Episode 278: Meet Like You Mean It - Virtual Project Meetings Made Easy (Free)
This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for The PMI-ACP Exam:
If you're going to bother holding a meeting, then you should meet like you mean it.
This statement comes from Wayne Turmel (http://www.greatwebmeetings.com/ - https://www.linkedin.com/in/wayneturmel) who has been speakinga and consulting on communications and successful meetings in particular for a very long time.
His latest book is called Meet Like You Mean It: A Leader's Guide To Painless And Productive Virtual Meetings. In the book and also in our interview he argues that if you're a project manager, you have to learn how to use today's online meeting tools to get great input, maximum participation, and engagement from your participating project team members. Virtual meetings should be an integral part of the way we work and manage our projects, and not an excuse to answer emails.
Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.
Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode # 278. This is the Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I'm Cornelius Fichtner.
Before we get started, I have a quick favor to ask of you. Do you like The Project Management Podcast™? Do you like it well enough to take a couple of minutes and write an iTunes review for us? If you do, then please go to www.pm-podcast.com/review or just open up the iTunes Store and tell others what you think of The Project Management Podcast™. Thank you!
And now back to today's topic. If you're going to be holding a meeting, then you should meet like you mean it. This statement comes from Wayne Turmel who has been speaking and consulting on communications and on successful meetings in particular for a very long time.
His latest book is called "Meet Like You Mean It, A Leader's Guide to Painless and Productive Virtual Meetings". In the book and also in our interview, he argues that if you are a project manager, you have to learn how to use today's online meeting tools to get great input, maximum participation and engagement from your participating project team members. Virtual meetings should be an integral part of the way we work and how we manage our projects and not to be used as an excuse to answer emails in the background.
Also, we are giving away two copies of his book. One copy as always is reserved for our Premium listeners. So if you are a premium subscriber, you are automatically entered into the drawing for one book. Everyone else gets a chance to win the other book. Please go to www.facebook.com/pmpodcast. Look for the giveaway announcement and participate.
And now since everyone has joined our meeting on time today, let's get started. Enjoy the interview.
Female voice: The Project Management Podcast’s feature Interview: Today with Wayne Turmel, President of www.GreatWebMeetings.com.
Cornelius Fichtner:Hello, Wayne and welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™!
Wayne Turmel: Thanks, Cornelius. It's nice to be back or wherever it is that we are.
Cornelius Fichtner: It's been a while.
Wayne Turmel: It has! I think it was just before the sad demise of the Cranky Middle Manager show.
Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, you have to write more books then I can invite you more often.
Wayne Turmel: Okay!
Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! So we are going to talk about your new book today, parts of your new book. It is called "Meet Like You Mean It, A Leader's Guide to Painless and Productive Virtual Meetings" and we are going to open up that book and we are going to take a look at a couple of chapters inside of it, the technology chapter and the planning chapter.
But first of, what's your personal favorite technology or tools when you are holding a virtual meeting these days and why do you choose that particular one?
Wayne Turmel: Yeah, a lot of people are hung up on the technology. Truthfully, as a business and everything, we're platform agnostic. I don't really have a dog in that fight. I generally use WebEx, some version of WebEx meeting center, training center, event center depending on the type of event that we're doing and the reason is just that I happen to like the interface. It's what I grew up with, I'm used to it. And it works across most people's platforms. It works equally Mac and PC. And most people are familiar with it.
I mean as a matter of fact, WebEx has kind of become the Kleenex of the collaboration space. It has become a generic term people use it, well let's get on a WebEx even when they are not using it. But truthfully, I'm not emotionally connected to it. Most of the platforms, most of the kind of name brand platforms will do 90% of what you want it to do.
Cornelius Fichtner: So let's break that emotional connection that you don’t have with WebEx. What tool would you use if I told you are no longer allowed to use WebEx?
Wayne Turmel: You know it's funny, if I have to do a lot of different things with it, if I have to do training, if I have to do large events, if I have to do small events, Adobe Connect is maybe the most robust tool. It has a really steep learning curve frankly. But once you learn it, it will do anything you want it to do.
On the other hand, I am actually and quiet as kept, I actually like Microsoft Lync. The new version of Microsoft Lync does pretty much anything the average working manager or project manager needs to do in the course of a meeting or collaboration. A lot of people shy away the minute they hear the M word. But the truth of the matter is, it's actually a very robust product. The problem with Lync like all these products is 80% of people use fewer than 25% of the features.
Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, as always.
Wayne Turmel: And so they don’t really know what it can do. Those are the names that I'd used. There are a few that meeting-specific. They are not great for training but they're really good for meeting. Lucid Meetings is a terrific product. Jigsaw Meeting is one I just saw. I get all these people contact me all the time: "Hey take a look at our tool." There are a lot of good tools out there and as I say, they all do about 90% of the same stuff.
Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! So let's open up your book. You begin the chapter on the virtual meeting tools and technology by talking about an elephant in the room. Okay, what elephant and why do we need to talk about it?
Wayne Turmel: Well you know when I talk about virtual meetings as you know in the book, a lot of the stuff is appropriate not just for virtual meetings but can be applied anywhere, right, in terms of how do you run a good meeting. But the fact is that people get hung up on the technology and they come at the technology from a place of scarcity. They won't give us budget. They won't let us travel. They won't give us time on the schedule and so we have to use these things. And so people use these tools begrudgingly. Because over 85% of people, this is a shocking number from the people that provide these tools, over 85% of people who use these tools do it without receiving any training or coaching in the tool. It's just: 'Here is your WebEx license. Here is your Lync license, try not to hurt somebody.'
Truthfully if I am unfamiliar with the tool and I'm not comfortable and by the way, I'm not happy about it because it has been imposed on me, I'm not going to go out of my way to investigate the possibilities and be as comfortable and proficient as I should be. So not only do we have 80% of people using fewer than 20% of the features, we've got 85% of the people who never been trained on it. And so the first time they use it is with innocent victims on the other end. And so if I'm not comfortable with the technology, if I don’t even know what it can do, how can I be expected to make the most of it?
Cornelius Fichtner: Alright. Then from there, you go in to talking about permissions and I think that has very much to do with training as well. What's important about permissions during a virtual meeting?