Conference calls are a common and convenient way for businesses to hold meetings, but they’re not always as productive as we would like. Following conference calls that become time wasters, it’s not uncommon to hear this complaint: “That’s an hour of my life that I’ll never get back!” It doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of conference call etiquette rules that can be incorporated into these meetings to improve the overall communication and increase productivity among conference participants. It happens to be the topic of this week’s UC Tech Chat video; but before you watch, here are some helpful Do’s and Don’ts for your next call:
Conference Call Do’s:
- Watch the clock. Make good use of everyone’s time.
- Come to the call with an agenda, clear objectives, and role expectations.
- Make sure to provide a quick overview at the start of the call as well as a quick summary at the end of the call.
- Introduce all parties on the call. Always introduce participants to each other and acknowledge new attendees as they join the call.
- Ensure participants are following along. When referring to slides during a presentation, number the slides and clarify as you move from one slide to the next so that all callers can easily follow along.
- Pay attention. This may seem to be a given, but it’s not always that easy to do.
- When you’re on a conference call at your desk, it’s often very tempting to check e-mail, work on documents or do other personal work. Typing on a keyboard is disruptive, however, and callers can hear you. In addition, you may miss the flow of conversation and progress in the meeting.
- When you’re in a conference room, avoid using your mobile device to check e-mail during the conference call.
- Forward incoming calls to voicemail. When joining the conference call from your desk, be sure other incoming calls will not cause a disruption.
- Turn off your cell phone ringer, pager, etc.
- Speak using a ‘normal’ tone of voice. Today’s conference phones offer excellent acoustic clarity. Yelling or speaking too quietly is distracting.
Conference Call Don’ts:
- Don’t put the call on hold. If you have to step away, use mute hold because music is very disruptive to others on a call.
- Don’t interrupt. Give others a chance to finish what they are saying before speaking.
- Don’t have side conversations. They are a distraction to those listening from the other end.
In this week’s episode of UC Tech Chat, Jason and Brian take a look at some additional etiquette rules to consider during your next conference call to make it more productive and less frustrating for everyone involved. They also discuss some of their personal pet peeves. Later in the show, Julie Webb answers a viewer’s question about conference call service features and which ones are worth the extra penny.
Watch this week’s full episode of UC Tech Chat, now.
If you have questions, or want to join in on the conversation, use the hashtag #UCTechChat on Twitter to discuss each episode, or leave us a comment here about your conference call pet peeves, or your tips for more productive meetings.