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Make the Most Out of Your Meetings with MeetingBurner

Make the Most Out of Your Meetings with MeetingBurner

    Meetings can be one of the biggest time-wasters we can be involved with. They can be directionless, unfocused, long, and worst of all: pointless. There have been countless strategies put out there to combat the tedium of meetings, such as having “chairless” meetings, limiting meetings to 15 minutes, conducting meetings online and many others. But I haven’t found a single strategy or tool that improves the meeting concept better than MeetingBurner, and it just came out of beta today and is now available to the public.

    MeetingBurner has released their fast, elegant, and free webinar platform to the public today, and I’ve had a chance to use the service while it was in its beta stage. During that time, MeetingBurner saw overwhelming demand, registering more than 20,000 small business users and hosting over 100,000 meeting attendees — including yours truly.

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    How MeetingBurner Came to Be

    The company was founded by John and Paul Rydell, two brothers who were fed up watching the world waste billions of dollars a year in inefficient and ineffective online meetings. After spending a decade building a CRM business that supports more than 100,000 small business owners, the Rydells set out to build the world’s best online meeting platform with a vision to make it fast, simple, and efficient.

    How MeetingBurner Works

    MeetingBurner’s download-free interface lets participants join a meeting up to five times faster than existing solutions, and I’m a fan of not having to add any software to the mix to make things happen with a service. The platform used can scale to an incredibly vast size, as it is in built in the cloud with patent-pending technology to eventually allow for meetings of virtually any size. The company says they are looking to handle meetings of up to 1000 attendees, which is just unreal. By “leveraging the cloud” to support online meetings and conference calls, this allows MeetingBurner to offer a professional grade solution that is fast and reliable, and yet won’t break the bank for small businesses and freelancers.

    The Benefits of MeetingBurner

    During my test run of MeetingBurner, I came across a few of these features, and some of them hadn’t been available until today (like Autopilot, PayPal integration and the mobile platforms). These are just a few of the benefits of using MeetingBurner to conduct your meetings and webinars:

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    • Speed – Attendees click once to join a meeting, and it loads lightning fast.
    • Simplicity – Anyone can join meetings without calling tech support.
    • Integration – Phone bridges, Skype, and webinars in perfect harmony.
    • Sharing – One click to share a recorded meeting on YouTube.
    • Price – Free and fully featured with no distracting ads for attendees.
    • Meeting Temperature – Instant data that lets you drastically improve your pitch, follow up with interested attendees, and turn your meetings into a powerful sales tool.
    • Autopilot – Record a meeting on Sunday, but have it play on a Tuesday as if it’s live.
    • PayPal Integration – Charge attendees directly from the registration screen.
    • Mobile – Native Android functionality and iPhone/iPad apps to view meetings.

    How to Register for MeetingBurner

    MeetingBurner is fast and simple to get into — so much so that virtually anyone can use it, free of charge. It takes less than 10 seconds to sign up for an account and you can be hosting a webinar and sharing your screen with business colleagues, friends and family in seconds. You can register for a free MeetingBurner account at their website now.

    While the free version is definitely worth considering, here are all of the version MeetingBurner is launching with today:

    • MeetingBurner Free – Fast, beautiful, and always 100% free. Up to 15 participants in online meetings, integrated phone conference line, email support, and no ads to your users like other freemium solutions.
    • MeetingBurner Pro– $39.95 a month. Everything in Free + up to 50 participants, full telephone support, meeting recording, enhanced security encryption, and more.
    • MeetingBurner Premier – $99.95 a month. Everything in Pro + up to 1000 participants, telephone support, autopilot meetings, PayPal integration, meeting analytics, and more.

    The pricing structure and accompanying features offered by MeetingBurner literally blow WebEx and GoToMeeting out of the water. In fact, even before announcing the pricing, MeetingBurner had already seen a huge influx of adopters from the very incumbents they’ll be competing with.

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    “More than 75% of our users indicated that they had switched to MeetingBurner from GoToMeeting or WebEx. More than 80% loved their experience enough to share MeetingBurner with somebody else, and 88% responded that they liked it so much that they would pay for it upon release,” says President John Rydell.

    “We set out to build a BETTER webinar platform than the incumbents and give it away for free to completely disrupt the industry,” Rydell continued. “The feedback we received after our most recent release was enough to convince us we’re ready to open the doors, and compete head-to-head with the big boys.”

    Why I Use MeetingBurner

    I’m not big on meetings in general, but when I do have them I’d like them to be as easily digestible as possible. MeetingBurner is simple to use, is as frictionless as any other service of this magnitude that I’ve seen and has plenty of upside for me in other areas of my online work (i.e. running webinars, etc.). If you’re looking for a new way to hold meetings and conduct webinars, head over to MeetingBurner and give them a shot. You can also grab their iPhone app here, which brings you meetings and webinars on the go.

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    When it comes to online meetings and webinars, simply put — MeetingBurner is a game-changer.

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

    Posture

    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

    Facial Expressions

    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

    2. Relax Your Face

    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

    3. Smile More

    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

    4. Hand Gestures

    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

    5. Enhance Your Handshake

    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

    Final Takeaways

    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

    Reference

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