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5 Simple Ways To Improve Virtual Meetings

The Red Carpet -   Pinnacle Performance Company Newsletter
Pinnacle Performance Company Newsletter | Volume 2 | Issue 2

Center Stage5 Simple Ways to Improve
Virtual Meetings

In the 1950's, theorist Wil Schutz1 conducted a groundbreaking study that identified three basic needs that individuals have in a collaborative environment (i.e. work or meeting environments): Inclusion, Control and Openness.

The inability for some managers to transfer their management skills to the virtual environment has become a major stumbling block. Managers and team members that appeared effective previously may have overcome some of their shortcomings by virtue of the fact that they communicated together face-to-face.

Incorporating the virtual meeting into the process of collaborating and production upsets the established mechanisms for the team to meet its basic needs as identified by Shutz.

Taking away face-to-face interaction removes the automatic feeling of inclusion. It becomes easy to overlook individuals that are not in the same room with you, including their potential input and position on issues raised. As a meeting leader, it is critical to ensure that you are constantly polling for understanding and feedback from all parties. Additionally, the use of names will further strengthen all participants' feelings of inclusion and connectedness.

Control is an issue that everyone struggles with, whether conscious or subconscious. Moving to the virtual environment, individuals lose some of the tools available to help them control their environment. For instance, one
can no longer indicate a desire to contribute by raising a hand or making gestures. A participant can no longer provide cues to indicate consensus or disapproval. The lack of these tools chips away at our ability to control the environment and the flow of conversation. Incorporating deliberate meeting processes and organization (i.e. a clearly communicated agenda), along with proper control mechanisms, will help attendees feel more in control of their own environment.

Back Stage PassCommunication for the Virtual Environment - Get 50% off

Ensure your message is received
when you can't be seen

With today's global business demands, virtual meetings are a necessary alternative to their face-to-face counterparts. Lower costs, larger audiences, broader opportunities, immediacy and the ability to communicate more often make virtual communication a compelling and necessary choice. However, there are downsides to this new mode of communication: the absence of feedback, lack of eye contact and a reduced ability to control the focus of attendees, just to name a few. Virtual communicators must
better prepare to overcome the challenges inherent in this evolving medium.

50% Off our Performance Based Communication
for the Virtual Environment Curriculum

Contact your Pinnacle representative and book a Performance Based Communication for the Virtual Environment workshop at your location before June 30th, 2010 and receive a 50% discount.

For more information email us at or contact your local representative.

Back Stage   PassOnline Meeting Resources Recommendations from Pinnacle

Many companies provide resources for enhancing virtual meetings. However, when looking for that tool to collaborate with meeting attendees or to share the visual portion of a message we've put together a short list of virtual meeting resources:

Webex - - is a leading provider of on-line meeting and collaboration services. Since Webex does not require downloading of large files of software it easy to access for those who travel often. Pricing options range from 33-cents per minute, to a fixed monthly fee per user (roughly $75 per person per month for unlimited access packages).

Fuze Meeting - - has been designed for the more tech/social networking savvy users. It easily imports from Facebook, Twitter, Google Talk, Windows Live, Yahoo and Linked-In. In addition, it allows users to pay as you go by the minute or the month. Monthly plans starting at $29.

GotoMeeting - - has become the go to resource for on-line and on-demand collaboration services. It is easy to register as a user and host meetings immediately without the need for training. GotoMeeting does require that you install software on your computer. In addition to ease of use, its low cost, either a monthly subscription fee of $49/month or $468/year, makes this resource the #1 choice for experts in the field.

Adobe also has a few options:
ConnectNow - - is a free and extremely simple web conferencing site that operates in your browser. Adobe designed it to be basic and painfully simple. It succeeds excellently!

ConnectPro - - If you are looking for a more complete Web Conferencing solution, Adobe's ConnectPro version has combined its multimedia features to allow businesses and individuals the ability to present, demonstrate, teach, train and collaborate in a secure, real-time virtual environment.

Pinnacle Performance Company Contacts:

Corporate Office: 773-572-8616

South: 214-281-8625
Midwest: 773-572-8616
Northeast: 646-290-6711
Southeast: 941-870-2030
Southwest: 213-291-0660 Back Stage Pass
Northwest: 303-459-4291

Asia Pacific
Pune, India: +91 99700 01013

In This Issue
Top Ten Movies of 2009
Quick Links

Upcoming Events
ASTD 2010
American Society for Training & Development
Chicago, IL
May 16 - May 19

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Society for Human Resource Management
San Diego, CA
June 27 - June 30

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Association Workshops

ASTD Mid-Michigan
April 20

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May 11

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