My 5 Immutable Rules of LiveMeeting (a.k.a. “Prep work you should do before you run a LiveMeeting”)

image Have you ever seen someone doing a presentation on stage that didn’t turn off their cell phone? 
Or didn’t turn off the room lights so the projection screen bled ‘white’? 
Or didn’t sound right or had ‘feedback’ because the speaker never bothered to do a microphone/sound check?

…well, guess what:  LiveMeeting has the same problems except they involve software preparation instead of physical preparation for the presenter. 

Here are 5 simple rules that I see people break all the time when it comes to LiveMeeting presentations:

    I consider not uploading your deck to be a lack of professionalism – and if you don’t know what “uploading your deck” means, you’ve likely never done it and really need to take a class on how to use LiveMeeting.  I mean, what it comes down to is despite having the luxury of doing the presentation remotely, you did so little preparation, you didn’t even bother to upload your deck to the LiveMeeting servers so that it appears clearly on the customer’s screen, much less test what the experience is like for your customer.  And BTW, you ought to flip through the deck once it’s been uploaded to ensure animations, fonts, & graphics placement translated correctly.  Improperly ‘translated’ slides is another dead giveaway you didn’t review your presentation online before the meeting.

    “DON’T PRESENT USING POWERPNT.EXE” (Corollary to Rule #1)
    I would be embarrassed if I delivered a presentation this way.  Live remoting/sharing-out POWERPNT.EXE and doing the presentation from within Powerpoint instead of LiveMeeting’s optimized, client-side caching presentation engine ignores the customer viewing experience and is either lazy or you don’t know how to use LiveMeeting.  For those of you who haven’t been on the viewing end of someone doing this recently there are two major issues for attendees when presenters do this:
    Slide changes are HEINOUSLY SLOW
    Waiting for a slide to change while an attendee is on a mediocre Internet connection is painful:  Blocks of the screen appear slowly and it’s like viewing the live video through a 56kbps modem.  It kills the attendee’s ability to follow your presentation.
    Presentations DO NOT SCALE.
    The slides don’t automatically size to fit the attendee’s personal LiveMeeting window.  This forces them to scroll up/down, left/right if they are running at a lower resolution than the presenter.  This results in attendees defocusing on what you’re saying and spending time scrolling around the screen.

    People… PLEASE.  This is Presentation Skills 101:  Before the customer sees your demo screen, shift down to 1024×768 & preferably down to 256 colors if possible – especially if you intend on doing a demo.  People can’t see your demo or your presentation if 1/3rd of it is off screen and requires the user to use the horizontal scroll bars to read it.  Frankly, this is probably the worst LM etiquette violation a presenter can have.  In my mind, it’s akin to having a customer meeting and not putting your cell phone on vibrate.  It’s just thoughtless and inconsiderate.
  3. “S… L…O…W… DOWN.”
    There’s a few of presenters I know that could be nicknamed, “The Fastest Slide Changers in the West”.  Customer centricity demands that you remember that LiveMeeting slide refresh speeds can be slow, slow, SLOW… especially with the horrible speeds of certain customer’s Internet gateways.  LiveMeeting’s presentation engine will pre-cache slides on a viewer’s machine in the order in which they’re organized to provide a smooth transition experience however it requires that they be connected for at least a few seconds beforehand so that it has time to download the content in the background.  If you jam through slides or especially ‘hop around’ your deck, people may not even see what you’re showing because you moved too quickly.  
    (An easy way to ensure you know what your attendees experience is like… is to simply open a separate LiveMeeting window as an ATTENDEE.  This way you can present and see what the attendee refresh rate is like.)
    Why would you ever not record the session for the customer to playback?  Why wouldn’t you want other customers to see the presentation recording that couldn’t attend?  And why wouldn’t you take the time to upload your Powerpoint for download via the LiveMeeting “Handouts” function?  All this is, is preparation.  Even if you choose not to forward the recording link to the customer later, this is still a great thing to have just in case the customer said something and you need to go back to the recording to find out what it was.
    (This is a corollary to the age-old, “Don’t assume there’s a projector at a customer’s site.”)
    I don’t understand folks that show up onsite at a customer then suddenly ask out of the blue, “Hey, is there Internet access available?  We need one so that someone can demo the product remotely.”  They reveal that they don’t have a cellular Internet adapter and thus can’t connect to a LiveMeeting session.  People that don’t arrange to have an Internet connection ahead of time by asking the customer or the account team set themselves up to fail by not verifying the one thing they REALLY need for them to be able to execute their presentation.

One Response to My 5 Immutable Rules of LiveMeeting (a.k.a. “Prep work you should do before you run a LiveMeeting”)

  1. […] Also, if doing an online presentation via Lync or Live Meeting, you should upload your PowerPoint presentation instead of sharing your desktop.  See Tip: Stop sharing your desktop for PowerPoint presentations and Tip o’ the Week #111 – Sharing PowerPoint in Lync? and My 5 Immutable Rules of LiveMeeting […]

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