I recently deleted a spam email newsletter from my inbox that had a subject line: “How to Improve ROI from Your Business Meetings.”
My immediate thought was: just don’t HAVE business meetings at all!
In my 3+ decades in business, I have yet to find a bigger waste of time than face-to-face meetings with the majority of business partners.
Meetings vs. Phone Calls
In my early days as a patent attorney, working for big companies such as Siemens and IBM, I have drafted hundreds of patent applications myself, and that required hundreds of meetings with inventors. For some meetings I had to travel as far as 1.5 hours from my office to the client´s R&D facility. Then I did a 1.5-hour face-to-face meeting with the inventor. When you add in the round-trip car ride, the meeting took 4.5 hours, or half a day of my time.
For some inventors, often overseas or out-of-state, we typically had the meeting over the phone.
And now guess what? I consistently found that we could accomplish the same thing in a 20 to 30-minute phone call with the distant inventor as I did in a 1.5-hour face-to-face meeting with the “local” inventor.
Today, no matter whether the client is down the block or on the other side of the globe, our meeting is via phone or – even better – via Whatsapp messenger, or similar. The smarter the meeting participants the better.
If you need figures for supporting that, then take an hour’s salary for each person in the room plus the cost of someone making an agenda and a report, and then compare that with what came out of the meeting: meetings are losers events, as compared with phone calls.
Online Teleconference Software
We have early used teleconference software in our firm, and after trying out many different applications, www.uberconference.com turned out to be the best one for us. I came across www.uberconference.com because an acquaintance of mine is using it for his podcasts. www.uberconference.com has a recording option that provides an excellent fallback position, should the local recording of the podcast fail.
There are many online teleconference solutions but I prefer www.uberconference.com because of the following features:
- The product itself is easy to use and barely needs training: you can simply click a link and join the conference call, no pin is needed,
- you can either dial in via phone while viewing the screenshare via laptop or you can view and speak/listen via computer,
- I can start a teleconference from the uber conference app on my smartphone,
- screensharing is fantastic, there is no encroachment on the screen, and you get 100% screen space during sharing,
- any person can mute anybody else. This is a heavenly feature as you will no longer be at the mercy of some person with a noisy connection who is unconscious of all the noise and feedback that he/she is generating,
- at the end of a call you receive an email with the call statistics, and with a link to the (optional) recording of the call,
- this service is the most intuitive and easy to use of all, neither you nor the participants need to download any special software or create accounts, this keeps it easy and painless for everyone, even if your participants are not familiar with UberConference,
- you can easily mix participants with computers and phones: if the Internet quality for one participant is bad, he can just dial in via phone, using a local phone number,
- upon login in via computer, you can manually select the audio option that you want to apply: you no longer need to navigate through some settings page to set it up, fiddling with audio settings mid call. Each time I join an Uber Conference it asks me if I will call in using my phone, call in using my computer, or if I want to view only,
- Uber Conference has the screen share button in the bottom right corner and it is large enough to see and understand without needing to hover over it. Hovering does immediately confirm that it is the correct button,
- and many more
This is the Message that I send to my Communication Partners
You can copy/paste my message below and re-use it for your own purpose. It shows you how easy it is to connect with me:
Please use this link https://www.uberconference.com/martinschweiger to login into the conference call, you can then share files from your computer or even your entire screen. You need a headset and headphones attached to the computer.
This will also work from the Internet browser on your smartphone if you have mobile data or wifi.
If you don’t have a computer, you can dial in using a normal phone and my personal US number +1- 321-234-5473.
Instead of dialling my personal US number 321-234-5473, you can also use a local number, taken from this list https://www.uberconference.com/international (China is not listed there). Please then use my personal US number 321-234-5473 as a PIN.
The local number for a few selected countries are:
Hong Kong 5808 3219
Singapore 3158 0641
Germany 030 30807999
France 01 82 88 57 11
Brazil 11 3500-8339
Japan 03 4578 0172
Austria 0720 883760
Call to Action
Sign up for a free account at https://www.uberconference.com/
Install the Uber Conference app on your smartphone and start a Uber Conference.
Copy my info message above into the Whatsapp messenger of your smartphone and insert your own Uber Conference coordinates.
Send the message to your spouse, child, friend, etc. and see what happens.
Martin “No Business Meeting” Schweiger