By Beth Ziesenis, Your Nerdy Best Friend
Phone calls are so 2007. These days we feel more connected with teams when we hear, see and participate in our remote meetings. Here are five scenarios for meeting with people from afar that brings them closer together – just in time to connect at NETWORK2017!
1. “Let me show you what I'm talking about.”
I've long admired the beautiful simplicity of Join.me. It's perfect for a quick one-to-one collaboration to literally get someone else on the same page. Sometimes people write me with a tech question, and instead of trying to write an answer, I simply say, “Jump on a join.me and I'll show you.” Join.me lets you join from a computer or several mobile apps. It's a tiny little download that takes a sec or two to install. The basic version is free and lets you show your screen to up to 10 people – and 5 of those could be brought in via video.
2. “Let's plow into this project together.”
Despite some advances that Microsoft is making in the world of real-time document collaboration, Google Drive still wins in this category. It's incredibly easy to jump on a call and talk to team members while you all add ideas to a Google Doc. Sometimes when I'm working with a client on a new presentation idea, we both throw verbiage down on the same page and hash things out in minutes rather than emailing drafts back and forth for days.
3. “We need a face-to-face meeting.”
You have lots of choices for video conferencing these days: good ole' Skype, sometimes reliable (but improving) Google Hangouts and even FaceTime. But my new favorite professional tool is Zoom, which lets you pull in up to 50 HD video streams at the same time. Meetings have a time limit for the free version, but you can look at this as a benefit – especially if you’re volunteering for a non-profit. Imagine saying, “We're trying to save the organization money, so we're using the free version, which means that this meeting must last less than 40 minutes!” Everyone will love you.
4. “The last time we had a video conference, Jim forgot to wear pants. We're going back to teleconferences.”
I still find myself on a number of teleconferences when I get together with a committee to talk about an upcoming event. Freeconferencecall.com is just that... free conference calls. I've heard from a few people that the connections can be a little unreliable, but for the most part I've heard good things. Bonus: Freeconferencecall now has online meetings for up to 25 people for free. I haven't tried them out yet, but cool!
5. “We need to share this with our members. Let's do a webinar.”
You have many options in this area, and many of them are pretty pricy. The good news is that GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar and WebEx have both recognized the crazy competition in their markets, and their prices are quite reasonable. I find both platforms reliable and flexible – the only challenge I have is that they both update their software frequently, and almost every time I do a webinar I have to install a new version.
Beth Ziesenis is Your Nerdy Best Friend. She is the author of several books on technology including Nerd Know-How: The 27+ Best Apps for Work … & How to Use ‘Em! Join Beth for her session at NETWORK2017: How DO They Do That: Secret Tech Weapons for PHCP/PVF Professionals.
Meet Your Nerdy Best Friend at NETWORK2017!