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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 April 11, 2019

    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

    I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

    I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

    Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

    How Communication Skills Help Your Success

    Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

    Create a Positive Experience

    Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

    When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

    What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

    Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

    As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

    Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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    Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

    Help Leadership Skills

    It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

    Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

    As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

    Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

    If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

    Build Better Teams

    Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

    In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

    If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

    When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

    Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

    There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

    Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

    1. Listen

    Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

    Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

    People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

    Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

    Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

    2. Know Your Audience

    Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

    Here is a good way to think about it:

    Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

    You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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    3. Minimize

    I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

    He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

    Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

    State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

    The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

    4. Over Communicate

    So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

    What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

    Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

    Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

    Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

    There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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    5. Body Language

    The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

    When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

    In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

    When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

    Conclusion

    Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

    Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

    There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

    Now go communicate your way to success.

    More Resources About Effective Communication

    Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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