Conference call tips
In the globalized world of business, conference calls with colleagues, clients or business partners have become increasingly common. Read our tips and find out how to avoid failure and make conference call like a pro.
Like any business meeting, conference calls can be very productive, but they can also be a waste of everyone’s time. In this blog post, we will help you run conference calls effectively and smoothly.
1. Preparation is key
Dedicate at least a few minutes to prepare ahead of time for the call. If you know that you will need specific materials, charts or notes for the conference call, make sure you have them ready before the call starts.
2. Be punctual and start on time
It’s important to arrive early, just like with any other business meeting. If you’re the one in charge of the call, be the first one to join. Try to start the meeting on time – the attendees have other things to do, so don’t wait too long for people to show up.
3. Have an agenda and stick to it
Create a concise agenda with key points you want to discuss or questions that need to be answered. Don’t forget to circulate the agenda before the call so that all attendees can view it. During the meeting, keep the conversation relevant, stick to the plan and don’t steer away from the main topics.
Managers believe that around 35% of time spent in meetings is wasted. That’s why you should make your conference calls more productive.
4. Select a quiet background and use the mute button
It’s frustrating when you can’t hear what other participants are saying because of background sounds. When possible, choose a quiet place to make the conference call. Calling from a noisy office or a café will make everyone distracted and you might miss important information. Make sure to use the mute button when you need to sneeze or cough!
5. Encourage participation
Good conference calls should be engaging, all participants should feel that their ideas and opinions are head and valued. A simple tip is to ask them questions to make sure that everyone is involved.
6. Keep notes or record the call
If the information presented is important, you may want to make notes. This is also a great way to capture all important discussion points and stay focused. Alternatively, you can use a good call center software and record the call for future reference. In that case, you should ask the participants’ permission in advance.
Conference calls shouldn’t be over when you press the End button. A good way to follow-up is to send an email with a summary of main decisions, steps or questions raised during the call. Thanking everyone for their participation and time is a nice gesture that you can incorporate into the email.
*Bonus tip that will make you a better conference call participant:
Stay focused on the conference call
That means no multitasking during the call – no emails, eating, etc. This may sound obvious, but unfortunately it’s not.