Microsoft Live Meeting Tips & Tricks

May 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm Leave a comment

I have conducted and sat in many webcasts via Live Meeting. It’s the nature of the beast to have technical issues arise, but you can avoid some of these and have a flawless webcast by following a few tips:

  • Log in to Live Meeting 30 minutes prior to your webcast to test your connection.
  • Make sure you’re in a quiet place, as background noise can be distracting to the audience. In one webcast I attended, you could hear the company’s speaker’s crying baby in the background…very unprofessional and annoying!
  • Audio is critical – Know how to mute your audience if needed.
  • Use audio headsets when possible instead of speakerphones.
  • Keep your head toward the headset or microphone when speaking – When not talking; keep the speaker phone on mute.
  • Keep papers away from the microphone.
  • Lower your display resolution to 1024 x 768 – most people are watching this in a window or on their work computer or both. In my experience, work computers have low resolutions.
  • Only start the programs you need for your presentation – PowerPoint and SSMS, for example. Close everything you don’t need. Close all of the tray apps you don’t need. Shut down every service that you don’t need, including your screen saver, Instant messengers and e-mail notifications. Your computer is doing some heavy duty audio and video encoding and you don’t need anything else potentially eating up your CPU.
  • Upload your slide deck – click Content -> Upload a File. Your attendees will get much better results if you just upload the slide deck instead. This will fill their monitor, unlike your display which probably won’t match theirs. The downside: you won’t have your slide notes, so print those out ahead of time.
  • If you have multiple monitors and you want to share a single program, it needs to be on the primary display.
  • Have a backup plan if you’re doing a demo and it doesn’t work
  • If you’re using the video conferencing feature, turn of any lights behind you and turn on lights in front of you. Set your desktop background to a pure white background. This will light up your face.
  • Turn of your cell phone or any other phones you have.
  • Make sure the phone you are speaking on is fully charged. Have a backup plan. If you are using LiveMeeting’s audio stream, make sure you have a backup plan if the audio goes out.
  • Use throat lozenges to keep your voice working, especially if you are presenting or recording multiple sessions on a single day. Also keep water by your desk.
  • Install LiveMeeting in advance. Preferably several days in advance. It takes about 10 minutes to install on a good day, so give yourself plenty of time.
  • Put a note in the slide notes every few slides that simply says “stop and ask for questions”. At that point in the presentation, click the Q&A button at the top of the screen and click Manage. You’ll see everybody’s questions. Remind the audience that they can ask questions throughout the presentation by clicking Q&A at the top of their screen.
    Additional Tip – Use a second person as an additional presenter to serve as a Q&A manager who can answer text questions, monitor polls, recording, etc.
  • If you have two computers, set them both up as presenters, but mute the audio on your secondary one. Then if one of your computers fail, you can switch laptops and keep going.
  • Use basic fonts in your presentation for maximum readability.


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