Technology has changed meetings however there’s one constant – the good ole whiteboard. Still prevalent and an essential tool for business meetings and presentations, chances are, you’ve got them at your place of work.
In fact, whiteboards have made their place firmly in history: did you know they’ve been around since the 1960s? They are the absolute pinnacle of information dissemination and the good news is, they’re not going away any time soon.
There has been a technology revolution since the 1960s, and most recently with tablets and smart phones all the rage but the whiteboard has remained true to it’s purpose with some nifty new features and styles.
Use a simple stand with a sheet of paper over it, or a model where you can use erasable markers on a shiny surface as a reusable board. And now there’s another style: an interactive whiteboard. These new designs mean that you can do so much more than just write and draw out the points you’re trying to make.
Fixed to a wall in your meeting room, or go with freestanding whiteboards. Either way, they come packed with a whole lot of awesome features that will totally revolutionize your next staff meeting or presentation.
1. Meetings can now be collaborative
Okay, sure. Your meetings were pretty collaborative before, but you have to admit that you spent a long time scribbling out your talking points on a whiteboard. Or maybe you spent weeks trying to make your PowerPoint presentation perfect. Either way, it probably resulted in you are standing in front of your group doing all the talking.
With an interactive whiteboard, all of this can change. Everyone in the room can access the interactive whiteboard either from bringing their own devices or through an access feature.
Your group members can share files, and even edit them in real time, which will give your meetings a more collaborative feel. You can limit access to only specific people, which makes it easier to give a group presentation.
2. You can include remote meeting attendees
Interactive whiteboards are great for getting the whole room involved, but what about people who are attending the meeting remotely? Given the growing globalization of our companies, it’s going to be inevitable that eventually your meetings are going to include people who are telecommuting.
An old style whiteboard may not have worked for this purpose, but an interactive whiteboard sure will!
Using an interactive whiteboard, you can now include those attendees that are remotely logging in to your meeting. They can share files with telecommuters, and even share the screen that you’re presenting to the people present in the room.
By following along online, you have basically set up your own webinar. And when the meeting concludes, you can easily print, email and share everything that was discussed.
3. You can annotate documents
A strong basis of an effective presentation of ideas is to be able to highlight specific points in a way that makes total sense to everyone in the room. This can be especially difficult if you are working with an old fashioned style whiteboard or PowerPoint presentation.
By utilizing an interactive whiteboard you can actually annotate anything that you have on the screen. This means you can edit and highlight particular phrases and draw out ideas so that they can be visualized easily.
Not only that, but everyone attending the meeting has the power to illustrate their ideas through annotations.
4. Connect to everyone in the room
All of the above ideas might sound good to you, but you may be wondering how you go about having this level of input in a traditional meeting venue. Actually, the designers and manufacturers of interactive whiteboards have already thought about all of this and implemented a simple way for this to occur.
As long as your cell phone or tablet has the correct app installed, you can simply connect to the interactive whiteboard using WiFi. From there, you can control any aspect of the whiteboard, meaning you can load and edit documents, draw and annotate, as well as control the flow of the meeting right from your device.
Better yet, the app is compatible with both Android and iOS, so no one will be left out.
5. No need to worry about marker pens
One of the most annoying aspects of a traditional whiteboard is that the markers never last long. Every single time I’ve gone into a meeting room, the marker pen is just about dead.
The brand new ones are a coveted item in my office! Thankfully, by using an interactive whiteboard we can say goodbye to that problem. You can’t actually use a marker pen with an interactive whiteboard – you can just use the drawing tools or even your smart device app to perform your annotations. Interactive whiteboards can even work with hand gestures.
Whiteboard technology has certainly come a long way since the days before the smart phones and tablets. Gone are the days where we are searching for marker pens and dry erasers to present our ideas. Interactive whiteboards now give us the ability to concentrate on the content of our presentations rather than how we are going to present them, so we can spend our time focusing on what’s important for our work.