Friday, February 20, 2009

Finding Your Inner NPR Voice

As a die-hard fan of National Public Radio, I’ve recently begun paying close attention to the quality of the voices of the hosts. I admire their clear and precise language that is free from annoying uhms and errs, and includes a variety of tones.

We can learn from the pros at NPR how maximize the use of voice to improve the delivery of a web conference. Since the audience may not see the speaker, the speaker’s voice carries additional importance. One tip that someone recently shared with me is to use the recording function of your web conferencing tool to record and listen to your voice as you rehearse. Great idea! The Public Speaking Help blog also offers 10 Tips to Improve your Speaking Voice

Friday, February 6, 2009

Web Conferencing is Green

One of the ancillary benefits of web conferencing that is sometimes overlooked is that by meeting virtually instead of face-to-face, carbon emissions are reduced. I like to include a slide at the beginning of each web conference that describes “what we saved,” to emphasize how web conferencing can contribute to carbon footprint reductions.

1. First, Calculate carbon emissions from transportation. Enter participants’ flight info, or estimate where all participants would have come from, and come up with one average flight. Then multiply the emissions for that flight by # of participants. You can use emissions calculators from or

For example, if you have a web conference with 30 participants and half of them would have flown from New York to Dallas-Fort Worth Texas (2,700 miles each or 40,500 total round trip) the carbon emissions would have been 7.57 tons for the flights alone.

2. Next, convert the tons of carbon saved into something more tangible. The EPA has a great Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. Use Option 2 and input CO2 totals from #1 above, then click "Calculate Equivalencies." You'll get a variety of results to choose from - select the ones that will resonate with your audience.

Following the above example, 7.57 tons of emissions is the equivalent of recycling 2.4 tons of waste or the emissions from 16 barrels of oil.

Pretty nifty!