For most large corporations, a group of employees taking part in a conference call with coworkers located in a different building, city, state or country is no big deal. With years of experience when it comes to business communication solutions, the majority of staff in most big businesses feel positive and confident about hosting a conference call with others. However, for small business owners and new employees starting out at a large company, conference calls can be a somewhat daunting concept, especially if you have been asked to lead the discussion. It’s even more stressful if you have to deal with several callers across multiple time zones.
However, the communication experts at Affordable Messaging are here to help! When it comes to basic conference call etiquette, there are a few basic things that you should try to remember before and during the call. Below you will find five easy-to-remember conference call tips that will make your initial experiences with conference calling less nerve-racking.
- Always Be Prepared – Although this might sound like one of the most fundamentally straightforward points, it is astounding to see how many people seem to drop the ball when it comes to calling on time with the right people invited.
If you are using a state-of-the-art conference call service or phone system, prepare beforehand instead of letting your audience hear you learning the basics in real time. No one wants to hear you stammer over what this button does or doesn’t do, and their opinion of you will likely be negatively influenced if you act like you are out of your depth. Always keep track of the time and date of the meeting (bearing in mind the different time zones), keep the conference call number and pin close at hand, and dial into the meeting at least 10 minutes early.
- Say Your Name Before You Start Speaking – In some cases, numerous people from all over the world will come together in a large-scale conference call, with many different hierarchies and managerial roles at play. In situations such as this, it is extremely difficult for everyone involved to keep track of to whom they are speaking. A simple conference call etiquette-related tip is to create a rule to announce each individual’s name before talking. You can also make it a rule to state your role in the company the first time you speak, too.
- The MUTE Button Is Your Friend – Make sure that you mute the phone when you or a member of your team is not involved in the discussion. By doing so, you will help to minimize distracting and off-putting background sounds that can turn a conference call into a miscommunication-filled nightmare. Whenever possible, ensure that noise is kept to an absolute minimum.
- Stay Focused – Conference calls are a great way to get specific information. However, with so many different opinions and personalities involved, it can be difficult to get everyone to agree on what topics to cover. As such, organize your own thoughts, as well as those of your team, in order of priority to create a smooth and coherent agenda or theme for the meeting, touching on the exact subjects and questions you need information about. Essentially, you want every conference call to be as efficient and productive as possible. If needed, choose one person to lead the conference call to keep things well-organized and streamlined.
- Stay On Topic – During extended conference calls, people’s attentions will naturally wander. However, nobody wants to be THAT person who failed to pay attention and forgot to ask a question until it was too late. When the discussion starts to suffer from a noticeable attention slump, find a good place to stop and then wrap things up as neatly as you can. If further topics need to be discussed at a later date, schedule a follow-up call or take the conversation to email or a one-to-one phone call instead.
If you are interested in dependable conference call systems, or if you would like more information about our voice messaging, fax broadcasting or email distribution solutions, please call Affordable Messaging at 877-216-9224 today or contact us online.