March 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm #124793
Was thinking in the shower how I have to run a conference call today where about 10 people are in person and 5-10 on the phone.
I was thinking what’s the best way to run the call and thought it would be great to have a discussion on conference call DOs and DONTs.
-Have an agenda
-Keep it to the alloted time
-Have a purpose
-Video is great if you can have it
-Forget the people not in the room
-Let people ramble on too long
March 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm #124829
March 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm #124827
couple of additional Do’s
Involve ALL team members in the conversation(s)
“publish results” of conference call
March 3, 2011 at 3:08 am #124825
Do be aware the microphone picks up all the sounds – even when you are not talking.
Other conversations in other cubicals do come through and are distracting.
Do announce who is on the line. If you call in and Tim is whith you state that its you and Tim.
March 3, 2011 at 2:29 pm #124823
Rambling is numero uno for me… if you are steering the call make sure it stays on task.
March 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm #124821
Someone advised me if there are more than 2 or 3 people that don’t know each other and especially if there a lot of people on the call… don’t assume people will recognize your voice. Get in the habit of identifying yourself before you speak.
March 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm #124819
Ask the people not in the room “gentle” questions (i.e., nothing embarrassing) that can confirm their comprehension/miscomprehension. Remember, you don’t have their facial expression to tip you off like the eyebrows of the folks sitting around the table.
March 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm #124817
Conference calls are great for rolling your eyes at folks who are not in the room with you when you get frustrated…just a simple observation 🙂 Though I do not advise trying this via video conference.
March 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm #124815
Great input! It helps me to “visualize” the participants and I have been on a conference call where I couldn’t really figure out positions people took because I didn’t know who was talking when comments were coming from all “directions”.
March 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm #124813
Darrel W. ColeParticipant
Good points from all.
Leader must be versed enough with all the attendees to intelligently engage them in the conversation.
March 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm #124811
Do: use your name when you start talking; not everyone recognized people’s voices
Do: hit the Mute button on you’re doing something else, like typing, talking to a co-worker, chewing food, etc. (Similar to Allen’s point)
Don’t: in an ideal world, eat, surf the Web, respond to e-mail, etc.
March 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm #124809
Please, please, please do not hit the Hold button causing music to play for the rest of us while we try to hunt down which person it is.
March 4, 2011 at 7:09 pm #124807
Agreed. The mute button is your friend.
March 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm #124805
I’ve gotten killed by this one before.
March 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm #124803
Agree on the Do. I think we often forget to do this.
March 7, 2011 at 12:47 am #124801
Let’s not also forget people who are teleworking from home or from stations. It’s the elephant in the room. I don’t want to hear you washing dishes, your children cooing, music in the background, the television or anything else. I only want to here you and what you have to say.
If you have a cell phone or smartphone and you know that you may get a bad connection please use a landline. If your company offers the latest technolgy e.g. Gotomeeting, Webex, Cisco MeetingPlace, LiveMeeting with a 1-800 number please use it. Please do not conference me in by three-way calling because what happens is that it delays the meeting because the meeting organizer ends up hanging up on someone because it is not done effectively. I don’t care if it is just one person….set up the meeting with a 1-800 number because more than likely someone will want to be added to the meeting. Trust me on this.
If your company offers this technology please get trained prior to setting up the meeting. You can have the best presentation but if you can’t use the technology your meeting will go nowhere.
Once the meeting is done please provide notes to the attendees within a quick turnaround and next steps to prevent having additional meetings. Don’t you hate it when you can’t remember what you talked about in the last meeting?!
A great book is Briallant Meetings
March 7, 2011 at 12:56 am #124799
Speaker Phone, no one can hear you and the speaker picks up every sound.
March 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm #124797
Do be sure to keep everyone on the same page by offering verbal cues, e.g. “Looking at Joan’s chart on this subject, we can see…” – remember that the folks on the phone cannot see what you are pointing at nor do they know when you’ve flipped the page. Also, a little time on spent on reading out loud will help everyone get up to speed
March 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm #124795
There are no visual clues on who should speak so try not to address questions to everyone. Ask “is there anyone who did not hear the last point?” rather than asking “did everyone hear the last point ok?” Or ask a specific person or group. For large meetings, I may see if there were questions by time zone: “does anyone in central time want to comment?”
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