Conference Call Tips
Part of a company’s success stems from its ability to effectively communicate. Because clients can come from just about anywhere in the world, conference calls allow people in different locations to discuss business via telephone. Remote meetings are a smart alternative to emails, which can be misread, misunderstood, lost or accidentally ignored. Plus, video calls can save the time, expenses and inconveniences associated with a business trip.
As the pandemic has made all too clear, people do not need to be physically present in an office in order to accomplish their work and share ideas. Some companies used to fly clients or other off-location employees into their offices for meetings. Swapping those trips for conference calls can save time and money from travel expenses, such as those for flights, hotels and meals.
In business, decisions sometimes need to be made quickly. Conference calls are a great way to get multiple sources of feedback in a small window of time, especially if miscommunication is a risk factor and small details need to be considered. Although emails are convenient if you have a busy schedule, going back and forth with co-workers and clients may end up eating more of your time and could lead to confusion. Scheduling a conference call can help improve efficiency while strengthening relationships and team building.
Unfortunately, as with any group meeting, mistakes are bound to arise if proper precautions aren’t taken. Here are some tips for conducting effective and efficient conference calls:
Conference Call Faux Pas to Avoid
When the time comes for an audio conference, coordinating multiple participants might be stressful and take some time, especially if it’s not part of your regular responsibilities. In order to prevent miscommunication, embarrassing moments and frustrating difficulties, follow these tips:
- Introduce or announce yourself: Some calls might include three people, while others involve thirty participants. Because the meeting is auditory, announcing your presence may help with being heard. Taking attendance is also a way to make sure people are aware of who is on the call.
- Start on time: Meetings can often be unpredictable in terms of scheduling. However, calling in late might disrupt the flow and cause riffs in productivity. Be on time to prevent any interruptions in the meeting.
- Minimize background noises: Since conference calls don’t always take place in the office, noise at home could annoy other participants and diminish the productiveness of the meeting. Take advantage of the mute button if your surroundings are noisy.
- Speak clearly: It can sometimes be difficult to hear each person’s voice, especially if it’s a high-energy call. When speaking, speak confidently, directly and at a good volume so you don’t have to repeat yourself.
- Pay attention: It can be embarrassing when you repeat information that someone has just finished explaining — and it sends a bad message to your team. Avoid missing necessary information by tuning in for the whole call and keeping the call on schedule.
- Technical difficulties: A 30-minute call can turn into an hour very quickly if there are issues with the technology. Test the equipment before the call — including the speaker function and service connection — to maintain clarity.
The next time a conference call is scheduled during your workday, try to remember that it’s not a two-way conversation but multiple people trying to connect at once. Introducing yourself in the beginning, getting the details beforehand and making a contribution to the meeting could encourage others to participate and prevent information from getting lost in the process.
Choose a quiet, distraction-free location — such as a private phone booth — to conduct the meeting, and consider opting for a headset rather than the phone’s speaker. An established agenda can help keep everyone’s attention while avoiding any mishaps or misunderstandings that could affect the overall project.
Common courtesy and manners can go a long way in any meeting, whether physical or auditory. Offering support to co-workers and clients — even if you can’t see them — can help boost the likelihood of success for all involved. Conference calls are a great way to bring co-workers and clients together, as long as these effective conference call tips and etiquette are kept in mind.