Introducing Meeting 4.0

We here at AnyMeeting are pretty excited! Why? Because we recently launched Meeting 4.0 — a major upgrade to the AnyMeeting platform you all know and love. So what’s different about Meeting 4.0? For starters, the user interface has a brand new look, and has been rebuilt from the ground up to make it simpler to hold online meetings.

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We also completely democratized the online meeting by allowing everyone in the meeting to have mostly the same rights as the host (except ending the meeting or starting recording).  For example, everyone can mute each other as needed (you’ve been in those meetings where someone walks away and you can hear their dog in the background) or share their webcams.  What we make sure to do though is to notify who muted who, in the chat area, like a log.  That way there’s a record that Sally muted John, and when John un-mutes himself, he can tell Sally that he didn’t really appreciate that.

What we wanted to do was to make the online meeting as natural as possible, like an in-person meeting, where we mostly rely on social cues to drive the direction of the conversation.  We’d really love to hear your feedback on our approach.

Other noteworthy improvements to the meeting platform include the following:

Integrated Social Media Information
Hosts with AnyMeeting Pro Plans can now click on any attendee’s name to view additional social media information, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles.

Automatic Attendee Images
Attendees will have their image automatically populated with the help of Gravatar.com.

Emojis and Chat Images
We’re proud to announce that chat now contains 868 unique emojis to have fun with ;). We also provide an image of each person chatting, and the opportunity for everyone to keep track of actions such as muting or know where to download files that have been shared during the meeting.

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Meeting Notes
Meeting notes can now be edited by multiple people at once and we’ve added formatting options (for bullet lists and so on). As always, meeting participants will conveniently receive notes via email after the meeting ends.

Video Sharing And Storage On The AnyMeeting Platform
In the past, meeting hosts were limited to using YouTube to show video files within the meeting, but thanks to a major upgrade to video sharing, you can now upload videos directly to AnyMeeting. Additionally, audio from the video can now be heard by those using a phone line to attend the meeting. We also increased the content library to 1 GB of storage for presentation files and videos. And as another bonus, you can now record the video playing during your meeting to share at a later time.

Presentation Sharing For All!
Share a PowerPoint presentation with your attendees and allow them to download the content.  In addition, attendees can now easily upload share their own presentations or videos during the meeting.  Their uploaded files are deleted at the end of the meeting.

HD Video Conferencing
We now provide 720p HD video for meeting hosts and up to 5 other video participants, with highly improved picture quality. It’s almost like meeting in person!

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Mobile Apps Upgrades
We’re also happy to announce that mobile apps have been upgraded for iPhone and iPad devices — with Android soon to follow! Upgrades to mobile devices includes HD audio and video, as well as chat capabilities, and anything else a web-based AnyMeeting user can do.

We strive to constantly innovate and provide products to help you grow your business. That’s why it’s important we hear from you, so we can keep building a platform to fit your needs. Let us know how we are doing by leaving us a comment below!

For more information about AnyMeeting’s simple, reliable web conferencing solution, visit www.anymeeting.com.

Be A Better Speaker With These 5 Tips

Let’s face it, compelling public speaking abilities do not come naturally. Most people, both introverts and extroverts, will admit that public speaking can be scary. In fact, public speaking often tops the list of “biggest fears” for surveyed Americans. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether it’s your first time on an online meeting, or you want to get better at speaking to your online audience, the following 5 best practices for webinar, web conference and video conference presentations will help you nail your message delivery:

  1. Create a presentation outline or script to follow: The very first thing you should do when preparing for a webinar, web conference, or video conference presentation, is to organize your material by creating an outline or script. You will most likely make several revisions, so don’t feel pressure when it comes to creating the first draft.
  2. Practice, practice, practice: Start with simply reading the script, then record a practice run or two for your review. Listen to your recorded voice — do you sound bored or nervous? Are you rushing through your slides? Do you need to make revisions to the script? Be sure to time yourself during these practice runs. If you are practicing for a video presentation, pay attention to your body language, and where your eyes are focusing during the recorded rehearsal.
  3. Speak with confidence, and enthusiasm: Yes, in reality, you might be a little nervous, but having a solid outline and practice under your belt, you will come across as credible and polished. Keep in mind, if you are interested in the presentation’s message, your audience will follow suit, so make sure your voice reflects the importance, excitement, and value of your topic.
  4. Prepare for questions from attendees…and have the answers: A successful online meeting presentation includes audience engagement and participation. This could be in the form of “chat” during the presentation, or maybe questions asked during Q&A at the end of the presentation; regardless of when questions pop up, it helps to be prepared. Even the most seasoned “experts” get thrown-off by questions, and the last thing you want is to lose focus. Know what kinds of questions might be asked, and jot down informative responses. Try practicing your presentation in front of a colleague or friend, and invite them to come up with challenging questions for you to answer, so you can get a real sense of what your attendees might say.
  5. Keep it light (and short): Be sure to humanize yourself by adding light humor to your presentation, or personalize your information in some way that is relatable. This will keep the audience from drifting off or multi-tasking, and ensure the presentation is memorable. It is also important to respect the audience’s time by keeping the presentation concise and to the point. Studies have revealed that the average audience member prefers a presentation that is no longer than 30 minutes, and ending early (without rushing through the material) is always a plus. 

See? Public speaking doesn’t have to be intimidating. Just remember: you are the expert, you are in control of the presentation, and AnyMeeting has your back.

 

Why You Should Be Holding Online Meetings On A Regular Basis

We all know that web conferencing and online meetings are great technology. But how exactly do they improve our business, and why is it important to use this technology on a consistent basis? Here are a few specific points.

  • Web conferencing promotes workplace flexibility: Research conducted by Global Workplace Analytics reveals that currently 3.7 million U.S. employees (2.5% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.  Video conferencing and web conferencing virtually tear down the walls of the conventional office and provide a more flexible work environment.  This growing trend also allows employers the freedom to hire the most qualified and talented people they can find, without being restricted to a limited geographic radius. Whether working remotely or working in the office down the hall, video conferencing and screen sharing vendors like AnyMeeting allow employers to easily connect with their employees in real-time.
  • Video conferencing increases engagement: When you need to have a call, why settle for a phone call? Studies show that people are more likely to multi-task during phone calls vs. video calls. Video conferencing is simply more engaging because it offers real-time visuals — ensuring that your audience is paying attention. With 65% of the population consisting of visual learners, doesn’t it make sense to video conference?
  • Screen sharing increases productivity: Screen sharing is another effective method to engage the team during an online meeting, because it keeps everyone on the same page (or screen). There is no room for miscommunication or important details being lost in translation when the team is seeing, hearing, and contributing to the same document.
  • Web conferencing improves internal communication flow: Web conferencing fosters the ultimate team experience: meeting anytime, from anywhere, armed with a variety of tools to enhance productivity. Employees can share progress on their current assignments, discuss upcoming projects, attend training sessions, attend performance reviews, conduct group stand-ups, and more.  By providing the context of your screen or documents, your live video image, and innovative integrations like collaborative notes, web conferencing provides a rich collaboration experience that simple phone calls or a video call can’t match.

Implementing a web conferencing solution into your daily work environment is smart business. And whether working with colleagues, consulting with clients, or presenting to sales prospects, AnyMeeting provides all the features you need for a great web conferencing experience.

 

Three Keys to Meeting and Webinar Success

web-conferencing-field2Effective meetings and webinars start with proper preparation and readiness. That includes the content as well as your tools.

Here are three ways to boost your effectiveness:

1) Make screen sharing easy
If you plan on sharing your screen, a presentation or document, make sure you are using our latest screen sharing plug-ins!  Learn more and ensure you have installed our latest plug-ins for Windows and Mac.

2) Go mobile
Empower your attendees to participate in meetings and webinars via their mobile devices and tablets. Need to hop into a meeting real quick on the go?  Check out ouriPad and Android Tablet Apps to attend the meeting FAST!

3) Check your system
Critical for presenters: ensure your system, network and internet is capable of running a successful meeting or webinar. Take the system test now!

New Easy Reference Guide for Presenters

New to AnyMeeting web conferencing for small business and need to launch a meeting fast? Check out our new Easy Reference Guide for Presenters. Download it and keep it handy for when you need to launch a meeting fast.

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Key steps include:

  • Choose the mode for attendees, either “Discussion Mode” (everyone can talk and be heard) or “Listen-Only Mode” (only presenters can be heard).
  • Allow your mic and cam to broadcast
  • Record your meeting by clicking the “Record” button.
  • Share your screen, a YouTube video, or a presentation by clicking on one of the share options.

Download the Easy Reference Guide for Presenters: Starting a Quick Meeting Now.

AnyMeeting Launches Single Sign-On from Chrome Web Store

As you know, AnyMeeting has worked closely with Google, being integrated with the Google Apps Marketplace.  Now, AnyMeeting is integrated with the Chrome Web Store, offering an easy, single sign-on option for Google Chrome users.  If you are a user of Google Chrome, you can download and install the AnyMeeting application and have easy and instant access to AnyMeeting through your Google Chrome account.

So, install the AnyMeeting app today and see how fast and easy starting your next meeting can be.  Also, be sure to rate the AnyMeeting app and post a review of your experience.

AnyMeeting Success Story Finalist Presentation: Jeff Bartholomew, ACN

Jeff Bartholomew submitted a success story describing his experience using AnyMeeting as a tool to help grow his business as a regional director for ACN, Inc. A network marketing company, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications and essential services for home and business. Jeff has been using AnyMeeting for over a month and further discusses his experience with AnyMeeting as a meeting tool for his business.

“I’m on the east coast and I have a team across the country, across the North American continent, and I’m able to do webinars regularly, three, four, five times a week. I can conduct trainings, briefings, presentations, communicating with my team and it’s been an incredible tool to help build my business. There is no way I would have been able to do this without AnyMeeting.”

AnyMeeting Integrates With VMware Zimbra Collaboration Suite

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA–(Marketwire – Oct 18, 2012) – AnyMeeting, the free web conference and online meeting solution for small business, today announced it has integrated with VMware Zimbra® Collaboration Server™ with the launch of the AnyMeeting Zimlet.

The new AnyMeeting Zimlet gives Zimbra users the ability to schedule, launch and manage AnyMeeting online meetings all from within Zimbra. Users can designate meetings as AnyMeetings with a single click, or simply drag-and-drop contacts and emails onto the AnyMeeting Zimlet icon.

AnyMeeting is a full-featured web conferencing platform for small business, featuring 6-way video conferencing, phone conferencing, screen sharing, application sharing, chat, polls, meeting recording and more, plus support for up to 200 participants.

“We are very excited to work with an industry leader like VMware,” said David Gerken, Vice President of Business Development at AnyMeeting. “It’s an important step in our mission to bring the power of online meetings to everyone.”

VMware Zimbra is the email and collaboration suite built for the Post-PC era. More than 200,000 service providers, businesses, universities and government organizations rely on Zimbra to power more than 85 million paid mailboxes.

“Online meetings are a vital part of doing business today,” said Andy Pflaum, senior director, VMware Zimbra strategic alliances. “The AnyMeeting Zimlet takes advantage of Zimbra’s extensibility to provide users with an easy-to-use web conferencing solution that can make managing meetings from within the Zimbra platform even more convenient.”  See the complete press release on MarketWire.

Online Meetings, A Valuable Tool For Small Business

 

The web conference or online meeting has become a valuable tool for small businesses, opening a variety of options for connecting with clients and colleagues immediately.  As the growth of the small business community continues, we see an increasing amount of companies with employees working remotely.

In fact, a survey of 1,500 business owners was conducted earlier this year by Elance, a site that matches employers with employees who are able to work remotely.  The survey found that 54 percent of those business owners expect the majority of their work force to be working online by 2017.

A remote work force can help remove barriers that small businesses previously faced.  Employers are no longer bound by the location of their employees, and can select the best talent available, not just the best talent located in the immediate area.  Employees are no longer obligated to relocate their families when accepting a position that is located on the other side of the country.

The web conference now allows employers to connect with their remote workers in real time, who can share progress with their current assignments and discuss upcoming projects.  Employers can also train new employees and conduct performance reviews.  Web conferencing literally tears down the walls of the conventional office and provides a more flexible work environment.

The online meeting can also save time when conducting business with clients.  Instead of dealing with the travel time and expense it can take to meet with an existing or perspective client in person, the web conference can get that important meeting started immediately, and at no cost with a solution like AnyMeeting.

There are several resources available online that offer tips to help ensure a smooth and successful web conference.  Productivity501.com  has several articles including one with nine tips for effective online meetings.