On average, busy professionals attend 61 meetings per month, including conference calls, face-to-face meetings and web conferences. To make the best impression in your conference calls, here are 10 must-read business etiquette tips.
1. Include all attendees’ names in the body of the invite, and do a roll call at the beginning of the meeting.
2. Add distance between your call and dogs, children, loud traffic and crowds. Personal noise is a huge audio etiquette faux pas. Make sure you take conference calls in a quiet, controlled area.
3. Stick to the time allotted, and never go over one hour. Putting a strict time limit will help avoid multitasking and time-wasting.
4. Offer a way to see the conference call. Many conference calling providers offer a desktop and/or mobile app to “see” the call. This way, people receive visual cues on who’s in the conference call, who’s talking and can even control their audio quality. Watch this video to learn more.
5. Go over the agenda before every call. A clear, concise agenda will clarify the purpose of the meeting, keep everyone on topic and your time under control.
6. Introduce who’s talking and ask for people to hold their questions until prompted. This will help avoid uncomfortable and time-consuming interruptions.
7. Be a “mute” expert. Sometimes, your line is perfectly crisp but everyone is hearing feedback, crackling or other audible pains. Mute your line every time you’re silent.
8. Don’t put yourself on hold. Hold music is a conference call killer. Don’t answer another call or click hold if you have to step away.
9. Say your name every time you talk. “This is Blakely” helps alleviate confusion over who’s talking.
10. Designate follow-up tasks at the end of every meeting, and insist on the assignee’s confirming. This way, your meeting is sure to be productive and polite after the conference call is over.