I thought I’d share a few tips with you today on how we can become more efficient with our time by making better use of the technology available to us now. In fact there are a couple of things that are so easy to use, but are regularly overlooked as we happily jump in our cars to trundle off to yet another meeting. How much time do we all waste driving from A to B, then back again? Plus we spend time doing the hospitable thing of making coffees, arriving ahead of time to ensure we are not late, and the time adds up. Certainly some of those meetings do need to be face to face, however many more could easily be through the use of internet portals such as Skype and Webinar facilities.
Skype is perhaps the first and most easy way we could consider having a face to face meeting…. after all it’s free.. all you need is a web camera on your pc or laptop, speakers and a microphone… all built in to most laptops nowadays and not an expensive investment if you need to buy them. Open an account with Skype on the web and follow the simple instructions within Skype to set yourself up… Email me if you want a set of instructions. You can search for your contacts in a number of ways and can always use your traditional methods to find out their Skype name to be able to connect with them. Once you have identified them in the Skype system you can hit “Call” and their computer will make a ringing noise to prompt them to answer very similar to making a phone call. Both parties will need to have Skype open on their computers and “online” to be able to connect. If you choose you can mark yourself as Offline, or Do Not Disturb or Away if you don’t want to be called at a certain time. A handy feature too in Skype is the ability to share your screen, so if you are talking about something you have on your computer that you want to discuss it is as simple as hitting “share screen”.
I tend to find Skype suitable more for one to one (possibly 2 or 3) and find that stepping up to a Webinar facilty for larger groups to be more effective. Webinars are similar but require a payment for their usage. They have a few more features which vary between providers including being able to communicate with larger groups, and you can record sessions, mute attendees to eliminate background noise. Examples of good providers are Redback Conferencing, GoTo Webinars and Webex with differing functionality and pricing models so you need to decide what you want.