How To Hold a Professional Business Meeting Without Leaving Your Home

Hold a meeting in your own homeYou can’t get around them: business meetings. If you’re a CEO of a big company or a junior-level associate for a tiny operation, you’re going to have to have a meeting once in awhile.

Or all the time.

You need to maintain a professional image – and, if you work from home or have a flexible work arrangement, you don’t want to look or sound like some guy in a coffee shop. Here are a few tips for the next time you want to hold a professional business meeting without leaving your home:

  1. Skype has been around for awhile, and it’s good.
  2. The price is right for Skype: you can start with the free service and, if you need to call landlines or want to have calls forwarded to your phone, pay a little bit more.

    We know business people that have used Skype for years, with very few complaints. The biggest catch: you’ll need to make sure you have a good home modem or broadband connection.

    ADVERTISEMENT: There’s also a phone service worth taking a look at for added professional oomph: eVoice┬« 6 Month Free Trial

  3. GoToWebinar comes highly recommended, too.
  4. One of the most-used services for this kind of thing is GoToWebinar. A plus is that it’s backed by a company called Citrix.

    A minus, though, is that you have to install something on your PC or Mac – if you’re working “for the man” at home, you might incur the wrath of the IT department.

  5. And then there’s WebEx.
  6. Another stalwart in this space is WebEx. They are backed by Cisco, a huge player in the tech world.

    With both WebEx and GoToWebinar, you can of course do the webcam thing – this adds to your professional image, as long as you’re not wearing a baseball cap and a T-Shirt. (If your company image IS “person in baseball cap and T-Shirt,” then, we imagine, that’s okay Check with management.)

    ADVERTISEMENT: Inexpensive Virtual Phone System for Small Businesses

  7. Have you heard about iMeet?
  8. Honestly – we bumped into these folks for the first time a couple weeks back. We’re pretty impressed with how it looks, feels and operates. Here’s a link to their website: iMeet.

    You’ll want to take advantage of free trials with any of these services, and of course try them out on a friend before using them professionally.

  9. Once you have the tools set – let’s talk image.
  10. After trying out the technology solutions and picking one to go with, you should be mindful of a few things that can impact your image. Lighting and location – pick somewhere in your home that has ample lighting, ideally with natural light behind you (but not directly shining into the camera). Smiling is important, too – and eye contact (which can be difficult on webcams).

    If you’re freshest first thing in the morning, then by all means schedule meetings then – as long as the other part of the meeting doesn’t mind. And have a glass of water with you for in case your throat gets dry.

You don’t have to look like some guy in a basement or a woman in her bathrobe while you make your business shine. Try out these services, and smile!

Any tips you’d add to this list?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About Dave Van de Walle

Co-Founder of New Frugality, Dave's day job is as lead consultant at Area 224, a Chicago-area strategic communications firm. He has been an entrepreneur since 2006, when he founded an education technology startup, and has been living somewhat frugally ever since.

5 comments
phone service
phone service

Everything listed are a big help in creating conferences right at the comforts of our own home, these tools are being tested and reliable for this purpose.

Carrie Smith
Carrie Smith

I currently use Skype, but I always seem to be having problems with it. Thanks for sharing some other program alternatives. I will check them out.

TamaraLeClair
TamaraLeClair like.author.displayName 1 Like

Haha! it is! I've never heard of livefyre... anyways, good post, although the clients I deal with are trained to accept me in whatever form they get me (bathrobe, pyjamas, tiara). It's the cost of having access to me at all :)

Heather Acton
Heather Acton moderator

@TamaraLeClair I remember being so embarrassed about the condition of my hair on Skype that I would refuse to turn on the video aspect if I didn't know the cilent well enough. If you've seen my on Skype in my jammies, you're in my inner circle =)