The art of conference calling is definitely a skill worth building if you’re running a modern business. Being part of a conference call is equivalent to participating in a heated debate. You have limited time, and you need to get all your points through while contesting with the commotion of your colleagues and technical issues on call. So how do you ensure you get heard during a conference call? Here are a few pointers that can help you with the same:
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Set your Agenda
Once you have received the invitation to your conference call, it’s time to start preparing your agenda for the meeting. Just like you prepare for meetings, prepare for conference calls as well. It should go without saying, but make sure you have all of the information you need to participate in the meeting beforehand. The key is to keep your participants engaged to avoid an awkward lapse in the conversation. The best solution for this is to lay out your agenda ahead of time so that all parties involved are aware of the schedule and you can seamlessly move from one point of interest to another during a lull. Ensure your primary checklist is ready. Jot down points that you wish to discuss during the meeting, and list them on the basis of priority. This will simply help you recall your pointers at a crucial time.
You don’t want to miss a minute of the meeting you are going to be a part of. You do not want to miss your chance to speak because you were making yourself a cup of coffee or tea, or refilling your water bottle while the meeting is going on. Have everything you need at an arms-length when you sit for your conference call.
Silence is Golden
“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.” – Josh Billings
This is good advice when it comes to your next conference call. The only thing people should be able to hear on your line is either silence or your voice. Enter the discussion only when it is relevant. For example, if a discussion about sales forecast is on, it makes little sense for you to bring up operational issues affecting a day’s work.
Pay attention! You never know when you might be asked for your opinion on what’s just been said, or to summarise the points discussed, so listen at all times.
Know your Audience
You might have a thick accent and your top notch vocabulary might make you charming, but it can make you hard to understand, especially for people who aren’t as good as you when it comes to their command over the English language. Try slowing your speech and pronouncing words clearly. Even if you’re a bit of a motor-mouth, lower speeds and clearer talk will make it easier for anyone taking notes. It is of the utmost importance that conference calls are handled effectively; here is how you handle the conference like a pro.
You may be Recorded
One thing that a lot of people often forget with virtual meetings is that nothing is off the record. Whether it’s over Skype or a conference bridge, your conversation may be recorded by the meeting organiser or one of the other attendees. If you have an important point that you would like recorded for future reference, make sure you speak up. Also, at the same time, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want brought up again later. At my old job, I got into a habit of recording conference calls because there were so many disputes about what was said in a meeting. Always assume that others are, at the very least, taking notes, and possibly even recording the entire thing. Here is why and how you should be recording conference calls.
Conference calls and video chats are a necessary evil in the modern workplace, but done well, they can be fast, effective, and give even remote teams a way to keep in touch and feel connected. We hope the above given suggestions help you with your next conference call.
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