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What to look out for when organising an online conference?

Business people sitting at the table and working in team during online conference with businesswoman in board room behind the glass wall

Online conferences are very popular but organising them may be a bit challenging because of possible technical difficulties and the lack of proper preparation.

Which conference platform to choose

First of all, decide which platform you want to use to organise your online conference. The most popular one is Zoom and it offers all of the necessary options. Teams, on the other hand, seem to have more functions. It’s perfect for meetings that involve creativity and teamwork, which is why it’s preferred by school teachers. If your conference plan doesn’t include such aspects, maybe it’s better to pick something more modest.

Send proper e-mails to participants

It wouldn’t make sense to organise a conference without participants. That’s why you need to be sure that every guest’s received the details of the meeting. What should be included in such an e-mail is the date and time of the conference. If there’s a bigger number of speakers who are going to show their presentations, the hosts should prepare a detailed schedule so that everyone can expect their turn at a precise moment. It’ll contribute to a positive atmosphere and the attendees won’t feel under pressure.

Don’t ignore the importance of your content

No matter what material you’re going to display, remember that you’re also a part of the content. While sharing your screen, leave your video cam on. Let your attendees associate your voice with the face.

Have you decided to use a traditional presentation? If so, remember not to pack it with blocks of text. The participants will want to listen to you, not read boring paragraphs. Just use bullet points with basic ideas.

The visual part shouldn’t be just a bunch of white pages. Don’t be afraid to adorn them with relevant pictures, but avoid those with watermarks. That never looks aesthetic. It doesn’t matter whether you use a good old PowerPoint or newer tools such as Canva. What really matters is how you plan and present your ideas.

Beware of technical difficulties

Make sure that your microphone and webcam are ready to use. You can check it by choosing a sound recorder on your computer and listening to your own voice. Remember about the right distance. If you are too far from the microphone, you won’t be heard clearly, while getting too close can distort your voice.

If you find some difficulties with your microphone or camera, check the settings on your device. It’s very likely that you’ve forgotten to configure it properly.

Once you’ve set everything correctly, try to make a few tests. Log into your conference and ask somebody to log in as a participant.

Remember to use a premium account. At this point, it doesn’t really matter whether you use Zoom or Teams. Using a free account deprives you of many useful functions, which will not only decrease the convenience but also show you as an amateur. One of the disadvantages of using a free version of conference software is the necessity to stop the meeting after a specific time. It would be very unprofessional to make your attendees log out and log in once again.

Prepare the introduction as a host

Are you going to host a conference? You need to make a good impression and make the participants feel at home. That’s why it’s necessary to make a plan for your introductory speech and rehearse it a few times. It would be a good idea to record yourself or speak in front of a mirror.

Check at least twice if everything you’re going to say is consistent with the content of your presentation or other materials. Especially titles and names of people you plan to introduce. It’s a great faux pas to mispronounce somebody’s surname or confuse the CEO with a manager.

Writing down the plan of your speech will help you present yourself as a professional and confident person. Nevertheless, t’s not recommended to write everything word by word and recite it. If you learn your speech by heart, it will sound artificial and may bore your listeners to death. It’s much better to prepare bullet points and expand them spontaneously. But don’t choose the opposite extreme and rely solely on your improvisational skills. They are important, for sure, but having no background will lead you to stutter, repeat yourself, or completely lose your train of thought.

Alexia Hope

Alexia is the author at Research Snipers covering all technology news including Google, Apple, Android, Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung News, and More.

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