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Get Ready, Get Set, Go!

The following tips for before, during and after a conference will help you make the most of the tools available. As with “live presentations,” the more you practice, the easier it will become. Evaluate and modify your style until you find what works most effectively for your group.

Before:

  1. Analyze the audience! Sound familiar? Because you have acknowledged the limitations of conference calls and videoconferences, you need to build a very strong presentation. Talk to people at each site in advance to make sure you are giving them the information they need.

  2. Use the Blueprint Form. Again, it is even more important in conference sessions to be extremely well organized. Review the section on organizing a presentation, and make sure you follow the technique of preview, develop and review of your main ideas. Keep It Simple, Speaker!

  3. Send information out in advance. Make sure all participants have a copy of your agenda, as well as copies of any visual aids you may be using. (Hint: Even in a telephone conference call, if participants have a copy of an effective visual aid, it will help them retain the information being discussed). Again, KISS!

  4. Make assignments in advance. If participants know what they will be expected to contribute, and prepare in advance, the conference will be much more effective.

  5. Be aware of the limitations, and work with them. Keep the presentation lively and to the point; don’t get bogged down in endless unnecessary detail. Finally, send the raw data, details, etc., in a handout packet.

  6. Develop some ground rules, in advance, to govern question and answer techniques, interruptions and etiquette for the conference.


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