Planning your conference call in advance and executing it properly is essential for a productive discussion. Without a doubt, a poorly organized conference call can be frustrating and unprofitable for everyone. Leaders can use conference calls to inform, educate, collaborate, and even inspire. Consider these tips to make your conference calls far more effective.
Present An Agenda
It is important for everyone who will be on the conference call is given a full agenda before it takes place. By doing so, you provide everyone with an outline of the subjects and subtopics that will be discussed. Include the dial-in number and password so that participants can access the conference when the time comes. This allows employees and managers to come up with questions or comments beforehand so that they can contribute accordingly.
Place Someone In Charge
Selecting someone to be in charge of the conference call is a great idea to limit confusion and other mistakes. The person who is elected to do so maybe someone who has a lot at stake, or a supervisor from a major department. That individual must make sure that everyone has access to the agenda before its time and understands how to help everyone join in the discussion.
Remind Everyone of the Mute Button
There is nothing like being on a conference call and hearing something unrelated or inappropriate blaring in the background. However, using the mute button can save members of the conference call from having their most unprofessional moments heard by everyone. Encourage members of the conference call to mute themselves so that everyone else in their immediate environment.
Indicate When It’s Time To Move On
Depending on the content of your conference call, some may be tempted to speak in one direction indefinitely. The host should dictate to everyone how long they can elaborate, or stay on one particular point before moving on. Informing everyone a few minutes before you change the subject gives them a chance to provide. In smaller circles, you can suggest the order in which people should reply in. Managers who learn how to lead a conference call can do so gracefully to give everyone a chance to speak. This communicative technique prevents meetings from lagging on and ensure that every subject in the agenda is covered.
Encourage an Early Clock In
Advise everyone to tune in to the conference call a few minutes early to troubleshoot their equipment and test the connection. Doing a test run beforehand can save callers from making adjustments during the conference call. Inform participants at the placement of their microphone and speaker can affect the quality of the discussion. This simple tip can help everyone to prepare and launch a quality connection that is smooth to the ear.
Obey Time Constraints
It is also crucial that you set a time for the conference call to start and end, and stick to it. An uneventful conference call that seems to go on forever can be incredibly draining for all participants who need to stay focused. Decide on a specific day, start time, and closing time for the meeting so that everyone involved can clear their schedules accordingly. By staying on a strict schedule, you show everyone involved that you are efficient and that you respect their time and input.
Send Follow-Up Notes
After a particularly major conference call takes place, you can compose a series of notes to summarize the event. You can send an email attachment that includes the most vital information exchanged during the conference to remind everyone of the discussion. This ensures that everyone in attendance is aware of the critical takeaways for personal and professional review. Consider recording your conference call to make it available for easy reference. If someone misses the meeting, they can review the materials and get caught up.
A well-structured conference call can be an efficient way to communicate with members of a company or organization. With access to the top technologies, conducting a conference call is simpler than ever before. Taking the time to organize a conference call carefully can make all the difference in how successful it is. Some conference calls allow you to access the variety of interactive features to supplement the discussion, so use them wisely to enhance the experience for everyone.