Supersize Your Pipeline and Propel Your Outbound Efforts

Outbound can be challenging, but with these innovative tools and strategies you can supersize your pipeline and propel your outbound efforts.

Join our panel webinar as we discuss new tools and tactics available for Sales and Marketing teams that transform traditional outbound techniques to drive business results.

You will learn about:

  • Key challenges and pain points that Sales and Marketing teams experience with outbound efforts
  • Effective tools and tactics that help accelerate outbound sales
  • How you can gain stakeholder buy-in when considering new solutions for your team
  • Ways to obtain momentum in your pipeline

This on-demand webinar presented by:

Mike Scher, CEO and Co-Founder, FRONTLINE Selling

Mike Scher is the CEO and co-founder of FRONTLINE Selling. Under Mike’s leadership, FRONTLINE Selling has become a leader in sales acceleration, helping salespeople dramatically increase opportunities, sales and top-line revenue. Mike led the development of the company’s Staccato methodology and technology including the study of nearly 2 million outreach efforts removing the guesswork sales people go through about who to contact, when, and how often. Prior to founding FRONTLINE Selling, Mike spent 18 years in enterprise software sales. Most of that time was spent at JDEdwards where Mike was a frequent President’s Club Winner.

Cheryl Hanley, Senior Director, Demand Generation at PGi

Cheryl Hanley is Senior Director of Demand Generation at PGi. She led the charge in building the company’s demand generation engine and infrastructure and continues to fine tune programs to optimize results. Her expertise is in creating marketing and sales alignment, launching integrated programs, and driving demand through content, events, social, search, web, and lead nurture and scoring programs.

Natalie Mullen, Enterprise Sales Manager, Oracle

Natalie Mullen is an is an Enterprise Sales Manager for the Oracle Marketing Cloud, but may be best described as part marketer, part sales person. Natalie focuses on helping B2B and B2C organizations deliver consistent, cross-channel experiences to their audiences while driving incremental revenue growth through tightly aligned sales and marketing efforts.

Christine Pavalon, Vice President, Sales at PGi

Christine Pavalon is the Vice President of Sales at PGi, the world’s largest dedicated provider of collaboration software and services. In the collaboration industry for the last 15 years, Christine began her career as a web conferencing specialist and joined PGi five years ago, quickly advancing to Vice President of Sales. Christine currently leads a top-performing team of 15 sales managers and account executives, driving revenue for the company through new customer acquisition in the central region of the country. Christine lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three daughters.

Buyer’s Guide for Marketing Collaboration Workspaces

Collaboration solutions have become essential to every successful marketer’s game plan. They support seamless communication between teams and facilitate improved project management. And, in an age of disbursed teams, they can inspire innovation by bringing collaborators together in a virtual environment that’s the next best thing to being in the same room.

To help you identify the right solution for your team, download our Marketing Buyer’s Guide for Online Team Workspaces for answers to key questions and explanations of essential features.

The Problem with Docs, Drops and Camps

If you work in marketing, you know all about the pain points associated with the “Docs, Drops and Camps” approach to getting work done.  Pains like limited file storage, awkward sharing with internal teams and external vendors, and having to use a variety of tools which are not integrated.

Each of these tools has limitations in key areas. What you need is a complete business solution.  One that is purpose built for marketing teams by marketing experts to let you collaborate holistically within your teams and with key stakeholders as well as outside agencies and vendors.

Watch the video The Problem with ‘Docs, Drops and Camps and you’ll learn how iMeet Central from PGi meets all these criteria.  And after you’re done watching, request a consultation and we’ll show you how iMeet Central can help streamline communication and increase productivity.

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Still Collaborating with Emails and Conference Calls?

Does this sound familiar? When it’s time for a meeting with remote marketing staff, cross-functional teams, vendors or partners, everyone piles into a meeting room and the leader dials into a conferencing number. After all the people at different locations get connected, there’s confusion about who’s speaking, difficulty hearing them or understanding what they’re saying, and there are delays while everyone finds the right documents and the most recent versions.

Is that any way to collaborate? Read the eBook “Still Collaborating with Email and Conference Calls? You’re Doing It All Wrong!” and you’ll learn how the right collaboration tools give you access to a wide range of features and capabilities that make it easier to manage and engage your team and produce better, more effective results.

A CMO’s Guide to Virtual Collaboration

Marketing departments are growing in size, skills diversity and location. And today’s CMO is more involved than ever with the entire organization—including services, sales, product, IT, HR and finance. With all these disparate stakeholders engaged, sometimes it can feel like herding cats and corralling chickens!

That’s why for CMOs, virtual and online collaboration are more important than ever. Check out PGi’s new infographic, Herding Cats and Corralling Chickens, which takes a look at the virtual workforce and offers up some tips to help work more effectively together.

C-Suite Collaboration: Earning and Keeping Marketing’s Seat at the Table

Not surprisingly, by 2017, CMOs will direct more corporate technology spending than CIOs. However, the leader most often left out of the C-suite is still the CMO, according to research in the newest eBook by PGi.

Marketing leaders, it’s time to make your mark and learn how to earn a bigger role in setting the corporate agenda. Get your copy of the “C-Suite Collaboration” eBook now for four easy ways you can earn the respect of C-level executives and help guide digital transformation.

Download this must-read, free eBook from PGi today: “C-Suite Collaboration: Earning and Keeping Marketing’s Seat at the Table.”

How to Build Stronger Relationships with Audio Conferencing

Beyond products and revenue, business will always be about people—without customers and fans or employees and partners, a company is nothing but a name and a logo. Whether you’re wooing new customers or improving teamwork, building relationships can be the difference between the success and failure of both your job and your company’s brand at large.

Relationship building no longer happens just face to face. It occurs over emails, tweets, webinars, instant messaging and other virtual forums that make it quick and convenient to do at a distance.

While these tools all have a place in connecting with the people powering your business, nothing beats the speed and human touch of a good, old-fashioned phone call. Don’t overlook audio conferencing as a tool to build stronger relationships.

Why You Still Need to Pick Up the Phone

Audio conferencing will improve your business relationships and ensure that they are long lasting ones.

  • Phone calls are quick. Every salesperson knows that the faster you respond to a lead, the better your chances are of turning them into a customer. That’s because prompt communication demonstrates your genuine interest in helping someone, and unlike email and social media, you don’t have to wait for the person on the other end to find your response when you call. So if you want to make someone feel like you really care, try audio conferencing instead of sending an email or waiting to find a time to meet.
  • Conference calls are convenient. Not everyone is always in a setting to turn on their webcam for an online meeting, but people are more likely to answer a phone call, no matter where they are. And even when someone joins an online meeting on the go, most people prefer a more reliable, higher quality audio connection over VoIP.
  • Audio conferencing is more personal. If you want to get to know your teammate or a sales prospect, it sounds much more authentic to go off your talking points when you’re on the phone rather than email. Getting to know someone on a more personal level and hearing each other’s voice helps you develop trust and rapport. Plus, everyone has different communication preferences and learning styles. For instance, some prospects may prefer talking with sales primarily over emails, but many people still prefer the personal, instant, human interaction of phone calls.
  • Conference calls offer richer feedback. Building relationships requires you to not only reach out often but also to listen and learn about the other person, and conference calls help you do that better than text-based tools. Knowing how someone says something, not just what they say, tells more about what they’re thinking and feeling. Hearing pauses, sarcasm, laughter or a grave tone reveals hesitancy, anger, joy or concern, and you wouldn’t be able to pick up those insights just by reading a response. As a plus, audio conferencing captures all of that deeper data in a recording so you can go back and further analyze and archive your conversation, too.
  • Calling gets you in the door. How many times have you ignored an email? While most people are bombarded with emails, updates and messages, phone calls and voice mails don’t typically arrive by the hundreds every day. People will be much more likely to engage with you and remember you if you call.

If you want to accelerate relationship building and improve the quality of your relationships with customers, teammates, vendors or partners, audio conferencing should be part of your communication strategy.

Even if you’ve moved on from in-person meetings to video conferencing, having an all-in-one conferencing solution that includes crystal clear audio will ensure you stay in touch even when you don’t have the time for a formal online meeting or aren’t in the place to turn on video.

Learn more about the benefits of audio conferencing and all-in-one collaboration solutions for sales professionals and marketing teams today.

Featured Image Source: Unsplash

Battle Royale: CIO and CMO Relationship

43% of CMOs don’t see their IT department as moving fast enough, and 48% of CIOs feel marketing makes promises to the business without agreement from IT.*

It’s no secret that CIOs and CMOs sometimes struggle to work together. The sometimes-difficult working relationship often results from a lack of a unified digital vision.

However, one of the defining executive relationships in the 21st century will be between the CMO and the CIO. The marketing technology stack is getting more complex, and marketing is more reliant than ever on data. A solid partnership between the CIO and CMO is the “great facilitator” that will help advance an organization from good to great.

Join this panel discussion to hear valuable insight and best practices from leading IT and Marketing executives.  The discussion includes:

  • Differences between IT and Marketing styles, processes and procedures
  • Challenges and successes of working together
  • Best practices and insights for better collaboration

The CIO’s experience in managing these complex systems, combined with the CMO’s expertise in buyer behavior, will be a key relationship that will define success.

*Source: 2014 Deloitte Digital Research

This on-demand webinar presented by:

Warren Neuburger, CIO at PGi

Warren Neuburger has served as Chief Information Officer for PGi since 2014. Warren has a proven record of leading organizations to double-digit growth and profitability, and he’s applied his results-driven approach and leadership abilities to helping PGi maintain a leading position among global collaboration software providers. With the global IT team, Warren is optimizing PGi’s IT systems for agile software development and SaaS delivery. Prior to joining PGi, Warren worked as a Consulting Engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation. After relocating to Atlanta to join VoiceCom Systems as Vice President of Technology, Operations and Development, he held various leadership positions at software, computer and network organizations. Warren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Math and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University, as well as a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Georgia CIO Leadership Association and spends his spare time volunteering to construct homes with Habitat for Humanity International.

Ralf VonSosen, VP of Marketing at Nitro

Ralf leads Nitro’s global marketing portfolio with a focus on: Demand Generation, Product Marketing, and Corporate Communications. Bringing over 15 years of marketing leadership to Nitro, Ralf was most recently LinkedIn’s Head of Marketing for the Sales Solutions division. He is passionate about creating new markets, scaling high-growth companies, and growing customer communities. A native of Austria, Ralf is an avid triathlete and outdoorsman who resides in the San Francisco area with his wife and four children.

Armin Roesele, CIO at DirectBuy, Inc

Armin Roeseler is the CIO of DirectBuy, Inc., where he is transforming the IT organization and technology infrastructure. He has consolidated multiple Data Centers into a Cloud environment, is replacing an ERP system, has rolled-out a Corporate-wide Business Intelligence platform and is deploying a new Point-of-Sales (POS) system. Prior to his current role, Armin held executive positions with international financial services firms and research institutions. He has held C-Level technology leadership positions with Bank One Corp., ABN AMRO/LaSalle Bank, and subsidiaries of Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital and Bank of New York. Armin holds a M.S. in Computer and Information Science from New Jersey Institute of Technology where he was a Fulbright Scholar from his native Germany. His Ph.D. is in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology. He is a U.S. Patent holder, has published numerous articles on IT performance analysis methods, best practices and management aspects, and has lectured at international conferences in the U.S., Europe and Australia.

Karen Leavitt, Former Chief Marketing Officer at  FleetMatics

Karen is the former Chief Marketing Officer at FleetMatics. Prior to FleetMatics, Karen served as Chief Marketing Officer at Landslide Technologies Inc. from August 2008 to December 2011, Chief Marketing Officer of Contactual, Inc. from August 2008 to May 2009, and Chief  Marketing Officer at Mzinga from June 2007 to July 2008. Before Mzinga, she served as Vice President of Marketing at WebEx Communications, Inc. from 2005 to 2007. Prior to WebEx, she created customer and partner value at NewsEdge Corporation, first as Director of Business Development and was responsible for strategic partnerships and Director of Engineering, where she led a team of 25 software engineers. Karen has held leadership roles in marketing, customer service, and development at NewsEdge Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, Phoenix Technologies, and Lotus Development Corporation. She is an active Speaker and Participant in various industry events. She attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Mario Martinez, Jr.

Formerly, a RVP of ECS Sales for PGi, Martinez was responsible for managing all acquisition sales activities & customer satisfaction within the Enterprise, Public Sector and SMB segments in the West.  He has managed small and large sales teams and revenues of up to $300M.  In addition, he is a Speaker and Social Selling expert teaching, training & motivating sales leaders and teams how to take their skills to the next level.

How Marketing Professionals Can Benefit from Collaboration

For marketing professionals, roles, technologies, stakeholders and channels are always shifting and expanding. Every business is now digital and customer-centric, and it’s up to you to now integrate technology, visualize and interpret data and personalize the entire customer experience.

To manage it all, your team needs a marketing collaboration solution more than ever. Collaboration is crucial to alignment on messaging and campaigns, closing the loop with sales, accessing and sharing knowledge and resources, extending marketing’s role to customer service, accelerating projects and campaigns and igniting new ideas.

As it is across industries, virtual collaboration is essential for increasing productivity, agility and innovation, but in particular, for marketers like you, it is a powerful tool for breaking through the noise and staying in front of customers.

Here are just five ways your team can benefit from marketing collaboration:

  1. Connect your teams. As a marketer, you’re never collaborating in a silo. You are connecting marketing teams across regions and continents, getting sales on the same page and even syncing up with IT to purchase new technology. Marketing collaboration software helps you do it quickly and face to face so relationship building is ongoing and every interaction is more personal, no matter where you are.
  2. Source better creativity. Build engaging, long-term partnerships with the best creative agencies and vendors from anywhere in the world using virtual meetings, or contract marketing geniuses from across the country using virtual collaboration to stay in touch and on progress.
  3. Do more from a distance. Marketing collaboration solutions include online screen sharing, file sharing, note-taking, chat and more so you can host more interactive meetings and presentations with both external and internal parties, which results in more productive and creative conversations.
  4. Do more with less of your budget. With live and recorded webinars and webcasts, you can cast a bigger net for lead generation—not to mention, provide more personalized customer experiences—rather than paying for airline tickets and hotel fees to attend trade shows all year.
  5. Move faster. When your team is spread out, mobile-ready marketing collaboration tools empower you to maintain speed. Get every update and result from your marketing team on your mobile device, or call an impromptu meeting while you’re still on the road.

marketing collaboration tools

However, to ensure your collaboration tool is as smart as your content, you need a solution that’s also intuitive, engaging, robust and accessible in one click. Learn more about PGi marketing collaboration solutions today.

Ask the Experts with SiriusDecisions: 4 Pillars of Building Sales & Marketing Alignment

Companies that have aligned sales and marketing teams achieve up to 19% faster growth and 15% higher profitability.*

Marketing and Sales are often on opposing teams when they should be on the same team – in lock step on increasing revenue and driving new business.

Although it can be challenging, aligning the marketing and sales teams is essential for meeting and exceeding pipeline and revenue goals. So how can you improve collaboration between these two teams and create alignment to drive results?

Watch this Q&A session with Sirius Decisions and PGi to learn:

  • 4 pillars of building Sales and Marketing alignment
  • Best Practices for developing shared definitions and processes
  • Key metrics that marketing and sales should be sharing
  • Tools for better collaboration

Get the answers to the questions you always wanted to ask from the Experts!

*Source: 2015 B2B Buyer Benchmark Study by SiriusDecisions.

This on-demand webinar presented by:

Jason Hekl, SiriusDecisions

Jason Hekl is a seasoned b-to-b sales and marketing leader with more than 20 years of experience at companies large and small, specializing on the development and execution of demand creation strategies to accelerate growth. His responsibilities have spanned most facets of marketing, including strategy and planning, operations, demand generation, communications, product marketing and management, inbound marketing, analyst and media relations, channel marketing, partner management and lead development. Prior to joining SiriusDecisions, Jason was vice president of marketing at Coupa Software. Under his leadership, Coupa grew 100 percent year-over-year and went from a virtual unknown to recognition as an innovative challenger to industry leaders. Before joining Coupa, Jason served as vice president of corporate marketing at InQuira, and was responsible for all corporate marketing initiatives. During his tenure, revenues grew nearly 10-fold and the marketing organization won one of the original Markies (for Best Lead Scoring). Jason holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a BA in international relations and economics from the University of Delaware.

Cheryl Hanley, Director of Demand Generation at PGi

With more than 15 years’ marketing experience, Cheryl Hanley is passionate about developing B2B marketing strategies that result in the ultimate goal – revenue.  Her expertise is in creating marketing and sales alignment, launching integrated programs, and driving demand through content, events, social, search, web, and lead nurture and scoring programs. As Director of Demand Generation at PGi, a leading global provider of innovative collaboration solutions, she has led the way in building the company’s demand generation engine and infrastructure. In addition, she’s created messaging to enable the PGi sales organization to deliver the Challenger Sale methodology. Prior to PGi, Cheryl was responsible for new customer acquisition for Sage Software’s small business accounting unit. In addition to her corporate experience, she has worked at a number of agencies, including running her own agency for seven years serving the software, technology, financial services, and utility industries.  Cheryl lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with her husband and they enjoy traveling, cooking, and biking.

Finding the Right Webinar Software for Your Marketing Team

Webcasts and webinars have become an increasingly popular way for marketing teams to drive leads and business growth externally, broadcast thought leadership events and present product launches to large audiences.

Implementing a collaborative and interactive tool like this for engaging customers and prospects should be obvious for a modern-day marketing team, but understanding what features to look for in the best software requires thorough evaluation of product features.

If you’re ready to start the hunt for the best webinar software, take a look at some of the features that will help you make the best choice for your marketing team:

Ease of use: Setting up your webinar shouldn’t feel like rocket science. Truly DIY webcasting software, like PGi’s iMeetLive®, has easy-to-use features that let you schedule, manage and present audio and video webcasts within minutes.

Cloud hosting: Traditional webinar systems have been complicated with additional components to manage, purchase or install to get an event started. Consider webcasting software that integrates with your existing hardware, making it easy for you to host and participate in a webinar event from their computer or mobile device.

Engaging experience: A critical aspect of webinars is the ability to engage with your audience. Your webinar software should include interactive features like Q&A, streaming video, polling, surveys and social media.

Brand yourself:  Make sure you’re able to create and customize branded emails, registration landing pages, graphics and webcasting players to put the spotlight on your brand before, during and after your event.

Data driven: When considering a webinar tool, look for a robust data collection feature that will give you instant online access to track attendance, survey and Q&A results All of these real-time ROI metrics should be available through any web browser.

Versatile recording: A final feature to consider is on-demand recording and replay. Your new webcasting software should allow you to utilize versatile recording and editing features to create and post on-demand videos that can be accessed through a single URL, an especially helpful tool when following up with your audience post-event.

If you’re ready to take your webinars to the next level with features like these, sign up for a free trial of PGi’s iMeetLive now.

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How Corporate Communications Can Integrate New Technology to Spread Better Messages

As a corporate communicator, it’s your job to keep your coworkers informed on all the company updates, product rollouts, culture-building events, social responsibility initiatives and more.

However, like most technology, communications technology is constantly changing and evolving. If you want to get the most bang for your buck out of your corporate communications, it’s up to you and your team to stay on top of these trends and investigate new, innovative ways to engage your internal associates.

Here are three technological innovations to help your corporate communications team spread better messages:

(Better) Emails

The internal email is the old stand-by of corp comms. Company newsletters, executive announcements and more have long lived in our inboxes. However, after months or even years of receiving the same old emails, your associates may begin to lose interest or stop reading them altogether.

Luckily, the humble email has evolved quite a bit in recent years, becoming HTML-rich with graphics, interactivity and more. Modern email tools are simple to use and let practically anyone craft engaging, interesting internal communications.

And, best of all, they come with built-in metrics tracking so you can be sure your message is being received – and read – by your target audience.

Corporate Intranets

Your company’s culture is important, and corporate comms professionals have to send out a ton of information to keep everyone in-the-know. What if you could make all of your corporate communications available in a permanent, persistent location that your associates could access on demand?

Social business technologies like corporate intranets offer a customizable location where you can house all of your communications and messaging documents for your organization’s employees. You can even use it to extend the life of your emails by saving them as PDFs and uploading them for later review.

Webinars and Webcasts

When spreading the goodness of your company’s mission and vision, wouldn’t it be great to put your leadership team in front of all of your associates? The problem, of course, is that travelling and setting up large events is expensive and complicated, not to mention the added difficulties if your company is geographically distributed around the globe.

Executive visibility is important for company culture, and thankfully, web events technology like webinars and webcasts are easier to use than ever before. They’re an innovative, cost-effective way to spread any company message, and let it persist as content by utilizing recording functionality. They also come with features like Q&A and polling so you can really take the pulse of your associates in real-time.

Using Social Media to Educate Customers

As you are probably aware, social media has become extremely popular over the past few years. 1.73 billion people from around the world used social media sites in 2013, according to eMarketer. This number is expected to increase to an unbelievable 2.55 billion within the next five years.

Many businesses are beginning to notice these numbers and use them to their advantage. Social media is making it possible for brands to engage with their customers like never before.

These days, people have constant access to the internet. Smart phones and tablets make it easy to stay connected while on the go. Even some retail stores and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi. People want to connect with their friends, families and even their favorite companies. They want to know what new products you’re offering, any good news you have to share or events you may have coming up.

By educating your users on your latest products and upcoming events, you can begin to build great, meaningful relationships with your customers. Here are some fun ways you can use social media to help educate your consumers:

  • Get creative

You can’t be afraid to try new things. No one wants to see the same updates and posts over and over again. You also don’t want to post too many times a day. You will lose followers very quickly if you post the same thing five times in one day. Once you learn when and what to post you will begin to stand out from the crowd. Who knows, you might inadvertently create a video or message that goes viral.

  • Provide fun incentives

Whether it’s a sneak peek into an upcoming product release or a giveaway, you can make your customers feel special. Providing them with information they can’t get anywhere else or prizes for winning a contest will motivate individuals to continuously monitor your company’s page for the latest and greatest things you have to offer.

  • Continue to share information

Don’t let days or weeks go by without logging on to your social media sites and engaging with your users. It’s important that you continue to communicate. You can highlight your company’s culture by posting images of employees participating in company events. Promote important announcements or answer questions and comments from customers. As long as you continue to share information and interact with your audience, your followers will grow.

  • Listen

Don’t forget that social media sites provide great platforms for two-way communication. If you ignore what your customers are saying, asking or doing then you are throwing away potential opportunities.  Once you’ve figured what your customers want and like, you will be able to provide content that will better peak their interest.

Consumers want to feel connected to your company and even your employees. They want to know what’s going on inside your organization and what new products or announcements you have to share without spending too much time searching for it.

Billions of people are already using social media sites, so it only makes sense to get involved.

Be sure to like us, join us and follow us.

The Multiple Benefits of Video Conferencing

Businesses across the world are feeling pressure to increase revenue and collaboration while keeping an eye on costs. This can prove difficult when many businesses have multiple offices in different countries. Scheduling face-to-face meetings can be expensive and time consuming.

Businesses are investing in information technologies to unlock savings. Chief among these technologies is video conferencing. Video conferencing technology can help remove distance barriers, improve productivity between colleagues and clients and save money. For an initial investment equal to the cost of one business trip, a company can purchase state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment that can be reused for years to come.
Additional benefits resulting from video conferencing investments include:

Employee flexibility

Online meeting tools make it possible to hire the best talent for the job regardless of their location. It also gives employees the opportunity to work from home full-time or as needed. Modern video conferencing software comes standard with high definition video, optimized audio and smooth, fast internet connections to provide an experience that is functionally identical to in-person meetings.

Full device integration

Innovative cloud computing allows you to combine your conferencing equipment with smartphones, tablets and laptops so you can share information and presentations with unprecedented ease and speed. Have you uploaded files to your computer but need to host your next meeting from your tablet? No problem. All your files will be available no matter which device you choose.

Tailor your schedule to the client’s needs

Video conferencing means more interactive conversations with clients and partners in less time, which translates to more deals closed with a fraction of the effort.

Train remotely

Interview and educate prospective employees and coworkers without necessitating travel, space allocation or over-the-shoulder learning.

Resolve problems immediately

Implementing desktop sharing and remote device control accelerates turnaround time on inbound customer and client support calls.

As businesses continue to channel more funding into IT services, video conferencing will increasingly become the status quo. The easy-to-use technology of online meeting tools combined with the common current-generation devices will only become more intuitive over time. Embracing this trend isn’t just an immediate cost-cutting initiative, it’s also a great way to begin separating yourself from the competition.


Top 5 Presentation Tips You Can Use in Your Next Meeting

Presentations happen every day. You may be tasked with presenting information to a few of your colleagues or a room full of potential clients. No matter the content, it’s vital that you quickly capture the attention of your audience and keep it throughout.

There are countless fun presentations ideas you can use to ensure your audience stays engaged. As you’re preparing for your next meeting, try these 5 tips:

1.Use fun images

Since 65 percent of people are mainly visual learners, include fun images and colors in your presentations. Great images serve as visual cues, which helps the audience follow along. The right pictures and colors can influence a person’s emotional reaction and instantly build rapport and trust.

2.Ditch the PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint presentations are effective tools, but are not always necessary. As you’re preparing for your next presentation, ask yourself if you really need to use slides. You may find the answer is no. If you feel slides will not add any extra value to your presentation, don’t use them.

3.Provide several ways to connect

Businesses have gone global. Colleagues and clients are not always going to be located in the same office building or town. You may find yourself communicating with people from all over the world on a daily basis. As a result, it’s a great idea to give people the option to join your meetings virtually. Online meeting tools like iMeet® and GlobalMeet® make it so simple for people to attend meetings from anywhere. Both products integrate best-in-class audio with crystal-clear HD video so you and your guests are able to get together anytime.

4.Tell a story

Who doesn’t love a good story? Instead of simply presenting information, weave a story into your presentation. This will help develop and organize your thoughts. It will also make it easier for others to follow along and remember what you’ve said.

5.Make it interactive

With attention spans only lasting around five minutes, it’s important you keep your audience engaged. Turn the presentation into more of a dialogue by getting feedback and asking questions throughout. In doing so, you will help lighten the mood and make everyone feel more comfortable. Also, by making guests active participants in your conversation, it becomes easier for them to retain the information they’ve learned.

These are just five of many fun presentation ideas. Maybe you’ve seen some of these used or you’ve used some yourself. Do you have any favorites?

Business Etiquette Tips for Social Media Engagement

by Samantha Pitchell, PGi Meetings Expert

Social media platforms, spaces and groups are fertile ground for forward, out-of-the-box thinking; fresh, off-the-cuff commentary; honest dialog and open lines of communications. They also present ripe opportunities for public blunders, embarrassing faux pas and costly misunderstandings. While social media spaces invite spontaneity, because they are public platforms, it’s important that a degree of caution be exercised when developing content for your personal and business blogs, Facebook profiles, Twitter handles, etc. It is important that you understand social media etiquette.

Social Media Etiquette Rule #1: Develop specific content for each of your platforms.

That means don’t simply tweet your blog posts and blog about your tweets. Your Facebook content should not repeat your Twitter activities, and vice versa. Each space should offer specific, fresh content with distinct value that is appropriate to the audiences of each. Define the purpose of each space, and your targets, and talk directly to those people about the things that interest them. Don’t expect the same folks to follow each of your accounts just because – offer a variety of value opportunities to a broader spectrum of viewers by diversifying your content. Keep people informed of what’s new with your brand and leverage assets in different ways: for example, if your company hosted a recent event, you could post a video about it on Facebook, create a new hashtag on Twitter and share memories and photos in a blog post. Don’t just recycle the same assets everywhere — share the right content in the right place.

Social Media Etiquette Rule #2: Be real.

Striving for perfection at the cost of being real, genuine and expressing some honesty and personality isn’t worth it. People will forgive an extra space or the mistake of an occasional misspelled word made in the excitement of posting a compelling message if the message itself is memorable, useful and worth their time to read and respond to.

The most expertly crafted wording will never outshine content that is timely, interesting and valuable. Too buttoned-up = boring. Save the marketing speak for your website. Social media means just that – human, friendly, thoughtful, engaging. Experiment with different emotions. A little humor never hurt. Open it up and invite guest content contributors from inside and outside your company to help keep the conversations lively, enrich the experience and bring in new followers.

Social Media Etiquette Rule #3: Don’t fear negative reviews.

Once you start communicating in the social realm, begin gathering a following, and engaging with the public, less-than-positive commentary is bound to find its way in to your spaces. You may be tempted to delete them, all of them, the second they appear. But this is a slippery slope and is not an authentic approach to social participation. Social media is designed for two-way communications. And everyone knows better than to believe any company’s product or service is 100% perfect 24/7/365.

Your business is bound to make mistakes and, for many, your social spaces are the quickest, easiest, most readily-available way for your customers to get in touch with you. To delete their posts is to deny them their voice and negate your opportunity to make amends, fix the situation and extend the customer relationship. You better serve your brand’s reputation by addressing their comments swiftly and by responding with effective customer service. Unless the content is libel or obscene, keep it and use the chance to create a constructive dialog. If you don’t listen to your customers, you’ll never make them happy.

Transparency builds trust. Humanizing your social persona makes it more effective. And diversifying your content keeps it interesting. Try these tips for better social engagement across your public platforms and let us know how they’ve improved your user experiences.

What are some of your tips for improved social media etiquette? What works? What doesn’t? We invite you to share your insights as to what makes or breaks lasting, fulfilling social media relationships.

George Washington’s Top 10 Email Etiquette Tips

As the world continues to move faster and faster, especially online, people are becoming increasingly impatient. Along with declining attention spans and an increase in multitasking, etiquette and manners, especially within email communications, fall to the wayside. The average corporate email user sends and receives around 525 email messages per week – a number that continues to rise.

Have you ever read an email full of shortcuts or typos and debated the legitimacy of the information within the email? Proper etiquette in the business world is important for career growth and is becoming increasingly obsolete in today’s ever-evolving digital world of texting and instant messaging. Is “Gr8” and “4 u” appropriate correspondence to send to a client?

If you want to be taken seriously in the corporate world, you need to know who your audience is and when it’s appropriate to joke around. When in doubt, follow these top 10 email etiquette tips straight from the mouth of George Washington himself – sort of. Though email communication came much after his time, his advice in the Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation is still applicable today. Here are George Washington’s Top 10 Email Etiquette Tips for today’s business worker.

1. Know your audience. In writing or Speaking, give to every Person his due Title According to his Degree & the Custom of the Place. Your e-mail greeting and closing should be consistent with the level of respect and formality of the person you are communicating with.

2. Don’t “e-mail angry.” Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at none although they give Occasion. Always remember that email lasts forever. Think twice before you respond back with an emotionally charged note.

3. Do not pass along inappropriate forwards while at work. Show Nothing to your Friend that may affright him. Again, email lasts forever. Inappropriate forwards at work are not worth the risk of termination or legal action that might come with them.

4. Be concise and get to the point. Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive. People are busy and do not have the time to dig through long paragraphs in order to figure out what you’re asking. Keep it simple. Keep it short.

5. Think twice before sending confidential information. Never express anything unbecoming, nor Act against the Rules Moral before your inferiors. Highly sensitive information should not be passed around outside of office walls. Should the email get into the wrong hands, you could face serious legal repercussions.

6. Avoid all caps and use exclamation points sparingly. At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary. Using all caps or multiple instances of !!! or ??? is perceived as shouting and is rude and condescending. The maximum number of exclamation points in a business e-mail is one.

7. Respond in a timely fashion. Turn not your Back to others especially in Speaking. Even if you are unable to answer the person’s question right away, it’s good practice to acknowledge the email and let them know that you will need more time.

8. Punctuation matters. When a man does all he can though it Succeeds not well blame not him that did it. Comma, colon, hyphen, semicolon and period all exist for a reason. You are not setting yourself up for success by making your readers guess the intended meaning of your sentence.

9. Refrain from overly using emoticons. The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you are upon. As much as you want to include that happy face or sad face icon to show your emotions, there is little need for their usage in the business world.

10. Do not use “Reply All” unnecessarily. Being to advise or reprehend any one, consider whether it ought to be in publick or in Private. Do not use Reply All to tattle, scold, correct or send nasty comments back to the sender. Show some decorum and email directly or pick up the phone to talk it through.

These important etiquette tips will certainly allow your business communications to rise above the majority who do not take the time to put in the effort. When it comes to your career, it’s important to remember that the impression you make over e-mail can frame you as a credible professional that’s a pleasure to do business with, or someone who has no clue what they’re talking about. Professionalism and courtesy never go out of style.