5 Tips for Better Conference Calls

Stephen Mulligan
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On: 1 Sep 2016
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Conference calls have a terrible reputation – and for good reason. Background noise, echoes, incorrect login details, unclear agendas and other frustrating details plague these calls. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Like any successful venture, the key to a successful conference call is preparation. We’ve gathered five of our most active conference callers to each share their top tip for better conference calls.

1. Start with a high-speed internet connection

Every conference call and video conference needs data to carry the message, so ensure you have the best connection you can get. Broadband from Three delivers superfast speeds you can rely on.

2. Test your equipment

Avoid having to cancel your call at the last minute by giving your equipment a quick once-over the day before. Check your conference call software is up to date and check your hardware, including the microphone, speaker or headset and volume. Double check you’ve passed around the correct login details for the call too.

3. Practice conference call etiquette

Once the technical side of things is taken care of, it’s about making the call as pleasant as possible for all dialed in. Start by briefly introducing everyone on the call, including yourself, and give a quick reminder of the pre-agreed agenda. Keep to the times agreed; nobody appreciates having their day’s schedule run off course by a dragged out call. This might require some chairing of the call, keeping participants who are prone to tangents in check and sticking to the agenda. And, mute your line when you’re not talking to limit background noise.

4. Be efficient

Following on from the last point on respecting other people’s time, bear in mind that the point of a conference call is to save time that would otherwise be spent travelling. Keep the meeting on course with an agenda. Stay engaged in the meeting, taking notes as appropriate and listening to the conversation. Remove distractions, even if that means closing your email window for the duration of the call. And wrap it up with a summary of any decisions made or actions agreed, so everyone is clear on what a productive and efficient use of their time that call was!

5. Be yourself and smile!

You may be some distance apart but conference calls are an opportunity to build relationships. Incorporate a bit of what you’d do if you were in-person… say hello, check in with each other, and ask questions not related to the conference call topic. Be a person, not a robot at the end of the phone. Even if your camera is turned off, try smiling while you speak – it will come across in your voice.

Conference calls don’t need to be torturous anymore! Start with a high-speed internet connection and you’ll soon be saving time, saving money, accomplishing business outcomes more effectively and enjoying the calls too. What are you waiting for? Let’s get chatting.