As conference calls start to become more and more of the new normal, it is important to make great use of them and have productive calls. But how do you have an effective and productive teleconference?
Whether it be your first meeting, or your 100th, these tips will help ensure you have a productive meeting each time.
1. Have an agenda
Come prepared. Just like when meeting face to face, being prepared is important for having a quality conference call. Even though it may be over the phone and the participants cannot see you, does not mean that you can come unprepared and get away with it.
That is why having an agenda of the topics to be covered, who is speaking, and when, will greatly help with the productivity of the call and make it flow better. Setting a time limit for how long a person has to speak also helps keep the call on track, and helps veer away from going overtime. This also helps let people know if they are speaking so they can come prepared themselves and not randomly get called on and not know what to say.
2. Provide easy-to-follow dial-in instructions
If you are using a teleconference software or an app that requires people to have a dial-in number as well as a code or password, make sure when you send it to the participants that it is easy to read and follow. Nothing is more annoying than needing to join a call but not knowing how to do so and what to do with the information that you were given.
3. Start on time
This ties a little bit back to the first tip, having an agenda. Starting on time is important for a teleconference, as if things get delayed than people may not be able to speak for as long as planned, or everyone may need to stay in the call longer than they want. If someone is late to join the call, chances are they are trying to join but there just may be an issue on their end. Start the call without them and have someone fill them in later – or record the conference so that they can go back and listen to the beginning of the call on their own time. This helps keep things moving and makes sure that there are no delays.
4. Introduce yourself before speaking
Introducing yourself when you enter a conference call, or before you speak, is very important. First of all, it helps let people know who you are and what role you may have in the call. This also helps to break the ice with new people who may not know you yet.
Another best practice is to repeat your name before you speak to let people know who is talking. Not being able to see faces in a call with lots of people, it can be hard to tell who is speaking which makes the call harder to follow.
5. Make use of conference tools and mute
Conferencing software comes with a whole bunch of different tools to help facilitate your meetings. From being able to remove people from the call if they are being disruptive, to privately messaging people if you have a question or need to remind them of something. These tools are there to help you, why not make use of them?
An important thing to keep in mind is to mute yourself and others when they are not speaking. This helps keep the call quiet and keep any distractions from happening – such as a loud dog barking or construction outside.
6. Keep comments concise and to the point
Since only really one person can (or should) talk at a time on a conference call, it is important that when you are saying something, that you keep it straight to the point and do not go off on tangents. This can cause people to lose their train of thought and either forget what they were going to say, or get bored and lose focus. This also helps keep the meetings from going too or straying off course.
7. Do not interrupt others
On top of keeping comments concise, make sure that when you are trying to speak you are not interrupting others or speaking over them. This can be easy to do as only one person can really talk during a call and if you are speaking louder than someone it will overpower them. So, make sure that when you are going to say something, that you do so when there is free air or when it does not get in the way of someone else trying to speak. Alternatively, make use of your conference tool’s hand-raise function is there is one available.
8. Ask for comments and feedback
On a call, people are more likely to stay quiet unless they are asked to speak. That is why it is important to ask people for any questions or feedback they may have, as they may feel uncomfortable bringing it up it on a silent call with a lot of people. It is also a great way to make sure that everyone is paying attention, or if someone is not, get them to.
Get started with teleconferences now!
Do you not have a teleconferencing software yet? Check out SimplyCast’s Instant Teleconference!
SimplyCast’s Instant Teleconference allows you to set up conference calls quickly and easily with contacts to help you save time when setting up meetings. With SimplyCast, you are able to dial out to your conference participants instead of waiting for them to dial in with a provided number and code, helping save time and make meetings more efficient. However, Instant Teleconference still supports standard dial-ins if need be.
Sound interesting to you? Want to get started? Click on the button bellow to request a demo and get in contact with a SimplyCast team member today.