Top 10 Conference Call Tips

1. Quiet, please – golden rule number one is go somewhere quiet where the din of the office rabble won’t disturb proceedings. Similarly, make sure delegates are in a place where it will be easy for them to hear you and you them. If you are still having trouble, make use of the handy mute features – for more information see our free conference call user guide.

2. Introduce yourself – people sound different on the phone and there may be attendees who don’t know you so introduce yourself before getting down to business.

3. Time is of the essence – it may sound obvious but if you are chairing a meeting, arrive in plenty of time. If you’re a couple of minutes early it also means others who are there beforehand won’t hear the ‘on-hold’ music. Similarly, encourage other attendants to be prompt too.

4. What’s the agenda? If people are sent the agenda beforehand, they’ll know what to expect and will even be able to prepare a little, therefore making your meeting more effective.

5. A good chair – not the kind that you sit on – every good meeting, and especially ones via teleconference, need an effective chairperson. As there are no visual clues, having someone who makes sure only one person speaks at a time means meetings will run smoothly and be easy to follow.

6. Who’s who? Knowing who is taking part and who has already arrived at the conference call means you will be able to keep track and also call on specific people during group discussions. It also makes meetings more personal in the absence of visual cues.

7. Promote a good discussion – as the chair it is your duty to make sure everyone has the chance to partake in discussions. Let everyone have their say but ensure points are relevant to the topic and overall agenda.

8. Be expressive – on an audio conference no one can see your body language so you will have to make up for this with your voice – be vocal and use intonation to be expressive.

9. Don’t be cheap – using inexpensive speaker phones will affect the clarity of the call and spoil your audio conference. Invest in a decent one or use a good handset instead.

10. Follow up on a call with an email thanking everyone and answer any lingering questions. In addition, don’t forget to send out minutes of the meeting as soon as possible after.