Introducing Meeting 4.0

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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

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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

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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.

 

AnyMeeting Announces Partner API at WebRTC Expo

Enables Service Provider and Platform Partners to Easily Integrate WebRTC-Enabled Conferencing into their Own Solutions

AnyMeeting at WebRTC Expo IV, Booth 218 in Atlanta, June 17-19, 2014

Huntington Beach, Calif. – June 17, 2014 – AnyMeeting (www.anymeeting.com) today announces its partner API, which enables service provider and platform partners to integrate all or portions of its full-featured, browser-based web, video and phone conferencing tool into their own solutions.

AnyMeeting is one of the first WebRTC-enabled conferencing platforms in large-scale production. The AnyMeeting API has already been leveraged in partnerships with large cable operators and telcos, as well as with platforms including Outlook, Zimbra, Google Apps and select vertical platforms in markets like real estate. AnyMeeting is now opening its API to new partners that wish to add WebRTC-enabled conferencing to their own services and platforms.

Said Costin Tuculescu, CEO and founder of AnyMeeting, “WebRTC represents a disruptive technology that opens major new opportunities for service providers –enabling new features, service models and platform economics that will transform the industry. We’re excited to serve partners seeking to tap those opportunities today, leveraging our API and integration experience to build great WebRTC-enabled solutions together.”

AnyMeeting Founder and CEO on Plenary Panel at WebRTC Expo

AnyMeeting is a Gold Sponsor of WebRTC Expo IV in Atlanta, June 17-19, where Tuculescu will be a featured speaker on the plenary panel “Using WebRTC to Make Money”at 3:40pm Tuesday, June 17. AnyMeeting will also available at booth #218 for more information and demonstrations.

Proven, Scalable AnyMeeting API for Screen Sharing, Video, Phone & VOIP Conferencing

Partners can leverage AnyMeeting’s proven and scalable API to quickly add screen sharing, multi-party video conferencing, phone and VoIP-based audio conferencing, online meetings with recording, and full-featuredwebinar capabilities to their own platforms and service offerings.

AnyMeeting’s full-featured conferencing solution also works with non-WebRTC-supported browsers, providing a complete cross-platform solution. The company, which launched the AnyMeeting brand in 2010, has attracted more than 500,000 users and is a trusted partner to many large cable operators, telcos, platform providers and associations serving its target SMB customer base.

About AnyMeeting

Based in Orange County, California, AnyMeeting pioneered the small business Web conferencing market in 2009 with a completely free, full-featured and easy-to-use web conferencing service tailored for small business. Since then, it has grown to more than 500,000 small business users of both its free ad-supported service and low-cost ad-free options.  Designed specifically for small business, AnyMeeting offers a complete web conferencing and webinar service built on the company’s proven Software as a Service platform. Meeting hosts are able to invite up to 200 attendees per meeting with no time limits, and enjoy a full range of features including integrated video conferencing, phone conferencing, screen sharing, presentation sharing, recording and social media integration. AnyMeeting is the best choice for small businesses, independent professionals and just about anyone who can benefit from online meetings. Current investors include Tech Coast Angels, Pasadena Angels, Maverick Angels, Sand Hill Angels and Keiretsu Forum. For more information, please visit www.AnyMeeting.com.

 

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 Success Story Finalist Presentation: Connecting to the Heart

Canfei Nesharim (Hebrew: The Wings of Eagles), which educates the Jewish community on environmental protection, submitted a presentation entitled Connecting to the Heart.  The organization is made up of over 300 change agents around the world, who use materials to educate their Jewish communities.  Canfei Nesharim used AnyMeeting to organize a series of webinars to help change agents learn how to organize more effectively in their communities.  Evonne Marzouk, the organization’s director elaborates further on their experience with AnyMeeting.

“We love AnyMeeting and often recommend it because of its easy-to-use design, helpful ways of sending invitations and reminders, and the ability to integrate video conferencing.  We have often recommended AnyMeeting to other colleagues because of the excellent services – really good stuff for a free service!”

“We also organized a series of trainings for facilitators of a Leadership Training. This is an excellent example of how we used video conferencing to create a comprehensive, four hour training, and then used AnyMeeting for subsequent follow-up training calls.  We especially appreciated the video integration so the participants could see each other during this training, which required a higher level of intimacy within the group of people who were spread across the United States (Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Maryland, etc.).”

Tips and Guidelines for an Effective Video Presentation

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By Anna Brown, ConnectYourHome Cable TV and Internet

With technology becoming more cost effective and reliable, you may find yourself in the position of making remote video presentations more often. Travel costs are high, and as a presenter it often makes sense to do a remote presentation to save time and money for both you and your client.

Anytime you give a presentation, there are general guidelines you want to follow to make it interesting and relevant to your audience. Giving a remote presentation adds a layer of complexity because of the technology involved. In addition, if you are not in the room it is not possible to see the audience’s body language and adjust. Special considerations need to be made for remote presentations to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Have a Good Presentation

The fact that you are presenting from a remote location can cause you to get so caught up in the technology arrangements that you forget to prepare your presentation thoroughly. The first key to an effective video presentation is to simply prepare an effective presentation. Here are four steps that can help.

  • Create your content with your audience in mind. Rather than starting off with a self-introduction, start off with something that will capture your audience’s attention. Tell a story or give an interesting fact. Follow up with an explanation of the problem, solution, and an action step they can take.
  • Stay Focused on the Topic. Make sure both your script and your visuals relate to the topic at hand. You don’t want your audience wondering when you will get to the point – especially if you are doing a remote presentation, where an audience member is more likely to multi-task or slip out of the room.
  • Maintain Good Body Language and Tone. Make sure your body language is good – posture, smile, and use of your hands while speaking. Don’t pace or have other distracting movements. Also, make sure your tone is the right volume and pace. You want your audience to hear you and be able to understand what you are saying, especially when dealing with video conferencing technology.
  • Finish Early. Saying more is not always better. In an era of short attention spans, it’s a good idea to finish early. Not only does this leave more time for questions, it also helps you stay focused and efficient.

Prepare the Remote Technology

This is the part of a video conference that makes everyone the most nervous. What if there isn’t enough bandwidth to handle the video? What if the sound stops working? There are many video conference horror stories, and you want to make sure your presentation isn’t one of them. Here are four steps you can take.

  • Have Someone Watching the Software. During your presentation, have someone assigned to keep an eye on the conferencing software. Make sure this person reads up on troubleshooting tips before the event and thoroughly understands how the software works. This can be your go-to person if something fails while you are live.
  • Do Two Practices. Most people know that it’s a good idea to do a run-through before the event just to make sure everything is working smoothly. Unfortunately, this practice generally happens about 20 minutes prior to the live presentation. It’s actually a good idea to do two practices. The first one can be a technology check, making sure that the video is clear and audio is working. The second one will be for feedback – do a portion of your presentation and let your on-site coordinator tell you if your tone or pace is off, or if your visuals are hard to see. Making these adjustments is key to a successful presentation.
  • Arrange for Audience Feedback. This can be done through chat channels if there are enough computers, but another great solution is to have your on-site coordinator give you behind the scenes feedback. I’ve heard of a system where the coordinator would text different letters to the presenter to let her know if the audience was engaged, bored, or had questions. This can help you overcome the distance and adjust your presentation to your audience needs.
  • Relax. Perhaps something will go wrong. If you are relaxed and go with the flow, your audience will have a much better impression than if you panic. Have a print-out of your presentation available to be handed out on-site if everything goes wrong. Other than that, just relax and take things as they come. Both you and your audience will have a better experience.

Doing a remote video conference can save a lot of time and money for both the speaker and the client. By following the above eight simple steps, you can make sure that you are prepared to deliver a great presentation with as few technical issues as possible. Good luck!

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AnyMeeting Offers an Easy Way to Connect and Spread Holiday Cheer With Video Conferencing

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA–(Marketwire – Dec 13, 2011) – AnyMeeting, the completely free web conferencing and webinar service, today announced a festive use for its service with the holidays in mind. AnyMeeting’s 6-way video conferencing feature allows users to connect with friends and family members who are in different locations at the same time and spread holiday cheer.  See the complete press release on MarketWire.

AnyMeeting Launches Completely Redesigned Interface, Adds 6-Way Video Conferencing

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA–(Marketwire – Oct 10, 2011) – AnyMeeting, the completely free web conferencing and webinar service, today announced that it has redesigned its interface, giving a completely new look and feel that will totally reinvent the online meeting experience. Now, up to six meeting participants can broadcast video and audio simultaneously. This type of flexible video conferencing is an ideal tool for both small face-to-face collaborative meetings and large webinars that may include a multi-person panel discussion.  See the complete press release on MarketWire.