Friday, February 02, 2007

More effective teleconferences

Many of us spend significant time in phone conferences. Sometimes we're responsible for organizing and leading them. Can we do better?

I don't know the answer, because I don't know what each of us does. I do know there are resources for improving them. The TP! Wire Service recently pointed to 27 Tips for Teleconferencing from Web Worker Daily. Full Circle Associates' Nancy White blogged about More Synchronous Facilitation Resources. Between the two, you might find suggestions that would help you.

For some years, I've found it effective to use any of a number of shared desktop systems such as WebHuddle to add a visual component. In essence, that adds a virtual flipchart and projector to an audio meeting, and it adds a back channel chat tool for those who may not share common IM platforms.

What sometimes works well for me is to open a Google Docs and Spreadsheets file and share that using the desktop sharing tool. In the spirit of technography, I can take and edit notes in a text file. After the call is over, I can share the document with those who were present without having to email copies to everyone. I can even enable document collaboration so that we can continue to work together on the issue after the call is over.

What works well for you?

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