It’s not what you say, It’s how you say it – The Boardroom (Part 7)
If you believe pop-psychology (let’s face it, we all love a good statistic) you’ll be comfortable with the notion that 93% of communication is non-verbal. The truth in this “fact” is debatable but we can agree that communication (whether good or bad) transcends the spoken word.
In the boardroom, being able to communicate your ideas clearly and without obstruction to your team (whether they are physically present or not) is imperative. Therefore, the tools you use to carry and support your message must be well-chosen, reliable, and fit for purpose. Don’t let dodgy technology or poor connections interrupt your flow. Your tools should enhance your message.
To that end we have done a little bit of research and bring to you a series of products to help you communicate and collaborate with ease.*
On-site Creativity and Collaboration
The humble white board: Once a staple in every class- and meeting room, now it is (almost) consigned to the history books as more advanced products take its place. How do you create, take notes, draw up plans and ideas in a large format these days? Here’s how:
One simple white board is not enough. What you need is a “system”. You can have white board, notice boards, projection screens, pen holders…. All from one installation:
The Nobo rail system (above) incorporates all you could need, and you can add to it at relatively low cost.
The H system from Steelcase (above) does the same job, with a little less flexibility, at a little more cost, but we think it looks pretty.
If you’d like the benefits of a white board but don’t want to install one permanently, how about one of these?
The Magic white board can be installed / removed / re-located on a whim. Not a high-tec solution but super flexible.
If you need some really big collaborative space, why not cover an entire wall in Idea paint ?
… just don’t forget to wipe anything confidential off after you finish.
If all those lo-fi solutions don’t scratch your itch, here’s the techy bit:
If you have children of school-age you are no-doubt familiar with the SMART board. SMART™ is gaining popularity within the Boardroom environment too as products and software aimed at the corporate marketplace is developed.
One product proving popular is the SMART 70” Interactive LCD screen which allows room users to annotate over the top of presentation material and save the meeting notes to email or hand out to the attendees. Smart huh? (sorry)
A system with many imitations is Media:scape. It allows numerous users to connect and display their laptops on a central screen, switching seamlessly between them via a system of “pucks”.
The price includes the patented Puck system (which is scalable depending on how many users are required to plug in) and the table, structure and housing. It doesn’t include the screen or the chairs, but these can be purchased elsewhere relatively cheaply. The system solves the problem of trying to collaborate and view lots of different laptops, and eliminates having to move a VG cable from one to another. This writer has an inkling; however, that it may be a relatively short-lived system in the grand scheme of things… how long will it be before everything is connected wirelessly?
One of the major technologies being adopted at the moment is Video Conferencing (ok tell us something we don’t know). Energy saving and cost-cutting are climbing up the priority list, so Video Conferencing has become a key tool in allowing face to face meetings without the need for costly & time consuming travel. But, as with any product out there, not all VC systems are equal. The Polycom system is one recommended by our AV partners AV2000.
And if the simple VC isn’t enough for you, here’s a tool to help you collaborate and create with those outside the room.
SMART (there they are again) are developing a server software named Bridgit which facilitates multi-site collaboration. Remote team members can use their laptops and iPads to join in & contribute to meetings, even annotating drawings and changing details on your presentation.
So there you have it, a quick run-down of some products that should help you with your communication. Let us know if you have used any of these before and what your feedback is. For those wanting to explore more, why not give one of our team a call on 01904 698 698?
*We are able to supply these products through our Furniture, Office Supplies or Technology Divisions. Additional recommendations have been made through our AV partner AV2000
[Headline image couresy of Carol Simpson. All other images courtesy of suppliers as cited in text]