Many of us have been forced to work from home and communicate with our employees from a distance.
How can you prepare for and get the best out of your next conference calls and engage your employees effectively.
Read on to find out.
Conference Call Etiquette
What is Conference Call Etiquette?
Conference call etiquette is seldom discussed but is assumed by the participants of the conference call. Here are four of the most important points to keep in mind.
Minimise background noise - Ensure your surroundings are as quiet as possible. Annoying noises are very distracting for everyone on the call, including yourself.
Remember to press the mute button - if you want to be heard for the remainder of the conference call, remember to unmute yourself.
Introduce yourself - Don’t assume all participants know who you are; if you have something good to say make sure listeners can put a name to a voice.
Be prepared - Do you know how to dial in? Is your connection good? It is embarrassing to delay everybody because you don’t know how to participate in a conference call at the last minute.
Share an agenda with participants
If you are organising a conference call you should have a specified start and end time with a topic for discuss within a designated time frame.
Appreciate that participants may have other time commitments after the call so you must stick to these time scales so ensure you're organised and prepared. Make sure you give specific topics their own time portions to ensure that you cover everything.
Practice how you will open the call and run through each point before the call starts.Don’t take too long over a single point. If you wish to discuss a detail further with a participant, arrange to do so after the conference call and move onto the next topic in hand.
Make sure you include all participants in the conference call, encouraging participation will make everyone feel at ease and discourage any awkward silences.
When should I speak?
It's exciting to be in a conference call with likeminded people, but you should not get so excited that you don’t allow anyone else to speak.Listening is just as important as speaking.
If you misjudge the end of a conversation say, ‘excuse me, go ahead’. When you find your opportunity to speak, or you are invited to speak by the host, ensure that you do not get interrupted.
An effective way to achieve this is to say that you have two points to make and then say ‘my first point is…’ using this strategy you should be allowed to introduce your second point seamlessly.
Above all, it is important to speak slowly and clearly. Taking your time clears nerves, allowing you to sound as coherent as possible.
Keeping your focus during the call
Keep yourself engaged in the conversation by following our handy tips:
pay close attention to who is saying what
keep a keen ear on certain conversation topics which you hope to contribute to
note the speaker and what their point is to use as reference when it is your turn to speak.
include participants in your conversation by creating opening statements such as ‘like John referred to earlier…’ or ‘I agree with what was said about the time scales, but I think this could be improved further…’ etc.
What not to discuss on a Conference Call?
You do not want to discuss anything which is personal to yourself or another person within the call.
If you have things to discuss with certain participants, then call them individually rather than bringing inclusive issues up within the call.
Fellow participants may feel uncomfortable or excluded from the call if they feel they are not involved.
It is worth noting that conference calls are often recorded and so any embarrassing comments you make can be listened to by anybody within the business.
Making conference calls part of your business strategy?
The global pandemic, social distancing and working from home has made conference calls necessary for many but conference calls are already the preferred choice for many businesses.
Conference calls are a straightforward way of gathering everybody together at short notice and at an agreed time to discuss recent activities or last-minute changes to plans.
Conference calls are efficient, saving costs such as mileage, accommodation and catering.
About the Author
Millennial Procurement is a UK based boutique procurement consultancy specialising in purchasing and supply chain management.
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