How to Keep Your Audience’s Attention During a Conference Call

Submitted by: Josh Erwin

Audio conferencing is a powerful business collaboration tool and remains one of the simplest ways to get a group together to discuss new ideas, report on progress or share a status update.

However, conference calls represent a unique challenge for meeting hosts: how do you keep an audience engaged with only your voice? Here are a few tips to keep your conferencing guests attentive:

Introduce Everyone
At the beginning of any conference call involving new voices, take a moment to give everyone an opportunity to introduce themselves. By attaching names and titles to voices, your guests will be more apt to listen to what insights and suggestions each individual can bring to the table, as opposed to tuning-out a disembodied, unidentified speaker.

Tip: Choosing audio conferencing software with a visual component – a desktop or mobile app – will make it easier to identify everyone on the call and know who is speaking when.

Ask Questions
One of the best ways to keep any meeting audience engaged, whether in-person, on video or on a conference call, is by regularly asking questions.

This is especially useful in certain meeting types such as product updates or trainings. Asking your guests if they’ve understood the presentation, have any additional questions of their own or something as simple as whether they can hear you clearly is a quick way to ensure that your message is being heard loud and clear.

Keep Things Moving
Make a point to set an agenda before your conference call and do your best to adhere to it. Meandering conversations and lengthy tangents will quickly bore your attendees and encourage multitasking or inattention.

By maintaining your agenda and shifting topics regularly, your guests will stay more engaged.

Take Breaks
For longer conference calls, the audio-only experience encourages multitasking and zoning out. Since participants are not on video, it’s much easier to take advantage of the relative anonymity and let yourself get distracted.

Empower your attendees to stay on task by regularly taking breaks during longer conference calls. The mental and physical refresher prevents meeting burn-out and is beneficial to all parties, including you as the host!