Are you often making conference calls?
Conference calls happen on a weekly and sometimes daily basis in corporate life, but are you following the rules when making your corporate conference calls?
Remember these rules when using Blue Jeans for your next online conference call for IT or another corporate sector.
15 Rules to Remember When Making Conference Calls
Here are the 15 rules to remember when making conference calls:
1. Agree on The Where and When
Before making a conference call, agree who is calling whom, at which number and at a specific time.
Deciding these details at the last minute will only waste participants’ time and make the conference call less productive.
2. Offer to Call The Person Helping You
Whoever is asking someone else to complete a task should make the conference call. If you are asking someone to lead a project for you, you should offer to call that person and if you are helping someone else with a task, have that person call you.
3. Limit The Time Length of The Call
Schedule the call for a specific time length. The conference call can be as little as 5 minutes long. You do not need to round up to 30 minutes for all conference calls.
4. Let Participants Know Via Email if Tardy
If you know you will be late to the conference call, let the other participants know via email immediately and offer to call them when you are ready.
5. Don’t Leave a Message The First Time
If another participant does not pick up, do not leave them a message the first time around. Simply wait a few minutes, call back and if they do not pick up a second time, leave a message and email, informing them that you called and letting them know how long you will be available.
6. Set Up a Dial-In for Three or More People
If more than two people are participating in the conference call, set up a dial-in ahead of time with a conference call service.
7. Limit The Number of People on The Call
Limit the participants to only necessary people. The more people on the line, the less productive the conference call, so only include the essential participants.
8. Location, Location, Location
Set up the conference call in a quiet room with a good signal. Try to use a landline if possible to avoid problems with the call signal. If you do happen to take the call from a noisy location, place your line on mute unless you are speaking.
9. Practice Using The Phone Ahead of Time
If you’re using a phone or line that you don’t use regularly, you should practice operating it ahead of time to avoid technical problems during the conference call itself.
10. Use a Screen Sharing Service
If you must use slides or documents to present your information during the conference call, use a screen sharing service rather than sending the slides to all participants via email.
This ensures that people don’t look at all the slides ahead of time and then stop paying attention. Make sure that your screen sharing service works before the call starts to avoid technical issues.
11. Consider Video Conferencing
If you are meeting people for the very first time, you should consider video conferencing with them to get familiar with each other.
12. Start The Call on Time
To avoid wasting everyone’s time, you should start the conference call line at least five to ten minutes before your meeting begins, says Forbes. If someone joins late, do not catch him or her up, as this only wastes time and encourages late participants to join meetings late in the future.
Encourage any stragglers to catch up with another participant at the end of the call to learn what they missed.
13. Summarize at Beginning and End
Introduce yourself and why you are calling at the beginning of the call, as well as the agenda and your goals. At the end of the call, summarize your talking points and detail action items.
14. Establish Rules of Call at Beginning
In the first few minutes of your conference call, detail how long everyone has to talk, so that you can manage the conversation and limit the call to a reasonable length. Introduce everyone at the beginning of the call as well.
15. Call on Participants
If you are the call organizer, you should call on people to participate and ask them questions if they are not speaking up or if certain people are monopolizing the conversation. And remember not to lecture your participants, says Computer World.
Let’s quickly recap in short on the 15 rules to remember when you’re making conference calls:
- Agree on the where and when
- Offer to call the person helping you
- Limit the time of the call
- Let the participants know via email if tardy
- Don’t leave a message the first time
- Set up a dial-in for three or four people
- Limit the number of people on the call
- Location, location, location
- Practice using the phone ahead of time
- Use a screen sharing service
- Consider video conferencing
- Start the call on time
- Summarize at beginning and end
- Establish rules of call at beginning
- Call on participants
With video conferencing services, you can easily conduct conference calls for a number of corporate sectors.
Such services help you save the time and money it would take to travel for conferences and meetings, allow you to collaborate with colleagues and clients in remote locations and make your meetings overall more productive.
Companies across the world use these video conferencing services to conduct online training and HR interviews, hold press conferences, share presentations and hold global meetings.
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