Elements of a good conference call

Elements of a good conference call

A few of my friends have started a free conference calling service and asked if I would post something for them.  I told them, only if it has value to my readers.  They came up with this list which I think is pretty good.  I can not tell you how many conference calls I have been on and things on this list have been done.  It reminded me, in today’s environment it is important to pay attention to the small details to make sure we keep our clients.  If you want to try the service it is completly free and I have been using it for the last two weeks with out any problems.

  • Always conduct the call from a quit location.  Even the smallest sounds can be picked up by your phone and cause interference.
  • Remember to always send out your bridge, dial in number, and any passwords needed.  Nothing looks worse then a last minute update to the meeting invite with this information.
  • Remember time zones.  Specify what time zone the meeting will take place.
  • Take a roll call so that each participant knows who is on the call.  If possible a quick introduction by each participant is best, even if it is just saying their name.
  • In large calls, when you speak inform the others who you are.  Everyone may not know your voice.
  • If possible, avoid the following: Cell phones, cordless phones, poor quality headsets, blue tooth, and speaker phones.  If you have to use any of these, make sure you know how to mute incase the connection is poor.
  • Avoid using hold, this can have unpredictable results.  Nothing is worse then a large conference call that is playing a companies on-hold music.
  • Don’t multi-task, or if you do make sure you’re on mute.  Yes, people can hear you typing or know your not listening when you don’t respond to a question.
  • Use people’s names as much as possible.  Again this helps clarify who is talking or who is being talked to.
  • If you have special guests or executives that can not stay the entire time, have them introduce themselves, say a few words, and then let the call take place.  Unlike a face to face meeting, when the guest leaves no one has to know.
  • If you are a key participant, announce if you have to leave the call for any reason.
  • Have a back up plan for potential technology failure.
  • If you control the start/stop of the call and have to leave early, have a second person with proper privileges so the call does not get cut off.
  • Distribute supporting documents with the meeting invite to give people the opportunity to prepare.
  • Inform participants if they have to have a file or website open on their computer desktop.  If it is a website, make sure they have any login credentials.

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