Online Meeting Platforms- Best Free Virtual Meeting Platforms

 Online Meeting Platforms- Free Best Virtual Meeting Platforms also Web Meeting Platforms List. The Best Free Online or Virtual Meeting Platforms are Google Meet, Zoom Meeting, Microsoft Team, GoToMeeting, Skype, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Adobe Connect, Uber Conference, and Ring Central Meetings. Virtual business meetings platform. Best Online Meeting Platforms for Business Meeting and Online Learning.

Online Meeting

Online meeting refers to the virtual communication among a group of people who stay far away from each other. It is a process of virtual discussion in which the speaker and audiences remain far from each other, and they use communication tools or software to interact. The alternative name of the online meeting is virtual meeting, web meeting, conference call, web-based seminar, web conference, e-learning, mediated group discussion, and so more.

For example, a lecturer University of Putra Malaysia is giving a class via Zoom meeting. The student participates in class from different countries, including China, Singapore, Indonesia, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, UAU, Iraq, Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, etc. The lecturer is the host of the meeting, and students are the participants who join the class via a mobile tab, computer, or laptop.

Online Meeting Platforms

Online Meeting Platforms refer to social media tools and software that allow multiple people to communicate virtually through video or audio calls. People use the online meeting platform to conduct personal, social, political, educational, and professional meetings. These are virtual conference calling tools that allow connecting a group of people to interact simultaneously. Online meeting platforms are also known as virtual meeting platforms, virtual conference platforms, web meeting sites, or web conferencing software. A virtual meeting is the part of mediated communication conducted among a group of people, and online meeting platforms are the media or channels of the communication process. These online meeting platforms, such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Team, are also known as communication channels.

For example, Google Meet, Zoom Meeting, Microsoft Team, GoToMeeting, Skype, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Adobe Connect, Uber Conference, and Ring Central Meetings are online or virtual meeting platforms.

Best Free Online Meeting Platforms

The Best Free Online Meeting Platforms are

  1. Google Meet
  2. Zoom Meeting
  3. Microsoft Team
  4. GoToMeeting, Skype
  5. Skype
  6. Cisco WebEx Meetings
  7. Adobe Connect
  8. Uber Conference
  9. Ring Central Meetings.

They are also known as the best virtual meeting or web meeting platforms.

Online Meeting Platforms, Virtual Meeting Platforms
Figure 1: Best Free Online Meeting Platforms or free virtual meeting software, free online conference platforms

1. Google Meet

Google Meet is the most popular free virtual meeting platform that allows around 100 participants to join video and audio conferencing calls for 60 minutes. Actually, Google Hangouts is the former name of Google Meet. Anyone can use this platform via a browser to conduct a virtual meeting with the Google account. The meeting duration for the free plan is up to 60 minutes, so participants need to join again if the discussion is not finished within 60 minutes. Google Meet uses an anti-hijacking feature; therefore, it protects participant’s personal information.  More than 250 participants can join the virtual conference meeting internally and externally, and around 100,000 audiences can enjoy live streaming.

Google Meet launched its operation in 2017, and it is a replacement for Google Hangouts.

The official website link is meet.google.com.

Google Meet Plan

Google Meet offers three users, including Free-plan, Google Workspace Essentials, and Google Workspace Enterprise. It charges USD 8 per active user/month to increase participant up to 150 and time duration up to 24 hours. In contrast, only 60 participants can join for up to 60 minutes through the free plan.

Free Google Meet Duration and Participant

The total meeting duration for free users is 60 minutes, and 100 participants can join the virtual meeting via Google Meet. Anyone can join with a Gmail account.

Google Meet Online Meeting Platforms- Google Meet Setting
Figure 2: Google Meet Setting
Google Meet Setting

Google Meet online meeting platform offers many features, including whiteboard writing, Change Layout, Full-screen, Change background, captions, and so more. The user can write on the whiteboard to inform other participants. The user can share the screen via Google Meet virtual meeting platform.

Google Meet has four layouts that you may apply one by one during an online meeting, for example, Auto, Title, Spotlight, and Sidebar. The user can view a maximum of 49 titles or participants’ names with photos on-screen during the meeting. You need to click the change-layout option to maximize the number of on-screen titles.

Does the user able to set customize background in Google Meet software?

Answer: No, Google meet allows to choose the auto-generated background but not the customized background.

2. Zoom Meeting

Zoom meeting is another famous free web conferencing software to conduct virtual meetings. The user applies this online meeting platform in multiple sectors, for example, education, finance, government, and healthcare. Zoom meeting has become the most popular tool for offering various features, including virtual meeting, phone, chat, zoom room, webinars, and so more. Usually, students prefer to use this platform for easy accessibility and free feature. There is no communication noise in the Zoom meeting, so students hear the lecture clearly.

Zoom meeting platform started its operation in 2011. People can use it from a PC or Smartphone. The application is available at Google play store and Apple app store to download free for mobile users. However, the user might download the zoom meeting software from the official website link- zoom.us/download.

Zoom Meeting Setting

Firstly, download the zoom meeting software and click the new meeting icon to organize a web meeting discussion. Participants can join the virtual meeting via Zoom software or Browser, so it is unnecessary to download the software to join. The host needs to click on the new meeting icon to conduct a new meeting.

Zoom Online Meeting Platform Setting
Figure 3: Zoom Online Meeting Platform Starting Point

Secondly, click the blue icon top of the left corner to find the online meeting joining link. Additionally, you will get a setting icon mentioned below in Figure 4. The user clicks the setting icon to copy the meeting link and share it among participants to join the meeting. Additionally, participants may click the setting icon to get all settings mentioned in Figure- 4.

Zoom Online Meeting Platforms, Free Online or Virtual Meeting Platforms Zoom meeting settings
Figure 4: Zoom Online Meeting Copy Link and Setting Icon

Furthermore, Figure 5 represents how to share the screen, change the background image, record the meeting, and so more.

Zoom Online Meeting Platforms, Free Online or Virtual Meeting Platforms Zoom meeting settings
Figure 5: Zoom Meeting Share Screen, Background & Filters, Recording, and so more.
How To Use Zoom Whiteboard?

Click on the share button and click the whiteboard icon to optimize the feature. Follow Figure 4 to get visual instruction.

Free Zoom Meeting Duration and Participant

The total meeting duration for free users is 40 minutes. Around 100 participants can join at the same time in the virtual meeting.

Does the Zoom Meeting software allow users to set customize the background?

Answer: Yes, You can upload your company logo or any other photo as a background of the Zoom meeting platform.

3. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is an exclusive virtual business communication platform established and regulated by Microsoft. Apart from Google Meet and Zoom, It has also become trendy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has replaced other Microsoft-regulated online meeting platforms, for example, Skype and Microsoft classroom.

Microsoft launched the Microsoft Teams virtual conference meeting platform in 2017. The official website link is Microsoft-Teams.

Free Microsoft Team Online Meeting

In similar to zoom meetings, the total meeting duration for free users is 45 minutes, and 100 participants can join the online meeting simultaneously via Microsoft Team.

4. GoToMeeting

Go To Meeting is a familiar online business meeting platform for its clear and noise-free audio and video conference call. It is owned by LogMeIn, also known as a software development company. In 2004, it started its journey as a virtual or online meeting and video conferencing tool. Usually, administrative management authorities and employees use GoToMeeting online meeting software via computer or laptop to conduct real-time corporate meetings.

GoToMeeting provides the service free of charge for 14 days of the trial option, so users need not pay to enjoy the benefits.

Download the App from the official Website link – Download GoToMeeting.

GoToMeeting Best Free Online or Virtual Meeting Platforms
Figure 6: GoToMeeting Virtual Meeting Conference
GoToMeeting Services

GoToMeeting online meeting platform provides the following services:

Conference Calling

Firstly, it provides a conference calls service to interact with many people at the same time. Conference calling event saves both time and money.

Video Conferencing

GoToMeeting also allows conducting a face-to-face HD video conference call.

Screen Sharing

Apart from Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Team, the GoToMeeting also has a screen-sharing option for all participants.  The user can share desktop, smartphone, or tablet screens quickly and securely from anywhere.

Meeting Recording & Transcription

The user can record the real-time meeting event to share with others after the meeting. It also provides HD video, taking notes, marking action items services.

5. Skype

In contrast to the zoom and Google meet and Microsoft team, the total meeting duration for free users is 24 hours; however, only 50 participants can join the online meeting simultaneously via Skype.

Skype is an instant messaging platform that allows users to send text, images, audio, and video. It also provides a video conference call service.

Skype Features

Skype provides some outstanding features for free users, including audio and HD video calling, smart messaging, call recording and live subtitles, call phones, screen sharing, private conversations, and so more. Call phones at low rates is an exceptional service that Skype provides in 25 countries or regions. The user can call any landlines and mobiles from anywhere globally at great low rates using Skype Credit.

The additional Skype features are share location, background effects, send files, Skype translators, custom reactions, raise a hand, search within a conversation, forward call, voice mail, caller ID, and so more.

6. Cisco Webex Meetings

Webex is a leading platform to conduct virtual meetings from an organizational and personal viewpoint. One host can organize the meeting via a free plan where around 100 participants can join for up to 50 minutes.

Cisco WebEx Online Meeting Platforms, Free Best Online
Figure 7: Cisco WebEx Virtual Meeting Platform

The four basic plans of WebEx are free, Starter, Business, and Enterprise. The user might enjoy almost all the entire features via a free plan, including screen sharing, whiteboard, recording, personal text, reactions, and so more. However, users need to pay $13 to enjoy a starter plan in which more than 150 participants can join the meeting smoothly for 24 hours.

The official website link for all features and plans is WebEx Feature & Plans.

7. Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is a free web conferencing software that users optimize to conduct virtual meetings. It is a very popular tool for remote training and web calling. The trainer can easily share the desktop to teach students and trainees.

The significant features of Adobe connect are chatting options, whiteboard, screen sharing, recording, and so more.

8. Uber Conference

UberConference is an unlimited conference meeting software. It provides amazing free features for users. Craig Walker launched this feature in May 2012. It is also known as Dialpad UberConference.

The free plan allows joining about 10 participants for up to 45 meetings. However, the business plan allows joining up to 100 participants for 5 hours. The business plan charges $15 to provides multiple features.

9. Ring Central

Ring Central is a virtual meeting platform for voice, video meetings, team messaging, and collaboration. It has 7 layers of security and redundant data centers to ensure user protection and high availability.

Ring Central’s features are video conferencing, team messaging, screen sharing, remote working, and so more.

The Purposes of Online Meetings

The purpose of using the online meeting platform is to complete personal, social, educational, and organizational meetings virtually. People from different professions utilize these online meeting platforms to conduct virtual class meetings, virtual business meetings, virtual family meetings, etc. The online meeting platform has become an inevitable medium to maintain communication during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most significant purposes of online meetings are virtual class meetings, virtual business meetings, and virtual family meetings.

1. Virtual Class Meeting

Firstly, educators, including lecturers, instructors,  and administrators, use online meeting platforms for offering classes to the students.  Students adopt online or web meeting platforms to conduct group discussions. Students also use it due to the easy accessibility feature. Sometimes, teachers instruct students to conduct virtual meetings among group members to discuss the topic and submit the online meeting minutes.

2. Virtual Business Meetings

To make the workplace safe from COVID-19, Many organization decides to adjust to new work norms, namely work from home (WFH). Therefore, the employees use these virtual business meeting platforms, such as Google Meet, Zoom Meeting, Microsoft Team, GoToMeeting, Skype, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Join.me, Adobe Connect, Uber Conference, and Ring Central Meetings. Corporate people must need to use these web meeting sites to operate organizational activities. Many social organizations utilize virtual or online and web meeting platforms to create social awareness among people. For example, in the COVID-19 pandemic, social welfare organizations use these online meeting sites to spread emergency information on how to stay safe from coronavirus.

3. Virtual Family meeting

The individual applies the online meeting platform to organize family programs such as marriage ceremonies, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, and so more.

In short, individual, educator, government, and non-government organizations enjoy taking advantage of web conferencing software.

Speech Critique Sample: How to Critique a Speech Example- Lisa Kamal

Speech Critique Sample, How to Critique a Speech Example. Lisa Kamal’s Speech Critique Sample. Sample of How to Critique Speech. Speech Critiquing Sample For Student’s Assignment.

Speech Critique Sample

A Complete Speech Critique Sample of Lisa Kamal’s Speech has been presented below for students.

Introduction 

Lisa Nurmarini Mohd Kamal has delivered an impressive graduation speech during the University of Wisconsin Madison winter commencement in 2019. She is a Malaysian and completed her graduation as an academy award nominee. Liza has delivered an amazing speech in front of 7000 people including 1200 graduates with family members (Hassandarvish, 2019). This speech earned huge praise after the video clip went viral on social media. Liza’s video has been viewed over 2.2 million times on Youtube platforms (DEAN EQUAL, 2019).

Any effective speech must include three basic elements such as vocal delivery, physical appearance or body language, and language (Grice & Skinner, 2000). Based on my observation; she has delivered an outstanding speech including clear vocal delivery and meaningful body language, using little filler words, a high level of confidence, and delivered her speech in the English language.

Speech Critique Sample, Speech Critique Sample, How to Critique a Speech Example. Lisa Kamal's Speech Critique Sample. Sample of How to Critique Speech. Speech Critiquing Sample For Student's Assignment. Speaker: Lisa Nurmarini Mohd Kamal Title: Graduation speech Venue: University of Wisconsin Madison Winter Commencement. Time: 2019 Notable Elements: Best inspirational graduation speech.
Figure 1: Lisa Nurmarini Mohd Kamal Graduation speech at University of Wisconsin Madison.
Speaker: Lisa Nurmarini Mohd Kamal

Title: Graduation speech

Venue: University of Wisconsin Madison Winter Commencement.

Time: 2019

Notable Elements: Best inspirational graduation speech.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4pal32M3sE

Verbal Communication Elements

A perfect clear vocal delivery includes rate and pause, volume, pitch, inflection, voice quality, articulation, and pronunciation (Viswanathan & Viswanathan, 2005).

Firstly, at the commencing of her speech, she expressed gratefulness and thankfulness to the audience. “Thank You Provost rolls for that kind introduction, Thank You, Chancellor, blank senior class officers for this incredible honor”, (Camus Alpha, 2019). The speaker took a deep breath after that, she sang a few lines from “The Story of Tonight” song to attract audiences.

“Raise a glass to freedom, raise a glass to all of us, telling the story of today”, (Camus Alpha, 2019).

Rate and Pause

Lisa has used a perfect combination of the rate and pause during delivering her speech. Lisa smiled and took a few moments of silence to start her speech again. It is called a pause of speech that can allow the audience time to focus on the speaker. She did not talk too fast or too slow, therefore it has been a comprehensive speech to audiences. Sometimes she spoke a little faster than the normal rate to increase the persuasiveness by carrying exactly what she wants to say.

In addition to that, the volume of Lisa’s speech very appropriate; it was not too loud or too slow, hence the audience can hear clearly.

Pitch and Inflection

Furthermore, the pitch and inflection of the speech are very comfortable incorporating the audience to perceive the message concisely. Pitch refers to the highness and lowness of the speaker’s voice and inflection defines the patterns of variation in the speaker’s pitch level during delivering the speech. The variation of the pitch level has been identified when she uttered “Soundtrack became my coping mechanism”, the combination of the pitch and inflection made this speech more melodious.

“In my junior year of college listening to Hamilton, Soundtrack became the coping mechanism that would get me through the day”, (Camus Alpha, 2019).

Articulation

Moreover, Lisa has flexible voice quality and timbre therefore audience enjoys her speech and feeling to listen again and again. Finally, the most important element of a melodious speech is articulation and pronunciation. Based on my observation, Lisa has used the perfect combination of articulation and pronunciation during delivering her speech. She stressed many words to convey her message to the audience clearly when need to do so. For example, she stressed the word “Prestigious” when talking about how she came to study at the University of Wisconsin-madison.

“I came here on a scholarship a long way from my home in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia this opportunity to be here at the prestigious University of Wisconsin-madison did not come easy or cost little for any of us”, (Camus Alpha, 2019).

Non-Verbal Communication Elements

Body languages are the most important part of any public speaking because the audience will focus more on your body language rather than vocal words. According to Azeez & Azeez (2018), people use only 7 percent verbal and the rest of 97 percent non-verbal cues. They also said that the nonverbal elements are made of 38 percent tone of voice and 55 percent body language. The most basic nonverbal communication cues are physical appearance, facial expression, posture, eye contact, movement, and gesture.

Physical Appearance

First of all, physical appearance describes the physical features of the speaker including dress and grooming. Lisa had worn a graduation gown with a hijab scarf that represents her as a Muslim speaker. The audience can easily understand that she is a Muslim girl because of her dress, so our appearance always represents a great message about ourselves. The proverb says that the first expression is the best information.

Posture

Secondly, the speaker maintained a good posture cue during delivering her speech. She was enough confident, comfortable, and prepared to speak in front of the 7000 audiences. Posture refers to the position of the body of the speaker while delivering the speech. Lisa was moving her body to the left, right sides too rather than only standing like a robot. It is very clear that her body language was impressive to attract the audience to listen carefully. She was smiling while delivering the speech; it also made the speech melodious to the audience.

Eye Contact

Also, the speaker maintained good eye contact with the audience that made her more enthusiastic, sincere, confident, and interested. She aligned her eyes with body language, for example, she was maintaining eye contact with all audiences included left, right, and front side’s audiences. For instance, she was looking down too while uttering the words “14-hour time difference”.

“We juggle our studies relationships with friends and family and in most, in my case, most of them were abroad separated by a 14 hour time difference”, (Camus Alpha, 2019).

Gesture

Apart from eye contact, gesture describes the movement of the speaker’s arms, hands, and head while delivering the speech. Based on my observation, Lisa used her gesture perfectly. Deaf communication is based on only sigh language so it is sensed that how important is a gesture in conducting effective communication. The speaker strengthened her arms so many times for delivering an effective speech. For example, she extended her both hands and fingers a little bit while uttering the words Broadway musical, coursework, graduated, and so more.

“I sang like my life was a Tony award-winning Broadway musical and believe me you did not throw away your shot because if you graduate it having completed most of your coursework from the comfort of your own bed staring into your laptop you made it I see you if you graduated having spent all hours of the day in the library or evenings in coffee shops you made it”, (Camus Alpha, 2019).

At the end of the speech, she congratulated the graduated by singing a line of a song. “We’re gonna teach him had goodbye say goodbye one last time congratulations Badgers” (Camus Alpha, 2019).

Conclusion

Nevertheless, despite the many positive aspects of the speech, Lisa was a little bit nervous while delivering the speech. It has been articulated from her trembling voice while addressing her speech. However, based on my observation, Lisa delivered an outstanding speech including appropriate verbal and nonverbal elements. So, it is very easy to perceive the message of the speech. She has managed to implement all elements of effective communication such as clear articulation, pronunciation, posture, eye contact, gesture, and so more. Therefore, we can conclude that Lisa has delivered an effective, perfect, and memorable speech in the convocation ceremony.

Lisa Kamal’s Speech Critique Sample Download Link- PDF Download Here

References

DEAN EQUAL. (2019, December 18). Lisa Nur Marini Mohd Kamal Gemparkan Amerika!!! | Nyanyi Broadway di Graduasi (Dgn Sarikata BM). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EZQSgd2udw

Hassandarvish, M. (2019, December 17). Malaysian student shares inspiring story to a crowd of 7,000 people at US graduation (VIDEO). Life | Malay Mail. https://www.malaymail.com/news/life/2019/12/17/malaysian-student-shares-inspiring-story-to-a-crowd-of-7000-people-at-us-gr/1820057

Viswanathan, M., & Viswanathan, M. (2005). Measuring speech quality for text-to-speech systems: development and assessment of a modified mean opinion score (MOS) scale. Computer Speech & Language19(1), 55-83.

Camus Alpha. (2019, December 16). Lisa Kamal’s Graduation Keynote Speech – University of Wisconsin-Madison Winter Commencement 2019. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cuqEmomnlU

Grice, G. L., & Skinner, J. F. (2000). Mastering public speaking. Allyn & Bacon.

Azeez, R. A., & Azeez, P. Z. (2018). Incorporating Body Language into EFL Teaching. Koya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences1(1), 36-45.