you use live video broadcasting through television, it can often be difficult to ensure you are reaching your target audience in particular. If you can’t broadcast your event live on television and need to settle for a later showing, people won’t be interested either because they may have already obtained the information they required through the Internet. This makes live video streaming online a logical choice. The people who want to watch will know where to go to watch.
Engage Your Audience
When it comes to many live events, it is the thrill of watching in the moment that best captures the viewers. If your broadcast is results-based, you need to make sure you are giving your audience exactly what they want to see in the moment because this is your only chance. With a live video broadcast, you want to keep your audience interested and watching.
The use of the Internet for live video streaming also provides the opportunity for more interaction among your viewers. Many video streams online also include a Q&A box or comment box so your viewers can share information during the presentation. You can even allow your viewers to send you a message or encourage them to vote on their favorite part of your presentation through surveys and polling.
Save More Money
Originally, television programs had to spend large amounts of money to get their show on the air. The production costs along were often large, even for low-quality shows. In addition, these shows had to pay to appear on the major television networks or contract with smaller local networks to get any air time. This created major costs many show producers couldn’t afford.
With advances in technology, production equipment has dropped drastically in price, allowing many production companies to create quality broadcasts for much less, even a live video broadcast. Using live streaming video over the Internet is also a much cheaper delivery method. When you are able to save money on production and delivery, you can refocus those funds to other areas of your business.
Reach a Larger Audience
Everyone wants to be able to reach a larger audience. After all, this is what made live video broadcasting over the television so popular. However, when you air these events over the television, it limits you to the people who have access to a television, as well as the station on which you will broadcast. With live video streaming online, many of these restrictions are eliminated, helping you reach a much larger audience.
Most people have access to an Internet-enabled device at many times of the day and night, even while they are at work or out of the home. With the use of these devices, people will be able to view your live video broadcast, no matter where they are. This increases your audience size drastically.
Be Exclusive for More Value
Television shows are no longer exclusive. If you miss your favorite television show, all you need to do is look it up on YouTube, Hulu or a variety of other services that show broadcast television later. In addition, if people attend your live event and take video of your own, they can often stream it online faster than you can, reducing the value in your event.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to use live video streaming to ensure you reach your audience first. Even if others are using cell phones or other devices to attempt to stream your event live, the quality and benefit won’t be there.
If you are wondering if your next live event should be televised or streamed online, consider these factors. With the increased use of the Internet, live video streaming can often offer you more benefits than live video broadcasting over the airwaves, especially if you can’t afford to pay for live broadcasting.
Years ago, making an international conference call was a pricey venture and also lacked in quality, making it difficult to conduct business across oceans and around the world. Back in the mid-1900’s when audio conferencing was first introduced across international lines, a live operator was required. Today, with all the changes in technology that have taken place, international phone conferencing has changed for the better. All users need to do is dial a specified phone number and enter their access code to be immediately connected to others around the world. In addition, an operator is no longer needed.
Technological Advances in International Calls
Over the years, overseas calls have drastically improved due to the technology that is used. This makes audio conferencing a more realistic option for many businesses that have dealings around the world. In fact, the clarity is improved enough to feel as though the person is in the next room instead of halfway around the world. The clear audio and reliable connections are common in international phone conferencing today. This improved quality is due to technological advances, such as fiber optic cables and faster transmission speeds to reduce sound delays and create clearer calls.
MP3 technology has made a major impact on recording capabilities for audio conferencing. These compressed audio files don’t take up as much space and offer incredible clarity. In some cases, you will be able to automatically record all your international conference calls and save them in this quality format to use for on-demand listening. You can also distribute it to those who were at the conference to provide them with a record they can listen to again to ensure they get the most out of the call. In addition to these uses, the recordings can also be transcribed or even translated to best meet your needs. You can even share it with other people who would benefit from the information or place it on your website for more public use.
Improvements in International Conference Call Access
With the advances in technology international conference calling, it is easier than ever for anyone to access these calls. Perhaps one of the greatest improvements to audio conferencing is it no longer requires an operator to log in first to handle all the incoming calls. Instead, the attendees are given a toll-free number to call, as well as the date and time and an access code to enter. This is all the information that is needed to access the conference call. To attend, they only need to call the number, follow the prompts to enter the access code and gain an immediate connection to everyone else on the call.
Another great feature for international conference calling is called “dial out.” With this type of audio conferencing, the person who starts the call is able to dial out to add people to the call. This can be a useful feature in a variety of situations, including when attendees are located in a country that doesn’t support toll-free calling or when someone fails to show up to the conference. Some systems will also allow organizers to schedule dial-outs to specific numbers at a designated time, automatically bringing people into the call at the right moment. This feature prevents forgotten calls and lower calling rates.
Reduced Calling Costs
At one time, it was incredibly expensive to make an international conference call, often $10 per minute or more. As technology improved and the increase in competition in the audio conferencing markets, international call rates have dropped dramatically. Many countries are charging $0.10 or less, with most of them with rates under $1 per minute.
Integrated Management Features
Today, an international conference call may even be held over the Internet, providing you with even more features. If conference calls are a common part of your routine, you can set up a schedule with recurring calls, choose participants and even input the phone numbers of the people who attend your audio conferencing calls most. With some conference calling plans, you can even make call reservations, schedule calls or set up calls on-demand.
The advances in technology have had a positive impact on how people communicate today, both online and offline, particularly with international conference calling. With the improvements in transmission speeds, quality, costs, access simplicity, integrated account management and various calling features, conference calls have taken on an all new meaning. Taking advantage of these changes will ensure your business can reach a global audience, enhancing your ability to grow and succeed.
Everywhere you turn on the Internet you will find streaming video designed to serve a variety of purposes. Many Internet users now expect to be able to view things online, whether they are watching live television or sporting events or on-demand videos, including rerun television shows and user-generated content. Internet users want features that are similar to the DVR systems they use in their homes.
To keep up with this trend, you need to know something about Flash video encoding and how to post these videos online for your benefit.
Encoding Live Video
Streaming live video can be complicated because you need to capture, encode and then stream the video instantly to provide the same live effect as television. Sports games and newscasts are among the most common types of live streaming video. Adobe is one of the leading ways to complete video encoding and streaming of live video with a variety of options for both user-generated content and video that requires higher quality, such as sports and newscasts.
Encoding On-Demand Video
By definition, on-demand video means it is a video that is recorded ahead of time and watched at your own convenience. For instance, if you miss your favorite television show because of a previous engagement that took you out of the home, you may be able to find it online after the show has aired. You can then watch it whenever you have the time to do it.
On-demand video is often more friendly toward Flash video encoding. This is because you are able to experiment with the settings some to ensure you obtain the high quality you desire without increasing the size of the file too much. With the use of encoding software, you will be able to edit the video, add special effects and use many editing tools to create the type of on-demand video you desire. The primary difference between working with live video versus on-demand is live video requires you to monitor and encode a live feed, while on-demand videos work with a video file.
Understanding the Video Encoding Process
When you are encoding video with Flash, you will go through the following process:
- Capture the video
- Encode it into the proper delivery format
- Deliver the video over the Internet
- Play the video on the viewer’s computer or other online device
So why do you need to encode the video? First of all, raw video creates a rather large file. Without the encoding process, this file will be way too large to transmit and play over the Internet. The goal of the Flash encoding process is to shrink the file size down as much as possible without impacting the quality of the video, which requires a delicate balance. For instance, you may be able to experience great quality at 4 Mbps, which is the number of bits per second that is transmitted, with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels; however, you would need an Internet connection speed of greater than 4 Mbps to stream it well. You could also download it, but the file will be about 1.5 GB. While you can create a video that streams on as little as 100 kbps, the quality will be drastically lower.
Once you understand Flash video encoding, you will understand the importance of this process to streaming video, whether live or on-demand, so you can offer viewers the best quality.
In today’s global economy, many businesses now require their employees to travel on a regular basis. While single employees or even those who are married without children often enjoy this travel, employees who have families often have difficulty with the amount of travel that is required. When a video conference isn’t an option and you need to send your employees in person, keeping them connected to home with web conferencing can build morale and increase productivity, even when your employee is away from home and missing his family.
According to a study conducted at Cornell University by The Center for Advanced Human Resources Studies, it was uncovered that employees who worked remotely often felt disconnected with the workplace, as well as feeling isolated and lonely in their work. Without the face-to-face interaction many employees are used to in the workplace, it was difficult for these employees to feel as if they are part of the team. The same is true when you are sending your employees out in the field, away from their families for extended periods of time. With the help of video conferencing, you can change all that.
While it has always been possible for traveling employees to stay in touch with their families via email or phone calls, technology has changed, leading to the use of web conferencing to provide that face-to-face interaction employees are missing with their families. For instance, when an employee has a young child and is away for several months on a project or possibly even a year or two, that child can change drastically. When video conferencing isn’t used, the employee can lose touch with these changes in their child’s life. Pictures just don’t do the changes justice in most cases. Parents are able to witness any major milestones firsthand.
Email is a useful tool for helping people stay in touch with each other; however, this avenue makes it difficult to really feel connected by hearing and seeing someone else. When families are separated by hundreds or even thousands of miles, it is easy to miss those little nuances you take advantage of when you are together. Video conferencing helps you keep those nuances alive while keeping in touch in a more personal way. Even a short five-minute face-to-face interaction can be enough to recharge your employees and improve their mood, thus increasing productivity.
In addition to using web conferencing to allow your employees to reach out to their families while they are traveling on business, video conferencing is also a useful tool for keeping informed at the office. Your employees can attend meetings, even while they are away on a business trip, and simply keep the boss or anyone else apprised of their progress while away. It can also be used to allow employees to work from home, reducing their stress levels that are often associated with long commutes and helping them be more productive in their work.
Whether you are looking to help your employees connect to family or the office while they are on a business trip or you want to give them the opportunity to work from home some or all of the time, web conferencing can be the right choice.
Just about everything in the media today is recorded digitally for the highest level of quality. This can include audio, video and even text media, all of which are used in business, communications and entertainment. For this reason, it is important to understand the different types of digital media services that are available and how they can be used. These services include all those that are used from the conception of the idea through to the final production and broadcast, including the design of the content, the production process and getting the final product out to the public.
The Entertainment Industry
The entertainment industry is one of the primary areas in which digital media is used because of the heavy reliance on the quality of the audio and video. Movies are often produced by sound and video engineers who use digital audio and video to create the movies everyone enjoys going to see. Digital media services may also be used after the actual video is shot to correct any mistakes or to add special features into the film, such as animations. The audio engineer will also work with the footage to ensure the audio and video line up properly for the best possible experience. Even the television and music industries make use of digital media services in their work. Even much of the online entertainment available is streamed in digital.
The business world relies greatly on digital media services to allow them to communicate more efficiently with their customers and even their employees. These businesses will often use digital media to create any documents or even to build a quality website. Because many businesses make use of videos online and for presentations, they often require the high quality digital can provide, allowing them to advertise their business to the masses more effectively.
Digital media is a fairly new technology. This means there are still plenty of tapes out there that are not in digital. When you have analog audio or video, you can find digital media services that are able to convert the sound and video into digital quality so you can enjoy it for even longer. Some of the most common uses for these conversions including scanning and repairing old photographs, transferring a record album to a digital format or changing a cassette tape into a digital recording. Even libraries can turn all their movies, books and videos into a digital archive with these services.
No matter how you choose to use digital media services, distribution is the final stage in the process. For instance, the music industry offers a variety of sites that offer the digital storage and distribution of music. Other websites allow users to store, categorize and distribute their digital photographs. Even digital text has its place in the Internet world, allowing writers and others to store their work online or distribute their content in a high-quality format.
By understanding the various digital media services and how they are used, you will be able to determine which options are best for your purposes. In closing, utilizing these services will aid in ensuring that your end result will serve your purposes even better.
Videos have become a critical element in the world of the Internet. Today, it is important for all businesses to consider the use of a live webcast as a way to reach out to a much larger audience because of the increased use of video online. It isn’t only content videos you need to think about for your website; many businesses now use webcasting for other purposes, including meetings, lectures, conferences and other business events to help them better reach their audience. A webcast is a great way to give information to those you want to reach, but it is also a way to save money, especially when your audience is located around the world.
It doesn’t matter what the purpose of your live webcast is, when you follow the right webcast tips, you will be able to create a long-lasting impact. When you choose webcasting to meet your needs, you will be able to post a recording of the webcast for those who couldn’t attend, as well as those who would like to review the information. You will also be able to reach those who couldn’t attend a traditional event because they are located too far away, in a different state or even a different country. The interaction that is available at a live event will make them feel as if they are there.
If this is the right choice for your business, there are a few factors to consider as you set up your webcast.
The Planning Stages
A vast majority of the work required for a live webcast occurs before the event during the planning stages. When you take the time to think about the problems that can occur and research webcast tips, you will be able to reduce the amount of stress you will deal with during the event because you aren’t prepared.
There are many things that can go wrong, especially if you are hosting a live webcast. Just like live television, when something goes wrong, it will be broadcast to everyone. It is how you handle it that is important. However, if you run several tests before your live event, you will decrease the chances of problems during the event and will ensure a seamless broadcast that doesn’t cause frustration for your viewers. Before the event, it is also important to make sure your Internet connection and servers are capable of handling the traffic your webcasting will attract.
The planning stages are also a time to send out invites and market it in as many places as possible. You will need to make sure the date and time of the event are clear and everyone knows how to access the webcasting event. Some of the options for marketing your event include published advertisements and individual emails.
Recording Your Event
Think about the type of webcast you are hosting to determine if you can use a single camera for recording or if you will need multiple cameras to produce the effect you desire. Remember your Internet users are going to have a shorter attention span than if they are watching TV, requiring you to keep your recordings short and to the point. Choosing multiple cameras can also make things more interesting to hold the attention of your viewers.
Production value is another important element for your recordings. If the lighting isn’t suitable or the audio quality is poor, you will have a difficult time attracting the attention of your audience. If you are hosting a live webcast, this can be a bigger problem, but with the help of the right webcasting company, you will be able to achieve the level of quality you require to make an impression on your viewers. In addition to improved quality, this company can help you with any potential problems that typically occur during these webcast events.
Some events make use of a slideshow, in addition to a presenter. When this is the case, you need to be able to implement this smoothly into your webcasting. The best option to ensure you are able to seamlessly tie these two features together is to find the right company to work with you to broadcast the slides and the live video feed of the presenter at the same time on the same screen. This will provide a more interesting event your viewers will want to follow.
Anytime you are in front of an audience, whether in person or via a live webcast, your delivery will make or break the event. With webcasting, the most important factor is putting your event in front of your audience. One of the most effective ways to do this is to send a link directly to your viewers that will take them to the webcast when they click on it. You can also implement your branding into this email for the greatest impact.
Another important factor for your delivery is the player on which your webcast will play. There are numerous players from which you can choose, making it essential to consider your audience’s needs when you select one. For instance, if a vast majority of your potential audience will view on Mac computers, QuickTime can be a great option. Using Adobe Flash Player is a good option for a more diverse audience because it is installed on a majority of Internet-enabled computers and devices. When you choose the right player, those who view from work computers won’t need to worry about the need to install something to view the webcasting or experience problems with their firewall.
If you choose something that may be complicated for some users, you need to do what it takes to make it easier for everyone to use. This may include offering a tech support number or a guide to teach users how to use the software.
Top Webcast Tips
Onstream Media is a leader in the webcasting industry, providing live webcast events for a large number of corporations of all sizes. With their experiences holding these events, they are aware of many of the most common problems and how to resolve them. Consider these webcast tips to ensure your success at your next event.
1. Production Quality.
The production of your video will reflect directly on your business. If the video doesn’t offer the highest quality in streaming, video and audio, it will leave a bad impression on your viewers, potentially costing you customers. Write a script to follow and use specific cues to create quality content on a consistent basis.2. Think about Your Message.
The message you are trying to portray is one of the most important factors in your live webcast. In your eagerness to get through the presentation, never forget about your audience and what you want them to know.3. Keep Your Audience Entertained.
The attention span of an Internet audience is much shorter than any other type of audience. Therefore, you need to keep things moving and entertaining. Separate your broadcasts into smaller sections, especially when playing them on-demand, and make sure to focus on the highlights.4. Surround the Viewer in Your Webcast.
Immersing your viewers in the webcasting event will keep them engaged and interested. Make use of extra features, including question boxes, polls and chat features. Giving them the ability to ask questions that may be answered live keeps them interested and engaged.5. Contact the Professionals.
Onstream Media is experienced in creating engaging, quality webcasting events. With our knowledge and dedication to our customers, we can help you create the right webcast to attract a large audience and hold their attention. We can even help if you plan to produce your own webcast.
Today, live video streaming has become a useful tool many businesses are using to interact with clients and vendors, as well as to portray information about their business. If you plan on using video streaming for your business, you need to learn all about file formats and why they are important to consider, as well as the importance of codecs.
Consider the End Use
The first of the video streaming best practices you must follow is to consider the end use of that video. First, ask yourself if you will use live video streaming on your website, if you will create a DVD from the recording or if you will use an online avenue, such as YouTube. Answering this question before you even begin the production of your video will ensure it is in the proper format and will work well on the avenue on which you will distribute the video streaming. If you shoot the video and edit it before considering how you will use it, you can end up with a video you can’t use for your intended purposes.
Format and More
Once you have considered the end use of your video, you must concern yourself with the format, as well as other important factors, such as frame rates. When it comes to the format, there are actually two things you need to consider: the camera format and the end use format. In many cases, these two formats may be completely different.
Consider this, when you use the digital format, the camera will save the video to either a tape or a memory card. In many cases, the camera will automatically compress the format to ensure it doesn’t take up too much of your storage space. It is important to evaluate whether the format will be easy to work with for your video streaming needs.
In addition to paying attention to the format of the video, you should also think about the appropriate frame rate, resolution and more. All of these factors will determine the quality of your video and how large the file will be, which can have a major impact on live video streaming. You don’t want your video to load too slowly or lag in the middle, causing frustration to your viewers.
What is a File Format?
Understanding the basics of what a file format is, can help you see the importance of the proper formatting. With digital video formats for video streaming, the format will consist of two parts: the encoded video and its container. The video is the actual file you are looking to play and the container is how it will be played back. While some formats are somewhat universal in their playback, others may require specific software to enjoy the live video streaming. It is among the video streaming best practices to choose a format that will work best for most of your viewers to avoid alienating anyone.
What is a Container?
When it comes to dealing with file formats for video streaming, most people are unaware of the container. In fact, what is actually the container is what people think of as the format of the file. This code actually lets the computer or other equipment know how the file is compressed and how to play it. For live video streaming, some of the common formats include .AVI, .WMV, .MOV and .MPG. Each of these formats plays in different scenarios, making them important to consider when you are thinking of shooting a video for wide distribution.
What is a Codec?
Codec is a term you are likely to see thrown around when it comes to live video streaming. The word literally comes from a combination of the words “compressor” and “decompressor” or “encoder” and “decoder,” each of which relates to the creation of the video and its playback. The reason codecs are used is to reduce the amount of space a video file takes up. Because of their nature of many pictures and audio, these files naturally take up a lot of space. Codecs reduce those space requirements to make the video streaming easier to use in everyday life. However, this process also reduces the quality of the video, making it essential to produce higher quality videos for the best results.
There are many kinds of codecs that are available, each of which places their focus on something different. This is why it is important to consider your end uses and needs for your live video streaming. For instance, some codecs will ensure the video is compressed into an extremely small file that is easy to transport on storage devices. Others will place a focus on protecting color and image quality, while still others will keep the motion in the video as smooth as possible. Think about what you need most in your video streaming to help you choose the appropriate codec for your needs.
To ensure you are able to provide your viewers with the best experience possible, it is important to create videos in the highest quality you can with the equipment you use. This will ensure your live video streaming is easy to watch for your viewers. However, keep in mind the higher the quality, the more space your video will take up, even when it is compressed. For instance, HD video takes up a lot of space despite the use of codecs. This is why it is only the higher budget productions that are often completed in this type of format. Most businesses must settle for standard quality in at least one area to ensure they can provide the live video streaming they desire. Keep in mind, most cameras will only save files in compressed modes.
Learning the ins and outs of codecs and the video streaming best practices will ensure you are able to provide your viewers with the level of quality they expect from you. Once you understand how formats work and what role they play in your live video streaming, you will be able to make the best choices for your business.
In this day and age, many businesses understand the need for high-quality lead generation over generating leads that don’t have a high chance of translating into sales for the business. With the pressure placed by the management of these businesses, marketing teams are looking for more ways, particularly the use of online webinars, to generate the best possible leads for a higher return.
Even though certain aspects of businesses, including web design, search engine rankings and management, are all important for generating leads, the webinar has also become highly important. With the right webinar tips, these online events can be one of the most effective ways to build the leads you need to succeed.
When you host an online webinar, you are extending an invitation to consumers or other businesses to learn more about what your business offers. The people who attend your webinar are interested in what you have to offer. They will spend time learning about what you have to offer, as well as being exposed to your marketing and branding, which can have a lasting impact on their desire to work with you. This provides you with an opportunity for solid lead generation, as your participants are already showing interest in your product by registering for your event.
Easily Capture Information
By creating an interactive, informative experience with your online webinar, you will be able to more easily capture information about your audience. For instance, you can require your attendees to fill out a form before attending that requires information, such as names, email addresses and even telephone numbers. Some webinar software will even allow you to track which attendees were the most active in your event and how long each person stayed. All this information can help with your lead generation efforts.
Evaluate Your Leads
As you collect all this information through your online webinar, you will be able to evaluate your leads and determine which ones are most likely to be effective. The more webinars you hold, the easier it will be to prioritize the leads that are most likely to convert to sales based on past demographics and other information you collected.
Lead generation is such an important part of the success of any business. When you learn how to use your online webinar events to generate high-quality leads that are most likely to convert into sales, you will be able to quickly and effectively grow your business and reach new customers.
If you use streaming videos for your website, including live streaming video, it is extremely important to choose the right video hosting service to best meet your needs. This is because video streaming requires large amounts of bandwidth, as well as the assurance of the privacy of the content you post. You don’t want someone to steal your video content without your knowledge to use it for their own benefit. When you choose your hosting service carefully, you can avoid these issues.
One of the biggest obstacles many website owners have with streaming videos is the packages that are offered by a video hosting service are often too expensive. While it is pricey to run live streaming video on your site, many services try to sell you extra services you don’t need, increasing the prices to a point it is no longer an affordable option. If you only need to host videos, you only need a simple hosting service, not all the extras.
Your Web Hosting Service
Many people think they can simply use their web hosting service to host their videos as well. While this essentially works, it does pose some challenges to your website. Even though this is likely your cheapest option, using your web hosting service can’t provide you with the quality of service a web hosting service can. This means your streaming videos are more likely to lag and experience other problems when you choose to limit yourself to your web hosting service’s capabilities.
If you are starting out and want to give live streaming video a chance on your website, you can start with using your web hosting service. Pay close attention to the bandwidth use and the quality you experience with the service. If you exceed your bandwidth, you can look for a video hosting service to help you.
Video Server Software
People who are familiar with computers may be able to aid their live streaming video hosting with the use of video server software. This type of software is designed to improve your streaming videos, as well as the experiences of those who view your videos. For instance, the software can add the capabilities of fast forwarding. Video server software can also help control the bandwidth that is used, allowing users to view the videos in Flash, Windows Media or QuickTime.
In some situations, the Internet service provider you use will include the use of video server software. Check with your ISP to find out if they offer the software. In most cases, the software provided by your ISP will be limited to no more than 1,000 minutes of play per day. You may be able to pay for additional time.
The use of live streaming video is a common tool many websites use today to attract the attention of Internet visitors. If you would like to add streaming videos to your website, it is important to find the right video hosting service to ensure you are able to provide your viewers with the quality experience they expect.
Web conferencing is a great way for businesses to interact with customers, potential clients, vendors and even business associates. When you hold one of these conferences, it is important to encourage this interaction. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use the chat feature. With the right web conferencing tips, you can make implementing the chat into your conference easier than ever, making it a useful tool for both you and your audience.
One of the main concerns with using chat as part of a web conference is how long to give people to respond. Typing in a chat box can be time consuming for some of your attendees, leaving you to wonder how long to wait for people to respond to you. If you don’t give them enough time, you will cause several things to happen:
- Cause frustration in your audience. When you ask your audience to respond to something you said but keep talking, they are forced to multi-task, formulating a response while they try to listen to what you are saying. This will only frustrate most people.
- Create a feeling of disrespect and an uncaring attitude. When you don’t allow enough time, you make it seem as if their feedback wasn’t important to you after all. One of the most important web conferencing tips is to make sure your audience feels important.
- Interrupt your presentation flow. When you move on too quickly, you will read responses after you are past the particular point your web conferencing audience is commenting on. This will cause you to jump back in your presentation, making it difficult to follow your process.
Think about Your Audience
If you expect your web conference audience to respond to you in the chat box, you need to think like your audience. Some people will need to locate the chat box and figure out how to use it before they can respond. Everyone will have to think about what you asked and formulate a response. Then add in the time it takes to type in the response, which is different for everyone, and it could easily take up quite a bit of time. However, if you give them the amount of time they need, you will make your web conferencing more successful.
Chat Web Conferencing Tips
Before you use chat as part of your web conference, it is important to learn how to implement effectively to allow everyone the time they need to respond without slowing down your presentation to a point it becomes difficult to pay attention. These tips can help you get on the right track:
- Start small. When you throw a long, involved question at your audience from the start, it is going to take them much longer to become familiar with the chat feature. Instead, ask something simple and short at the beginning of your web conference, such as their names or where they are from. This allows them to find the chat box, learn how to use it and practice responding before you require them to create a longer, more involved answer. You should also recognize at least a few of the responses verbally so you can show your audience you are really reading what they write.
- Use a placeholder slide. It is best to choose something that relates to the topic, such as a brief overview of the information your audience is commenting on or a chart or other graphic that directly relates to the topic at hand. This also gives your audience something to look at while they are waiting for others to finish their responses.
- Give a sample. Some of your web conferencing audience may not know what you expect of them. You can remedy this situation by asking your question and then giving a sample response. The sample will allow people to state agreement or disagreement and will show them what you expect as an answer.
- Be clear and concise. Always make sure you word your questions in a way your audience will clearly know what you are asking of them. Make sure all questions can be answered with a short, concise answer, rather than a long, drawn-out one. This increases the chances that everyone will answer and makes it easier for you to read through the responses as well.
- Monitor responses. Some web conferencing software allows you to see when people are typing or when they submit a response. If your program offers this feature, make sure you use it. When you notice no one is typing, you can then feel comfortable moving on and addressing the answers you have received. On the other hand, if there are only a couple of people still typing, you can acknowledge that you are still waiting for them and provide additional filler content to keep those who are finished something to do while you wait for the final responses. This will encourage everyone to finish responding without worrying about missing something important.
- Conform to your audience’s needs as you progress. In the beginning, using the chat features as part of a web conference can be difficult. However, when you have an interactive audience that is engaged and responding well to the use of the chat feature to answer questions, it will become easier as your web conferencing event progresses. Later in your presentation, you will be able to remain quiet without having to add filler because your audience will be used to the natural flow of asking questions and waiting for everyone to type in a response. However, it is important not to enter into this stage too early. If your audience isn’t ready for it, you can cause people to stop responding. Some audiences are never ready for this stage so gauge your audience and their responsiveness carefully.
When you follow these web conferencing tips for your web conference, you will be able to successfully implement chat into your events and make the experience richer for yourself and your audience. When used properly, chat can be an excellent feature to use, allowing you to obtain information and opinions from your audience, as well as the ability to tailor your presentation to best meet their needs.