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You Know Everybody Does It
January 28, 2011 @ 12:51 PM | By Sarah Murphy

No not that! I’m talking about multitasking. We all do it. Why? To get more done in less time. Multitasking seems to creep into many parts of our day, from the extreme case of texting while driving to the less hazardous act of getting hair and nails done at the same time while balancing the checkbook. However, multitasking can be more counterproductive because the brain can only focus on one thing at a time.  

One popular opportunity to multitask is during a web meeting. Why do we think that behind the web conferencing “curtain” we are protected from getting caught multitasking? But yet we do it and at times get caught. How many times have you heard someone say, “Sorry, can you repeat that question?” That’s a sure sign of someone doing more than one thing at a time.

Here are my top tips to help minimize multitasking and maximize effectiveness of your web meetings:

  1. Make sure the right people are attending the meeting.
    Most web conferencing solutions integrate with your Outlook® or Lotus® Notes Calendars. Not only can you send out your connection details using your calendar but also take the time to state the purpose of the meeting, who is key to the progress of the meeting and why. All this is contained in one meeting request which has a better chance of getting read compared to just another email.
  2. Put the agenda up on the screen. 
    Prepare a PowerPoint® slide or application share a document outlining the agenda and goals of the meeting.  This keeps your meeting on track and also alerts your meeting participants to when their key topics will come up for discussion.
  3. Do some online polling or surveys to get immediate feedback from your participants.  Keeping them engaged or better yet “on their toes” to make decisions minimizes the chance for their minds to wander to something else.

Lastly, multitasking is a hard habit to break, so to be on the safe side—record those meetings as a back up. You never know who may need a “review” of the information and a recording saves you the time of repeating yourself.

What other tasks are you doing or know others are doing while attending a web meeting? Have you ever been called out?

Sarah MurphySarah Murphy is a marketing manager at InterCall. With over ten years of experience in the conferencing industry, Sarah has worked with customers and products that cover all segments of conferencing, including traditional operator attended services, video and online meeting solutions.

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Giving one's full attention ("be there now") shows commitment to the group's objectives.

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