Free Virtual Meeting Tools

04/27/2015 12:00 pm ET | Updated Jun 24, 2015

Between co-workers, customers and vendors, chances are you work with a lot of people who never step foot inside your office. In fact, you may not even have a physical office!

Coordinating a deal remotely can be challenging - but there are a few great tools available that can help you keep all your business contacts on the same page with virtual meetings.
Here's a handy overview of three free tools that can help you keep everyone in the loop:

All you need to set up a meeting with Google Hangouts is a Gmail address. Hangouts is unique because it allows you to view and collaborate on Google docs while still maintaining visual contact with multiple people in your meeting. As an added benefit, if you're looping someone in who's on the road, they can attend via phone using the voice only option. Another big benefit is if someone is unable to make it, you can record conversations for later viewing.

Live video keeps meetings interactive and the chat feature allows multiple people to contribute simultaneously without talking over each other. And since no download is required, Google Hangouts is one of the fastest ways to set up a virtual meeting.

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2015-04-24-1429886908-5982241-JoinMeImage.jpg is a great tool for quick screen sharing that even allows you to switch control of the screen among meeting participants. Its free version is robust enough to be a solution for most of your virtual meeting needs. To start an online meeting, simply visit the homepage, start a meeting and send your access code to participants - who can then enter the code on the homepage to access your meeting.

You can invite up to 10 users and participants can also attend using a free app on their iPhone, iPad or Android device.

Skype is the most well known app for virtual chats and meetings. The system allows you to invite up to 25 participants and there is an option to record your call to share with anyone who was unable to make the live meeting.

Think of Skype as the PayPal of online communications - it's ubiquitous and easy to use.

Each of these three free virtual meeting tools has its own benefits - but the tool that works best for you will depend on the content you're trying to present and the goal of your meeting - as well as your contact's preferences.

What tools do you think are best for conducting virtual meetings?