Give Your Online Training Tools a Boost with

A few days ago, I attended an online business training session (name withheld for privacy purposes). It was the typical sign-up-and-wait experience where I registered, got approved, and on the day of, watched patiently as the presenter flashed through slides.

I sat back and watched. As the trainer spoke, I hand-wrote my questions and comments, occasionally sending a chat message at the moderator who would hopefully find it and answer it at the end. Sure enough – they took some questions, but not mine. And then we were out of time. I followed up with an email and waited some more. Sound familiar?

While there are distinctive features and differences between presentations, workshops, virtual meetings, and training sessions, each of them can benefit from a simple tool like Taking questions in real-time around key takeaways provides an opportunity to engage the audience. Passing control of the screen during presentation of charts and visuals help trainers better understand the audience mindset and take the presentation to next level. Both techniques create a deeper understanding of the message. So why wait?

Delivering effective training online takes the right tool and a feedback loop. What are your online training tools for engaging your audience and training in the simplest possible way?

  a virtual communication tool for higher education

As I always say, we are so lucky to get great feedback from our users every day. Lately, we’ve been seeing more and more people using in higher education.  Whether you’re a teacher, a student, or both, has been helping academia stay connected with its online meeting capabilities. Here’s some great feedback we’ve received recently:

“I’ve just started tutoring a group of young people as part of summer school… Not only did I use your service on my Windows Vista laptop, but I also presented it to them on Macs as well as Windows 7 on different browsers all at the same time. I could see the results were amazing. The students found it easier to follow on screen when completing walk through activities.”

“Excellent product!! Making it free makes it even more helpful for students like us who need to collaborate on assignments and deliverables.”

“It has been extremely helpful during my on-line course work to be able to show my instructor, mentor, and adviser where I was bogged down. It’s so much easier to show then to describe over the phone or on email. Also, I have students that I tutor who can use to let me see what they are working on and dialog before they submit an incorrect answer. Love it all!!!!”

As a professor, can help you be available to students on the fly. We spoke to Professor Rodney Farthing a few months ago to learn more about how he is using by working remotely and holding virtual office hours for his students. Also, it’s a great instructional tool to help students who can’t attend class still participate – they can join your session from wherever they are. No more snow days! (Just kidding.)

You probably remember what it’s like to do group projects – you still do something of the sort at your job every day. For students, can help you collaborate with your peers and can make group projects easy. As more and more students take classes online, your group for a project could be spread across states or even countries and requires some serious virtual communication. Why not use for some online group collaboration on a paper, or to research a topic together?

Are you a student or professor that uses in the classroom? How are you using it? What do you love about it? Let us know in the comments.


The Startup’s Toolkit: Team collaboration tools

Collaboration. Whether you know it or not, you are constantly collaborating with your co-workers – that’s how work gets done (and sometimes not done). Every team is different, and every team needs a different kind of collaboration solution that works for them. There are many online tools for team collaboration out there, like note taking apps, sync and storage solutions, free screen sharing, meeting rooms for teams – the list goes on.

Today, Mashable posted an infographic detailing the web and business tools startups use the most (survey done by BestVendor) . It includes tons of online team collaboration tools – check it out below.

Share with us: What team collaboration tools have worked for you? What features make them great? Let us know in the comments.

  – a free sales tool just for you

No matter what you’re selling, having a great free sales tool like in your back pocket will not only impress, but possibly close the deal. Here are three ways can improve the sales experience and make the best use of your time.

1) Prepare properly. First impressions matter, and a well-delivered message is your best ammunition. Second best? How you deliver. requires no registration for your viewers, so they are only a click away from what you have to say. Time is money (if you didn’t already know).

2) Get to the point. You’ve been there – waiting, waiting and waiting to download complicated technology just to get on the same page with someone else. With no viewer downloads, you can get to the point easily with Need some show and tell? Have them launch their own session and show you their thoughts.

3) TTYL (Talk to you later). When the conversation ends, is perfect for ad-hoc meetings and follow-up calls.  Need to quickly check in? Want to go over the contract together?  With an impressive ability to swoop in and save the day, makes the sales cycle easier and more authentic. Sold!

What are some of your favorite free sales and marketing tools? Leave them in the comments.


Fun office activities: What does your office do to celebrate the summertime?

Do you have any other ideas to make summertime in offices a little cooler? Leave them in the comments.


Tips and Tricks: Working Remotely

Whether you do it, want to do it, know someone who does it or have no idea how to go about starting, remote working is something you should bring up at your next meeting with your manager. There are endless benefits to working remotely – more done in less time, flexibility in your schedule, saving gas, money – I could go on (I won’t, I promise). But once you’ve gotten the go-ahead to start adding working remotely into your schedule, what are some of the basics?

1) Simplify. The less “stuff” you have, the less you’ll need to get the job done. I’m talking about tangible stuff. Get a favorite pen. Use one notebook for everything.  Invest in a laptop or tablet you love. Keep it light. Your shoulders will thank you, and now you can really work from anywhere.

2) Learn about yourself. Do you work better in the mornings, or does your best work get done after a big lunch, Diet Coke and a morning of thinking? Figure it out and plan accordingly. It makes no sense to start working at 7 a.m. if you don’t really start to get anything done until 11. Just remember what your office hours are and your responsibility to be available during those times. It’s a compromise.

3) Get your web tools ready. The best thing about the Web is that you can take it with you, everywhere, on whatever device you use. Whether you sync broswers, bookmark things in your Google or just have an email draft of your favorite links (my personal fav), figure out what web tools you use the most and keep them close.

4) Communicate with your colleagues. Let them know your new change in schedule and how it will affect your working relationships. You may need to have more online meetings (hey! you could use or some meeting times may need to be shifted. Either way, be flexible so your colleagues will be flexible with you.

5) Still take a lunch. There’s a reason why you get a “lunch break” at work – sometimes, you just need to step away from what you’re doing and take some time to recharge. Same goes if you are working at your home office, at the local Starbucks or wherever you are working remotely. You still deserve a break – so take one.

What are your tips for someone who is ramping up to work start working remotely?


Web collaboration: Using free drawing tool with

About a week ago I was using with a colleague checking out a website. Apparently we had different views of where “to the left” was (hey, it happens), so I pulled up to show them exactly where I meant. And then it hit me: I should share this tool with our users. I already told you about Jing when I posted about favorite free tools, but is perfect for reviewing and collaborating on web pages. It’s fast, it’s simple and sits in your browser toolbar so you can easily pull it up. You can also “publish” your markups when you’re done and send them out. Check it out – it’s a perfect pair with Here’s an example:


Tips and tricks: How to use is a free and simple online screen-sharing tool, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some tips and tricks to know. We want you to get the most out of So, I’ll give you a few, and you if have some to add, you give a few in the comments. Capiche? I’ll start:

You can do free file transfers with In a session, click the “File” icon next to the person’s name you want to transfer a file to. It’s that easy. By the way, your participants won’t be able to see your personal files when you do a transfer.

Tell your participants they can change their name from “Viewer” under the “People” button in the menu. They will be the first person listed.  That way, you know who’s there and who’s playing hooky. And if there are two people named Steve… may the force be with you.

If you’re the host, no one can see you typing in the chat box until you send it. So, if you want to have a private conversation with one person (don’t forget to set the message to @Participant!) no one can see you typing to that person, even if you have 250 viewers.

One more tip: If you don’t like where the menu lands – at the top middle of your screen – you can move it. No one can see your menu but you. So if you don’t want it there, move it. Left, right, up, down – whatever works for you.

You can also get some more info on how works by watching our tour.

Anything to add? Put your tips and tricks in the comments.


How does work? Take the tour

We created this video just for you to show you what is all about. Take the tour:

Want more info? Check out our blog post on tips and tricks.


My own virtual office hours: a true story from

Everyone has their own story. And in the name of collaboration, we’d like to share these stories with you. Check out Rodney’s story, an educator using

A special thanks to Dr. Chris Craft for interviewing Rodney.

Are you an educator using Let me know at