Video Conferencing: The virtual project team is here now.


Are you using video conferencing as a major tool in your meetings arsenal? You should! Technology has made video and online meetings one of the best ways to upgrade meeting efficiency and effectiveness while driving down costs.

Imagine. No more wasted windshield time, fighting traffic, going to hour(s)-long in person meetings, and then driving back for another hour. Online meetings and conference calls are immediate and convenient whether you’re across town or across the globe.  This means the experts and professionals attending these meetings are much more efficient and thus less costly.  And this cost savings flows back to the client.

With online meetings and conference calls, there’s an infinite amount of data you can share depending on how deep a dive you want to take or how the meeting topics change.

And frankly, it’s just more interesting. You can draw on the screen and point or circle the part you want to highlight for everyone’s benefit. No more leaving any doubt with your team as to what part of the floor plan the project leader was referring to when you said “the office in the NW corner.”   Plus with the benefit of being able to share screens with participants and the ability to add video guarantees you’ve not only thoroughly communicated with the entire project team but enhanced understanding and retention.

So how do you make your video conferences as effective as possible? Jill Conrath is an author, speaker and business strategist who uses video conferencing as well as anyone I’ve seen. She gives these tips:

Mistake #1: Technology Screw Ups
If you’re like me, using new technology is not second nature. I freak out when things go wrong. To ensure that doesn’t happen, I practice ahead of time with safe people who will still love me even when I’m a total loser. Or, I rope in a savvy geek to give me step-by-step instructions.

Make your mistakes before you go live – or risk embarrassing yourself.

Mistake #2: Unwanted Interruptions
After my husband barged into my home office during an important online meeting, I realized I needed to do something. Today, my office has a huge “Do Not Interrupt” sign outside it when I’m online.

Make sure you shut down text message and email too. I’ve heard horror stories about what’s popped up at a most inopportune time.

Mistake #3: Inappropriate Looks
If you’re using video meetings to create a personal connection, then doggone it, you need to be looking people in the eye. Obvious, yes. But when you’re talking to someone online, I’ll bet you’re looking at where their video shows up on your screen — which may be in the lower corner.

Make sure to move their smiling face right up under your camera. That way you’ll be looking directly at them – not at their navels.
More Jill Konrath at

In every project lead, I always make video conference and online meetings a critical tool for for conveniently staying in touch with every member of the team and ensuring that I’ve communicated and achieved a uniform understanding of all the topics covered with each and every team member. Simply stated, we get more done, there’s better understanding and consensus than with simple phone calls. And everyone’s schedule is more efficient because no one has to travel across town or across the country to make the meeting.

How about your company? Let’s hear your thoughts about how video conferencing is being used to save you money…or conversely, how it’s costing you because you don’t use it yet. Please leave your comments below.