Love ‘em or hate ‘em, conference calls are an inevitable part of your workday. They’re so commonplace that Tripp and Tyler’s video mocking them has, as of this writing, over 8 and a half million views on YouTube. That’s a lot of mockery:
The question, of course, is this: if they’re such a common part of our workday, why are we so bad at them? Sure, technology issues do arise, and they can’t always be helped. But with audio conferencing’s evolution, the technology has gotten quite sophisticated, yet we continue to stumble our way through our calls.
Here are a few examples of some things that, quite frankly, there’s no excuse to ever say on a conference call anymore:
“…sorry, I was on mute.”
This one will happen, without fail, on every single conference call you ever attend, as if some scientific law of the universe had made it mandatory. You will ask a question, there will be a lengthy, inexplicable silence, followed by “Sorry, I was talking on mute!” Cue the awkward laughter and eye rolling.
“Who just joined?”
People: it’s 2014. We may not have flying cars yet, but jetpacks are kind of a thing, smartwatches are in vogue (Apple threw its wrist in the ring, so to speak, so let the games begin), drones are going to deliver our packages soon and Facebook bought a virtual reality company. Why are you still flying blind on your conference calls?!
“Sorry I’m late!”
You’ve meticulously planned your conference call, checked and double-checked everyone’s calendar and gotten RSVPs from all the major players. You even managed to get it started on time! Everything’s good right?
Of course not. Someone will inevitably aurally stroll in 5-10 minutes late, completely disrupting your flow with their entrance ding and forcing you to start over.
For more conference call Dos and Don’ts, check out 11 Business Etiquette Tips for Awesome Conference Calls!