Most people have heard of Skype and use it for video conferencing but what tools are useful for group meetings and are either free or very low-cost? Virtual meetings save time, effort and money. They also fit more easily into busy schedules and take less stress to organise. Here are some you might like to try.
1. One-time screen-sharing. joinme. This is free and you can set up an account and invite others to join you to share your screen presentation whilst also having a conversation. Best for presentations or content development.
2. Community visual meetings. Google+ hangout. This is, I believe, relatively new and offers a visual connection for up to 10 people.
3. Team Project Development: TeamLab. This tool offers project management, community discussions, calendar sharing, CRM and presentation development. A great tool for any virtual team.
4. Training, presenting and reviewing. Vyew has no installation requirements and offers free conferencing and collaboration for up to 10 people. It allows meetings and content sharing in real-time or anytime.
5. Large Conferencing. Anymeeting offers a free service for up to 200 attendees. It is supported, offers invitation and recording functionality and the only downside is the small advertising which allows for its free usage.
Do you have a favourite free online tool? What works for you?
Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute. One of my professional colleagues recommended this book and so it is now on my reading list. Have you read it? What do you think of it?
Future Forum Meetings:
The Leadership Forum, Ipswich, 16th October – How to keep your customers
In addition to introducing Skype to my clients, I have also attempted to set my father up to enable regular free face-to-face conversations. As with most children, we are his outsourced IT support department. When he first acquired his computer, the questions revolved around “I have lost the email I was writing – where has it gone?”. Now its more about “The internet says that I don’t have the appropriate application – where can I buy it?”. Dad has a good strategy. He works his way around the family with his questions believing that this way a)he won’t try our patience and b) we won’t know how hopeless he really is. So we set him up on Skype during our last visit. I then suffered numerous calls during my working day. He assumed that if I declined the call, it just meant that he couldn’t get through and he should ring again. Last time we visited, he complained that he was getting messages telling him we wanted to speak to him but we weren’t there when he looked at Skype. We told him that he needed to quit the application and did this for him. Now I have to call him to tell him to open it up so that we can have a Skype call! Family eh! At least he’s not as bad as my friend who inadvertently put their Olympic tickets in the recycling! She managed to get duplicates thereby narrowly avoiding divorce and her daughters flooding the kitchen with their tears!