In the modern business world, where teams and individual contributors are distributed around the world, the importance of the conference call grows every day. It can be difficult to get people in the same country, let alone the same meeting room, so conference calls just make good business sense.
In this distributed world, this means that your conference call needs to be streamlined to get the best results. Of course, LEO meeting rooms give you all the tools you need to make sure you get the best from your conference calls, but there are other things you can do to ensure you have the most efficient and productive meeting possible.
1. Arrive on time
Sounds simple but ensure you arrive on time. Remember that when you join the call, anyone who is already on the line will hear a tone that announces your arrival. Consider what it would look like if you arrived at a physical meeting and plan accordingly – after all, just because you can’t see the other participants, doesn’t mean you should arrive late.
2. Test your technology
A reliable conference room will make sure that your meeting runs smoothly. Therefore, the equipment in the room should work simply but it is always worth checking before the conference call starts. You want to make sure that before you start presenting all your slides, you can share your screen etc. Taking 20 minutes before the call to make sure all your tools are working will make the conference call go smoothly and make it feel more professional.
3. Bigger isn’t better
Occasionally you will find yourself at a meeting or conference call where everyone from the CEO to the intern has been invited, and find them very unproductive – maybe the CEO dominates the call, or maybe you find most people are being silent – there are a myriad of problems that you can have with a large group of people on a call. Instead, you should keep the conference call to a small number of people.
Only invite the people who need to be there. If you want to get the best from them, you should also let each individual know why you’re asking them to attend. It helps them feel more secure, particularly if they are a more junior employee, and with this added confidence you will get more from them in the meeting. Having people participate more deeply in the meeting ensures a smoother meeting and much better outcomes.
4. Set your agenda
Setting an agenda early and passing it around will make sure that your conference call is kept on track. Writing down a concrete outline, including time constraints ensure that your meeting doesn’t swell unnecessarily. The agenda also tells everyone at the meeting exactly when topics will be addressed and who will be leading the conversation on them. This is also beneficial for when people get distracted – the agenda allows you to get the conference call back on course.
5. Let people know that you have joined the call
When the time for the conference call comes, let people know that you have joined the call. Don’t lurk in the background, introduce yourself! If you know everyone who is on the line, you can just use your first name, but if the call includes people you don’t interact with often, it’s best practice to give your full name and mention your department and title. This way, everyone knows who is on the call and what kind of contributions they can expect.
6. Mute yourself
One of the most annoying things when on a conference call is the background noise. It can be very distracting when someone is speaking, especially if a participant is getting an echo and can hear their voice immediately after speaking, so make sure you mute yourself when appropriate. Other common issues include a low-level buzz, hum or static, normally due to electronic devices placed near the speaker so make sure to remind people to pop their devices on flight mode or simply keep them away from the unit.
So there you have it – some ways of improving your conference calls. If you’d like a meeting room for your next conference call, LEO can help. Contact us today.