Just imagine if conference calls hadn’t been invented. People would be traveling every single day from all over the world just to attend a one-hour meeting with managers and team members. Just imagine the time and energy you would be wasting just trying to get to the meeting. Fortunately, we have conference calls today. And it has never been easier to gather people together to brainstorm, set goals, review, analyze, and prioritize. Regardless of what time it is, or which part of the world you are located in, if you’re having an important meeting soon, here are some pointers on how to have a successful conference call.
Get prepared and OrganiSed
Prepare everything you will need ahead of time. Book the conference room and reserve any other equipment you might need, like projectors, speakers, whiteboards, extra chairs, water dispensers, etc.
Familiarise yourself with the conference call equipment before the actual conference call. Learn what functions it has and which buttons to press, even basic troubleshooting should there be any technical problems. Also keep a copy of the conference call number.
Circulate an Agenda
Inform everyone in advance, by email, where and what time the conference call will be. Have them sign off and reply to the email to confirm their attendance. Include in the agenda what time the conference call will start and end and when the break period will be. Provide a schedule to which attendees must strictly adhere.
Make sure that everyone receives an email explaining what the conference call is about. This will equip everyone attending with the information they need to answer questions and follow the discussion easily. This will also foster active participation among the group and allow them to speak up if they need to.
Be there at least fifteen minutes ahead of everybody to make sure that everything is ready and functioning. Make sure that the air conditioning is not too cold and not too warm. Check that the speakers are working and that the conference call system is working perfectly. If it will be a long conference call, make sure there are some refreshments available. Also, check that there are enough chairs in the room for everyone.
Schedule Guests Accordingly
This way, you don’t end up with twenty other people packed into the room when they are needed only during the last hour of a three-hour conference call. Limit the number of people in the conference call to keep it organized.
This conference call need not be a one-man show. You can employ the help of someone who can act as your assistant so that you can keep your focus on speaking and running the meeting. Have someone monitor the time and the people who are supposed to be coming in to ensure smooth flow.
Focus on the Conference Call
Do not use this period as a time to check and reply to emails, chat on your phone, catch a few winks, or drink and snack. When it’s not your turn to speak, turn off your mic. Keep the noise inside the conference room to a minimum. Pay attention and take notes. Be mindful of your schedule and make sure that you set a pace to the discussions so that you can cover everything.