How to Conduct Better Conference Calls

Submitted by: Ashley Speagle

Conference calls are notoriously awkward, full of goofs and potentially unproductive, but they’re also a vital component of company communication both internally and externally. When everyone can’t be in the same room, you need a tool to bring them together for discussions and collaboration.

However, attendees on your conference calls aren’t paying attention, and they may even be focusing their attention on other work. Hiding behind the facelessness of audio conferencing, attendees can multitask or mentally check out without ever being seen—missing out on the important message you’re delivering and not offering new ideas to the conversation.

So how do you conduct better conference calls? Here are three ways you can do less and get more out of your calls:

1. Meet less frequently. Our work culture often confuses time and meetings with productivity. Holding lots of conference calls is an easy way to “show your work” as proof of progress and time well spent. However, conference calls that are too frequent are one of the key causes of your attention deficit. Instead, save meetings for when you have completely new, urgent information to share or when you need participation and feedback from others. Save the recaps, alignment and previews for emails.

2. Meet with less people. Only the key players involved in your project or message should be invited to your conference calls. Anyone that’s only loosely affiliated will zone out and feel that their time is wasted, so just include them on your meeting recap emails. Additionally, this will help those actively participating feel more comfortable asking questions and chasing new ideas without worrying about taking up too much time.

3. Limit meetings to less topics. Conference calls are already full of lost and confused attendees between messy dialogues, unclear agendas and repetitive questions (and add to that the nuances of joining and staying connected for mobile callers). Don’t add to the confusion with too many topics of discussion. And if you can say it in less words, do it. Put your stats and facts on paper or slideshows, send them prior to the meeting and resist the urge to read through them word for word.

Sometimes it’s not you, though. Sometimes it’s your technology that holds you back from productive calls.

If your current solution’s missing an easy-to-use visual interface and crystal-clear audio quality, then contact PGi now to try GlobalMeet Audio® conferencing.

Image Source: Gratisography.