7 Quick Tips to Make Your Next Conference Call a Hit
Let’s face it; we’ve all been on some pretty bad conference calls. Good news is, they don’t have to be. Many of the problems experienced during a conference call are easily avoidable with a little advance planning and some clear communication about your goals.
Here are seven ways to make your conference calls more productive:
- Share an agenda. Create a meaningful and well-detailed agenda. Send, with any attachments, to participants in advance. Then, everyone knows what to expect. Everyone will be prepared. The key is to stay focused on the agenda. You have eliminated time wasters and irrelevant and inefficient discussion!
- Stick to the schedule. Schedule timings beforehand including start, breaks, and end times. Then stick to that schedule so that you maintain a reputation for being efficient while also avoiding frustration or confusion among participants. Additional tip: If you are holding conferences across time zones, make sure to specify the time zone in the invitation. If everyone is punctual, the meeting will be more productive.
- Eliminate distractions. Choosing a suitable conference environment is essential. Pick a quiet location without the chance of background disturbances. If holding a video call, check lighting along with sound in the room before the call. If your laptop or mobile phone are nearby, make sure to mute them.
- Practice. Practice? Yes. Conferencing services vary according to the provider. Usually there are tools to manage your call. Do you know what they are? It doesn’t make sense to wait until you’re in a call to use call management tools. Practice. Learn the necessary functions, especially those that you have never worked with before. Conduct a technology rehearsal or set up a dry run to keep the conference blunder-free.
- Provide an introduction. It is crucial to get everyone acquainted through a quick introduction at the start of the call. Doing so will establish each participant’s identity and get them familiar with each other’s voices. Introductions prevent unnecessary confusion later, during the meat of the call.
- Moderate. The leader should introduce all of the members, facilitate speakers, and keep inattentive participants and distractions in check. He/she needs to regulate the conversation, encourage discussion, break into long silences and guide the conversation if it is going off track.
- Use visual aids. Use visual aids to get your points across to all participants. This will allow you to present ideas clearly and more efficiently while reducing the time spent on verbal explanation. Incorporate slides, images, and videos for the biggest impact.
Conference calls aid in meaningful communication between people located in different locations and across time zones. They cut the cost of meetings and save valuable time for employees. By planning a conference well, you can avoid problems and increase productivity painlessly.