One of the challenges that many of us encounter day-to-day is the conference call.
Whether it’s an audio-only call or includes video, it’s a great tool when we have to arrange meetings with people who work in distant offices or are traveling.
However, if you’ve ever suffered on a call it’s worth recapping on best practice.
We’ve put together 6 points to help you.
1. Try out the conference system
If it’s the first time you’ve used a conference system try it out in advance. This will make sure you’ve got the right number to dial or if you’re doing it from your PC that everything seems to be set-up OK. Also, make sure you know how mute works.
2. Find a quiet place
In advance of the call think about somewhere quiet and private you can go.
3. If you’ve arranged the call, take the lead
If you’ve arranged the call make sure you take on the lead role. When everyone has joined do a roll call where everybody shouts out their name – write them down. At the end of the call go round again and ask for everyone’s final comments.
4. Make sure everyone can hear
If you have some people in the room with you and others that are calling into the meeting it can be very difficult for those outside the room to follow what’s happening. Make sure you check that they can hear (especially after someone has mumbled something), bring them into the conversation by asking them questions and make sure everyone speaks up.
5. Mute out background noise
When you’re not speaking put yourself on mute to get rid of background noise (or the sound of typing). And if you’re leading the call tell everyone else to use mute as well.
6. Be prepared
Finally, tools like Skype and Lync can be used for audio and full video calls. You might be expecting to attend an audio call but your host suddenly decides to make it into a full video conference. So think about what you’re wearing. Do you need to comb your hair? Do you need to tidy up your office?
And to reinforce why best practice is important, take a look at this very funny video on what a real-life audio conference can be like. It will make you laugh!
Director, Product Focus