Preparing for the Meeting
I recently attended a web conference where the company used InterCall WebEx and it started with an invitation email. Check the tie you are given, my meeting was in a different time zone and was careful to check what that meant for my time zone. The email listed the time and date of the conference, and included the link that I needed to follow to sign up for the meeting. By clicking on the link, I then used the meeting number that I was given to pre-register. The initial email also included the phone number that I needed to call the day of the meeting, along with a Conference Identification Number (CID) that I would need to enter using the phone's touch pad. It was recommended that you follow the email link immediately upon receiving the invitation so that you have the opportunity to troubleshoot any problems before the initial meeting. When I did this, I found that I could not log in properly using Safari. I instead had to use Firefox to log in and attend the conference. Because I logged in ahead of time, I avoided discovering this issue the day of the meeting, which could have caused me to be late to the meeting. Not a good thing when meeting with a client about a new job assignment!
When preparing for your InterCall WebEx conference, be sure that you have all of your materials ready. Have a notebook ready to take notes, pen or pencil, and your drink of choice. Make sure family and friends know that, even though you are at home, you are in an important meeting. This will discourage neighbors from dropping by or phone calls from coming in. This is always a challenge when you work at home; you need to get those around you to realize that you are indeed working set hours.
It can be difficult to focus on a lengthy meeting when you are working at home. I find that it is better to get dressed…shoes and everything! If you are lounging in your pj's or sweatpants, you wlll feel less business-like. Take it seriously and you will get more out of the meeting. If you are using a set-up like Skype where there is video involved, you will definitely want to be sure you are dressed appropriately. Or, be sure you turn off the camera setting. In Skype, you can go into preferences and deselect "Enable Skype Video."
Prepare for a meeting in your home office just as you would if you were flying across the country for a face-to-face meeting. Think about what you will need ahead of time, and do all of your troubleshooting on the computer days before the meeting is to be held. These tips will lead to a successful meeting and will ensure you demonstrate a professional image to your co-workers.
Attending the Meeting
The day of the meeting you need to log in again using the link you were given. You then call the phone number and use the Conference Identification Number when prompted. A few things to consider when calling; depending on the length of the meeting, be sure the battery on your cordless phone is fully charged. Some companies will use a service like Skype to phone in, and that avoids the issue with charged phone batteries. A speaker phone is also useful, otherwise you will need to hold the phone to your ear the entire time. Once you make your call and check in, you can mute your phone so that you can not be heard while listening in on the meeting. This is an important option because when attendees do not mute their phone, you get a lot of feedback from the phone line. Also, when you work from home there is always noise from the dog or your kids. Those attending the meeting with you do not want to hear all of your background noise. The *6 will mute your phone and #6 will umute the phone should you need to participate in the discussion.
The host will put up a Power Point presentation or another type of computer demostration that will be shared with everyone in attendance. The last meeting I attended, they had difficulty getting this to show up. Luckily, you have verbal communication so you can immediately let everyone know if you are not seeing the demonstration. The right hand side of your screen will list all participants in the meeting. There is a "raise hand" button in case you need to ask a question, but do not want to interrupt. Just as with any meeting, if you are not following the discussion or something is confusing, be sure to chime in. You can also chat with someone on the participant list. You can choose to communicate with the host, presenter, or all participants. Be careful when sending messages; you may think you are choosing one participant and inadvertently send it to everyone. You don't want to comment on how bored you are and send it to your boss!
The interface used for the meeting is very straightforward and easy to use. With InterCall WebEx it is extremely simple to communicate with co-workers from the comfort of your home office, and do it in a professional manner.