Perfecting the conference call26.03.2020
Be on time
It has been reported that at the start of a conference call, a crazy 10 minutes is wasted due to people being late and distractions. With our attention span limited to 10-18 minutes, those first moments are invaluable.
Aim to join a little earlier if possible, allowing for those interruptions. Also start the call on time, without waiting for everyone to join – make it clear that everyone’s time is important.
Straight to the point
It’s easy to start your call with some small talk, catch up, chat about the weather. But before you know it, you’ve wasted those all-important first 15 minutes.
Keep to the point and save the chat for the end of the call, once you’ve completed everything you’ve set out to discuss.
Set an agenda
We all know it’s easy to steer away from the topic of conversation, especially on a conference call with lots of people talking at once.
Start with a clear agenda, with all points detailed and ideally distribute 24 hours before. This way all attendees can prepare within good time.
Mute when necessary
Connecting from different locations also brings with it different sounds, and lots of them. Background noise can be extremely distracting and makes it difficult to hear people talking.
If you ask everyone in the call to mute when they aren’t talking, you’ll experience a much clearer call. If there are lots of you, why not state your name before speaking up to save confusion, or use video to make for enhanced communication.
Test your tech
It’s a crowded market for conference software, so make sure you have the perfect solution for your business – take a look at the functionality it has to offer and whether it will fit with your way of working.
Although, don’t test out new software for the first time on an important call. Ensure you’ve done plenty of internal testing first to make sure you’re comfortable to perform the seamless call.
It’s difficult to communicate when you can’t see natural reactions from people. Sometimes a conference call can contain silence making it difficult to read the room.
Using expressive language; positives such as ‘I agree’, ‘good idea’, will help express your response, reassure the speaker and keep everyone engaged.
Follow with an email
Just like you would with any face to face meeting, always follow up with an email to close.
Use one person to take minutes and actions throughout the call and distribute afterwards, maybe even set up a follow up call if necessary.
Not being in the same room as someone shouldn’t be a hindrance. The ability to screen share should allow you to show everything you would as if you were in a meeting room.
If your software doesn’t offer this functionality, use instant messaging or share your relevant links, reports or documents with your agenda by email, prior to the call.
Add some video
Working from home can become lonely and it can sometimes be difficult to interpret conversations over the phone, without any visual cues.
We live in an era where the video conferencing software choice is impressive, so there’s no excuse to not take advantage of it. Seeing a friendly face can really enrich your call.