How to Enjoy a Clear Audio Conference
Meeting via audio conference is a way to save yourself or your organization lots of money, but if it becomes a frustrating experience, is it really worth it? The answer to this question is not yes and not no, because you are asking the wrong question! Let’s break it down. It is definitely going to save you money when you don’t have to fly your associates and clients to meetings and brainstorming sessions. You don’t have to pay for lodging and you don’t even have to buy them lunch! Audio conferencing is a simple, economical way to get everyone together without leaving the comfort of their homes or offices. Do you have a sales person who is on the road all the time? He or she doesn’t have to miss the meeting! Simply have them dial in from whatever city they are staying in that day.
The key though, is know that following a few simple rules can make your audio conference more productive and stress free!
1. Have everyone call into the conference from a land line if possible. Poor mobile phone coverage can cause frustration and interruption in service.
2. Remind everyone that if they put the call on hold they may be playing soft rock or elevator music into the call. No fun!
3. Let your participants know that by using TelSpan’s *1 feature, they can mute and unmute their line as many times as they need to so no matter what is going on around them. Background noise does not have to be heard on the call.
4. Last but not least! TelSpan has operators waiting to help, so if there is a problem or disturbance on the call, press *0 and a real live operator will help you!
The quality of your conferences is of utmost importance to us; let TelSpan exceed your expectations!
Non-Audio Factors Affecting Good Audio Communication
Effective communication is a complex and multi-faceted process. Even when an audience cannot detect visual cues, their presence can still subtly influence the tone and tempo of the speaker. A great way for a speaker to create a more engaging experience is to be aware of the potential benefits or pitfalls of the non-audio aspects of presenting, even if such things are not immediately apparent to an audience who can only hear the speaker.
Smile – Facial expressions have a huge impact on tone. A serious expression will make your words sound slower and harsher while something as simple as a smile will inject enthusiasm and warmth to your tone.
Gestures - Even though your audience may not be able to see them, gestures will add emotiveness to your tone and make you sound more energetic.
Posture – Standing helps a speaker audibly project and give bold emphasis, while sitting speakers tend to be more relaxed and fluid. Sitting up straight will cause the speaker to sound more alert while leaning back will cause the speaker to speak lower and slower. Walking while speaking will tend to speed up the tempo of one’s speech.
Environment – If you are aesthetically comfortable you will project less stress or anxiety for your audience to pick up on. A comfortable chair, an organized desk, a colorful plant, piece of art, or pictures of loved ones or humorous things within sight can really make a difference to your mood and thus your tone.
Self-Awareness – Be aware of what your body is doing while you are speaking. A mirror can make one more cognizant of facial expressions. Watch the clock to make sure your tempo is not too slow or fast for the allotted time. Try some breathing and vocal exercises to increase your audible effectiveness.
Next time you are on a phone call or audio conference, try a few of the suggestions above, and then tell us what you think!
What is event management?
Event management at TelSpan is our promise to dedicate an Event Advisor to your Q&A event from start to finish. You will receive recommendations on the best products to use in order to achieve the most successful event possible. Assistance in the event setup stage, coordinating web training if necessary, and reviewing registration platforms are all included. A confirmation call to ensure your event is scheduled correctly and details are updated puts our client at ease.
On the day of your event, your dedicated head operator will dial out to you and your speaker(s) as VIPs for your pre-conference. During this time, our clients can provide us with any additional call requests as well as discuss last-minute items for the event flow. Your head operator will then provide a professional introduction to your audience and fluidly turn the call to the host/speaker(s) to begin the presentation. During the presentation, host, speakers, and participants have access to support at any time by pressing *0 on their touchtone phone. Q&A session(s) can be held throughout the call by verbally queuing the head operator. At the event’s conclusion, your operator will close the call for you and give you the option to post-conference. Within 24 hours of your event, you will receive a participant list as well as a recording (if previously ordered).
We recognize that when our clients select TelSpan, our service is a reflection upon them. We not only strive to provide great service to our clients, but our clients’ participants as well. Our goal is to provide E3 (“Excellence Exceeding Expectations”) service to everyone we speak with.
Let us manage your next event and see how our event management team can bring professionalism and success to your next conferencing event! Call us at 800-800-1729 to learn more.
How can online registration benefit your event?
Do you need to gather specific information from your participants such as address, phone number, and email addresses? Would you like to survey your registrants to be able to better market your future events? Do you charge for your events and/or sell products such as recordings? TelSpanVenue’s registration can do all of this and more!
TelSpanVenue is a web and video conferencing platform which offers live audio and video, document and screen sharing capabilities, interactive tools, and full branding. Included in this platform at no extra charge is a robust registration tool that gathers all of your required information, offers pre- and post-event survey capabilities, password protection, full reporting, and supports payment integration via PayPal.
Advertising links can be generated for use with email blasts, web sites, and social media sites, thus providing several avenues for registrant generation. Reports viewed prior to your event can ascertain if further marketing is required and if you are reaching your target demographic. Post-conference reports will provide you with the information on each participant who attended, allowing you to send them additional information. Payments can be taken via PayPal from participants with or without a PayPal account. In addition, reminders can be sent to participants, allowing them to be more prepared for your event.
A new world of opportunities can open up with the use of a tool as feature-rich as TelSpanVenue’s online registration platform. Talk with your TelSpan Inside Sales Representative today about how you can expand your marketing reach with online event registration today!
You’ve done everything right. You saved the company a boatload of money by cutting the travel budget and implementing conference calling. You’ve set up your online registration account, so you can begin marketing your exciting webinars with the latest polling and video technology and making a profit from them. These are indeed wonderful things, but maybe there is something you’re missing….SECURITY.
Even though you may not think of it this way, your conference codes are something that could potentially be abused if they fall into the wrong hands. With the freedom and anonymity of reservationless calling, there is no way for your conferencing service provider to know if the people using your codes belong to your company, or if they are scammers who have been prowling the internet to find posted codes to use and make themselves a tidy profit. While we do have antifraud procedures in place, it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you don’t post your conference codes out there on the internet for all to see.
If you want codes for your events that you can post, we can set up one time use codes that open for your event and close after the event is over. There is no chance of some random web scammer finding the code and using it later, because it is deactivated. SECURE!
So the moral of this story is this: keep your conference codes private and don’t post them on your website, Facebook page or other internet site. Anyone could see them and take advantage of you. If you need a one-time use code, call the TelSpan Client Service Professionals at 1-800-937-7726 and we will be happy to get it set up for your SECURITY and PEACE OF MIND.
Simulcasting a Luncheon for Greater Reach
We have a client in the financial industry that regularly holds luncheons with a presentation to prospects about the services their firm offers. Realizing that they were missing out on additional prospects who were unable to physically attend for one reason another, this client reached out to TelSpan for assistance.
With a variety of platforms available, we were able to craft a solution enabling this client to broadcast out the audio portion of the event as well as the slide presentation, live over web and phone lines in real time. In this case, due to a lack of internet access at the luncheon facility, a TelSpan operator assisted offsite with pushing the slides for the remote audience, and coordinated the entire presentation with the speaker via the audio line. Remote attendees are able to access the presentation from anywhere with their pc and telephone.
Talk to us about how your next live event can reach an even larger audience!
Ever thought about simulcasting your live event?
Simulcast means “simultaneous broadcast” and refers to a program which is broadcast in multiple mediums. This great word may be applicable to your business!
We have found that a great many of our clients have a need to broadcast their live event in another manner. The great news is that there are a very wide variety of tools and platforms available on which to conduct your simulcast. We can help to customize the solution that works best for you.
Here is an example of a recent live event simulcast:
We had a client who needed to produce a live stream of a speaker. The client utilized the event facility’s on-site audio and video crew, who relayed a live audio/video feed to TelSpan. TelSpan created a customized website URL which was then made available to over 5000 members of the client’s organization. The clients simply clicked the link and were able to access the stream live. We are also providing this client with an archived recording of the event. They can offer this to their members year round via TelSpan’s platforms.
Next week we’ll look at another example.
Ways To Green Your Business (Part 3)
The past two weeks we talked about some small changes that your organization can implement in order to become greener.
Now let’s talk about conferencing. The great thing about using more conferencing within your organization, is that is has so many great benefits, besides just making your organization more green!
• Conferencing Saves Your Employees Time
Time saved by not travelling can be used with family and friend, increasing the satisfaction and morale of your employees.
• Conferencing Saves Your Organization Money
Savings are obvious through replacing airline and vehicle travel, hotel rooms, and lost productivity with conferencing, which is very inexpensive.
• Conferencing Greatly Reduces Carbon Emissions
Whether through reduced airline travel, vehicle commuting, or reduced office space, conferencing reduces carbon emissions. Air travel is currently one of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions.
• Telecommuting is Inherently Green
Telecommuting reduces not only travel carbon emissions, but can save energy as well. Organizations also benefit as studies show that telecommuters have increased productivity due to fewer distractions, and tend to work longer hours as they start their day earlier and end it later due to eliminating commuting time.
Conferencing solutions will never replace all in-person meetings, but even adding a small amount of conferencing to your organization’s mix will make you greener, save you time and money, and increase satisfaction of your employees. A true win/win!
Today's Conferencing Technology
Several weeks ago during a conversation about what I do at work, I had someone ask me with a straight face if as an operator I plugged people in and out of their conferences. I received a good chuckle out of this perspective. Mostly because I was picturing a woman with her Victorian Updo literally plugging wires in and out of a large switch board, and knowing the next direction this conversation would take would be about party lines. But, at the same time I realized that not everyone, probably not even most of our everyday clients knows how we really function and the technology and tools we use.
I could provide you with all the technical terminology, but I can assure you that I am not completely sure what all of it means, so in an attempt not to lose everyone through this post, I will keep this simple.
At TelSpan, we are equipped with a variety of conferencing bridges. In the audio conferencing world, a bridge is a piece of technology that serves as a point of connection for multiple individuals joining a single call, handling multiple calls from multiple organizations at once. In all reality, we never have to physically touch a line for it to connect to a conference call; our bridges do all the work. The only time your line would be ‘touched’ would be when a call participant has requested assistance from an operator, or if there was difficulty with a line entering a conference. And when I say touched, I mean touched by a mouse, on a computer. All of our bridges have a physical presence on a server, but what we work with is a real-time visual composition on a computer screen. When we assist someone trying to enter a conference we literally drag and drop and icon representation of their line to their desired location and viola, they enter their conference.
TelSpan allows conference participants to connect via TDM, SIP, and VoIP connections, no plugs required. A TDM connection in this case would be a standard phone line, where a SIP connection is a line that starts from a standard phone connection and then along the way to its destination is altered. For example, if you are in Boston and need to dial into a conference call, you could dial a toll free number or dial a local Boston 857 number and not be charged long distance rates. It would be like making a call from Boston to Boston even though you would technically be calling Indianapolis, our conferencing headquarters. This same SIP principle holds true for our International Toll Free Numbers only with countries instead of cities. The most fascinating connection is VoIP. A Voice over Internet Protocol connection allows you to dial from an internet based phone and interact with our conferencing bridges and with all the other SIP and TDM connections. Who would have ever thought this was possible? But it is possible through today’s advanced technology and it happens every day.
In conclusion, I can promise you this; we have updated our hair, left the party lines to rest and are dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date conferencing technology available.
How to Select a Web Conferencing Provider
It seems that in this day and age, the abundance of information on the worldwide web should make finding and selecting products, services and vendors easier than ever before. In reality though, I am often finding myself in information overload!
Let’s take an example. You want to begin web conferencing and you are looking for a vendor. Should be easy right? Well, it is easy to find web conferencing vendors, easy to find information about them, but not so easy to filter through all the information to make a selection. Here’s are some things to consider:
1. Pricing and Affordability
How is the service priced and what works best for you? Is an annual contract required? Do the terms and conditions indicate in the fine print, that your price may be increased at any time with no notice? Can you cancel the contract with no penalties? Do you use infrequently and if so would a “pay only for what you use” model be better for you?
At TelSpan we don’t require contracts, don’t have hidden price increases, and have a selection of payment options including an “all you can use” monthly plan, a “pay only for what you use” plan, and special plans for large conferencing events.
What features are important to you? Which do you think you’ll actually use? More importantly, is the platform customizable to only display the features you want? Web conferencing platforms are constantly becoming more feature-rich. Common features today include webcams, ability to play video and mp3 files into the meeting, whiteboard, annotation, chat, polling, built-in registration, and more. Take a little time to consider what is most useful for you.
Our TelSpanVenue web conferencing platform offers all the latest features, but gives you the flexibility to customize your use of the tool.
This is the big one isn’t it? If it’s not easy for you and your participants to use, then what good is it to you? Test drive platforms to evaluate this for yourself. I can almost guarantee you that all of them will advertise themselves as easy-to-use. Are they? Along the same lines, does the vendor offer demonstrations and trainings? Are they only available on their website in recorded form or will a live person assist you and train you to use the platform in the way that fits your needs?
At TelSpan, we offer both recorded and live demos and trainings. We have a full team of web support specialists available to assist you in any way. Many vendors don’t.
4. Variety of Offerings
Lastly, I would consider the offerings of your vendor. Many web conferencing vendors only offer web conferencing. If you want to actually have audio with your web conference, they may tell you to set that up yourself or will ask you to use a partner vendor. Why would you want to use two or more vendors for the same meeting? If you need additional services such as audio conferencing, recording and archiving, registration or event planning, select a vendor who can offer you all this with “one stop shopping”.
At TelSpan, we pride ourselves in offering a full selection of conferencing and communications solutions. We specialize in customizing solutions to meet each client’s unique needs.