Conference calls are an essential tool in today’s businesses and we rely heavily on these tools to help us operate. With more remote workers and satellite offices around the world, conference calls are a great way for teams to collaborate.
To ensure your meetings are polished, professional and most of all successful, check out our list of 10 conference call etiquette tips.
Be on time
We all know the day goes by too quickly and this one can sometimes be easier said than done. It can be helpful to take a look at what calls you have lined up for the day each morning to help stay on schedule. I’d also recommend having your dial-in information easily accessible and dialing in a minute or two early to avoid any delays. If something does pop up and you know you’ll be late, notify the host as soon as possible so they can determine if the call needs to be rescheduled.
To make the most of your meeting, come prepared to the discussion. Scrambling for things last minute will waste time and can disrupt the flow. As a host, supplying an agenda or a clear description of why the meeting was called is always best. Attendees should gather any needed documents, facts or talking points that may be needed.
As a courtesy to attendees, make them aware of the attendees participating in the meeting. Before the call, hosts should include the attendee list in the invitation to help with any pre-call prep. Once on the call, confirm participants who have joined. If your conference call includes people from outside of your group or organization that you have never met, it’s best to announce your name and job position for some added context.
There are plenty of things that can easily call your attention away from the meeting at hand. New emails popping up or a coworker stopping by to ask a question can make you miss important info. You also never want to be the person who has to ask someone to repeat themselves because you weren’t paying attention. Still feel like you’re giving in to the distractions? Try turning off your email pop up notifications or put a sign outside your workspace to let others know you’re on a call.
Use the Mute button
When you’re not speaking during a conference call, it’s always a good idea to go on mute. Unwanted background noise like moving a piece of paper on your desk or chatter in the office can be disruptive to the conversation.
Be aware of your voice
To insure you’re understood by everyone on the call, it’s important to be conscious of your voice. Speak clearly, take some pauses and be sure your speaking loud enough. If you tend to be a soft-spoken person, position yourself closer to the microphone for better pick-up.
Be courteous on the go
Although it’s always best to take a conference call in a quiet location, it’s not always feasible especially if you’re on the go. Let your fellow attendees know you’re in a less than ideal place. Acknowledging the unwanted background noise will help and attendees will feel more comfortable letting you know if they’re having a hard time hearing you. Try your best to find a quiet corner and utilize that mute button!
Don’t let side conversations dominate
If you and another participant have a side-bar conversation that goes on and on and has no relevance to the meeting agenda or other participants, suggest taking the matter offline. It’s best to schedule a separate meeting rather than take away from the set discussion and waste the other attendees’ time.
Recap action items at the end
As you’re getting ready to end the call, reconfirm the action items that were discussed. This will serve as a good reminder so folks on the call walk away knowing who is doing what.
End on time
Be considerate of your participants’ time. If you feel the call may run over, the host should confirm if anyone has a “hard stop” at the close of the scheduled meeting time. From there, determine if another call needs to be scheduled to finish the discussion.
Get more from your conferencing by incorporating some of these conference call etiquette tips into your practice. Want to take your meetings to the next level? Check out our range of products
that enable the most reliable and natural conversation in every meeting space!