Conference calls can be a very productive form of communicating with clients, colleagues or even friends. There are however many common problems that occur with unnecessary regularity, here are a few conference call tips to help you avoid those common pitfalls.
Tip #1 – Check the details
Check your access details before you start, make sure your PIN is working as it should and that you have the right dialin number
Tip #2 – Save £££s
Minglur offer a free conference call service but if you insist on using a paid service then be sure to let all the participants know of the costs and options for dialin numbers. Nobody likes a nasty surprise on their phone bill, least of all prospective customers!
Tip #3 – Share resources
If resources are required for the conference call be sure to circulate them prior to the call, this allows the call participants to read-up and prepare and will also ensure there’s no time wasted on the call with people frantically trying to find a document and email it around
Tip #4 – Share your plan
Its always a good idea to set an agenda for the call so you don’t end up going in random directions, everybody is short of time these days so the more productive your call can be, the happier everyone will be
Tip #5 – Introduce yourself
It may sound silly, but if you’re on a conference call with customers or new colleagues, then you can’t always be certain of who is listening on the other end. You don’t have to go on and detail your family history, a simple ‘I’m Bob, the Sales Manager and I’ll be chairing this call’ will suffice.
Tip #6 – Lay some ground rules
If you are chairing the call and you know there are going to be many members on the call then it’s a good idea to give guidance on when to speak and how to conduct yourself, there’s nothing worse than trying to make yourself heard among 5 other equally opinionated individuals.
Tip #7 – Turn your radio off
Any kind of background noise can be a big distraction to those on the call and can actually prevent some messages from being interpreted or in some cases, even heard at all. So turn off the radio, put the dog out in the garden, feed the baby and move away from the coffee perculator
Tip #8 – Speak clearly
Sounds silly but you’d be surprised by how many people list this as one of their most common ‘conference call dislikes’.
Tip #9 – Closing summary
Summarising the discussion and key decision points will provide everyone on the call with an opportunity to clarify any missed points. A follow up email with a summary of the meeting and the main decision points is also a nice touch
Tip #10 – Say thanks
A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. When ending a conference call, the chair should always thank everyone for taking part. Recognising the time and efforts of attendees will show appreciation for their contribution and efforts.
Hopefully some of these conference call tips will be helpful to you, many of them are common sense but we all need a little help from time to time. If you haven’t tried Minglur yet then you really should be giving us a try. Signup for free today