Regardless of whether you think the conference call is still relevant in 2015, they remain a staple of our business day. Whether you’re meeting with coworkers or external vendors or clients, the need to talk quickly and easily with groups isn’t going away anytime soon. However, the audio-only nature of conference calls can lead to some awkward, inefficient moments if you’re not properly prepared.
Here are 6 phrases you should avoid during your next conference call:
“I’m on slide 11.”
While audio conferencing has a wealth of productive applications, reviewing documents and project files is not one of them. Instead of trying to walk people verbally through a document, consider escalating the meeting to a web conference, where the host can screenshare the presentation and ensure that everyone is on the same page, both literally and figuratively.
“I couldn’t find the dial-in number/passcode/PIN.”
Confusing, constantly changing dial-in numbers and passcodes are yesterday’s news. There are far better ways to join your audio conference call today, from conferencing solutions that dial-out to the number of your choice to smart calendar apps that automatically plug in all of the required numbers at the touch of a button.
“Who just joined?”
An unfortunately common phrase in conference calls, “Who just joined?” simply means you have no idea who else is on the call with you. If you find yourself in that situation, it’s time to reevaluate your conference call solution; modern audio conferencing software offers both desktop and mobile apps that provide a simple visual solution to the “Who just joined?” problem.
“I got dropped.”
On the flipside of joining, having to rejoin a conference call with a refrain of “I got dropped” interrupts the flow of any meeting. While not always avoidable, there is some simple prep work you can do to mitigate the danger of dropped calls. If connecting via VoIP, ensure that you have a strong enough Wi-Fi or wired connection to support your audio connection. If you’re dialing in from your smartphone, make sure you’re in a location with a strong enough signal for you to come through loud and clear.
“Please mute yourself.”
As the meeting host, if you find yourself dealing with overly noisy meeting attendees, you may be inclined to politely ask them to mute themselves. Unfortunately, the guests that are unaware they’re making noise are just as likely to be unaware that you’re addressing them (in other words, they may think they’re already muted!). Familiarize yourself with your meeting host controls and learn how to mute guests yourself so you can keep your conference call humming along.
Okay, not technically a phrase, but sneezing into the mic? No one wants to hear that! Remember: your mute button is your friend. Master it and it’ll save you from plenty of professional embarrassment.
Conference calls don’t have to be painful; with the right technology and meeting tips in hand, you can keep your audio meetings efficient and productive.