Conference Calls – We’ve all experienced awkward meetings over the phone or computer and now they’re being used more than ever. I’m here to provide a few conference call tips to help them run as smoothly as possible.
- Facilitate – Make sure that the person in charge has an agenda and keeps the meeting on track. It’s easy to go off on tangents and draw out conversations, but staying on topic and knowing what to move onto next will help prevent the meeting from straying too far.
- Stay Focused – I know it’s hard to resist answering emails during meetings but this will undeniably take away your focus from the conversation. You don’t want to be “that person” who isn’t paying attention and needs something repeated because you weren’t listening.
- Mute & Unmute – Silence is golden! If you’re not talking, mute yourself so your children, barking dogs, or any other noises don’t interrupt the meeting. Also, remember to unmute yourself BEFORE you start talking so there aren’t any awkward silences when you begin speaking.
- Eliminate Outside Noise – To go along with the previous tip of muting, while you are unmuted to talk, make sure you’re in a quiet place that won’t have any sudden noises. Using a headset also helps with this, so your computer or phone doesn’t pick up every little noise in the background.
- Find a Reliable Conference Line – It’s hard to have a good meeting when calls are dropped, people sound like robots from bad connections, or anything else that typically causes complications. Experiencing frequent issues? Take a little time to research some new ways to connect. FMTC uses Zoom. Participants can call in from a computer or phone, see everyone’s face if they’ve uploaded a picture or use video, and also share screens.
A Conference Call in Real Life
Just for laughs, here’s a funny video that shows a typical (and terrible) conference call in real life: