Conference Calls Weren’t Always So Easy

Teleconferencing (conference call) is becoming a core communication technology for everyone, from businesses to non-profit organizations to families. It has revolutionized communication in much the same way as the cellphones completely revolutionized personal communication, and for the same reason.

Simplicity.

But free conference calls weren’t always so easy.

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The Guide to Holding Effective Business Conference Calls

The Guide to Holding Effective Business Conference Call

Business conference calls are essential to keep everyone in your company connected and informed, but because are usually quick to forget the fact that conference calls need to be productive too.

Fun fact: did you know that no one is actually paying attention on your conference calls?
Now that you’ve made this groundbreaking discovery, how do you retain attention on your (surely) important business conference call? Well, our guide should be able to prevent your biggest childhood fear/adult reality: no one is listening to you.

Know thy enemy (in this case, equipment)

If you’re using new software for your conference call, make sure you know how to use it! Try to set up a practice call where you can learn the features, including how to mute your microphone and any (or all) callers. Let’s face it; we’ve all been a part of that meeting where the leader has NO idea what he or she is doing and ends up looking foolish for it. You don’t want that to be you!

GOALLLL… of the conference call

Conference goalsIt’s important that everyone participating understands why they’re there and what is expected of them. Just remember to keep your objectives realistic. A single hour-long conference call isn’t going to result in a full marketing strategy, but it’s a great place to brainstorm ideas, decide on a process and assign responsibilities. Plan how long the call will be, what topics will be covered, who will speak, and what information will be required.

Business Conference Calls Are All Location, Location, Location

Sad conference callNext, pick the right space to take your conference call. Closing the door of your office should be sufficient if you’re taking it solo, or you can relocate to a conference room if taking the call with others. If you’re running the call in an open office, the call can be a bit more difficult, but still manageable. Ensure a seamless call by heading to the space early to test speakers and any other necessary electronics like projectors.

Visual Aids & Conference Call Collaboration

If you’re using an accompanying presentation with your call, it’s a good idea to send it out beforehand so everyone can jump onto the call prepared. Be wary of longer presentations as they are well known attention-killers. Screen sharing via a web conferencing service is also a great way to keep everyone on the same page in real time, eliminating the possibility of anyone not being able to follow along.

And In Conclusion…

Meeting endAs your call draws to an end, do a brief recap of what was discussed and any solutions arrived at during the meeting. Allow extra time for any additional questions and ensure that everyone feels included as they leave the call. If there are “next steps,” check to be sure to follow up with each person’s responsibilities and give your participants your contact information should issues arise. Some people may have questions for everyone’s ears and others may warrant a separate call; learn to spot the difference to avoid keeping people on a call no longer relevant to them.

FreeConference.com the original free conference calling provider, giving you the freedom to choose how to connect to your meeting anywhere, anytime without obligation.
Create a free account today and experience free teleconferencing, download-free video, screen sharing, web conferencing and more.

Why Teleconference is better than “Telepresence”

What is a “Telepresence”?

The word “telepresence” conjures up images of the movie Avatar. It is supposed to imply that you actually have a “presence” in the room. Telepresence is a glossy marketing term that really means: “unnecessarily expensive teleconference”. A standard video conference call will give you exactly the same “presence” in a room.

For free!

A picture really is worth 1,000 words. This picture of a “Telepresence” group tells you everything you need to know about why teleconferencing is better than “telepresence.”

Unless you’re looking for a way to throw money off the back of a train, that is.

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3 reasons environmental organizations use conference calls

Like many other forms of social justice, environmental activism is changing. Organizations are sharing knowledge globally, and using simple technology to connect social movements. In the 21st century, activism is all about bringing people together across distance and experience.

In the Arab Spring, the primary “weapon” used was the telephone.

Conference calls live at the very heart of the new communication technology. For environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the questions are not so much “do you” use teleconferencing, but “what features” do you use.

And also that great question, “Why?”

The three main reasons Environmental NGO’s use conference calls are to save money, to be more effective, and to walk their own talk. Like so many organizing strategies, the three are complementary, and help with achieving short, medium and long-term goals.

But all three, in their own way, help reduce the number of grants you need to write.

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What makes conference calls so useful to scientists?

Scientists pursue discovery in a highly competitive environment. Funding is tight. Knowledge is hoarded. The first one to publish gets all the glory, and often the financial rewards. Yet nowadays scientists often collaborate on projects even though they might belong to many different institutions scattered across the globe.

Conference calls are becoming more useful to scientists every year, as cost-effective teamwork becomes an increasingly central factor in discovery and invention.

Science is learning to crowd source, but it hasn’t always been so.

In 1895 when Alfred Nobel died, he held over 300 patents. He went down in history for inventing dynamite and establishing the Nobel Prize.

But one thing he couldn’t foresee was how his limit of maximum three shared recipients per prize would become wildly obsolescent over time.

He didn’t anticipate how important teamwork would become to science.

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Mobile Conference Call Apps Shatter the Boundaries of Time and Space

Organizations know that meetings are necessary to keep communication flowing between staff teams.

Unfortunately, the more staff you have and the more spread out they are, the more difficult it gets to assemble the right people in the same room at the same time.

Luckily, you don’t have to be Einstein to figure out how to engage all those people in space-time. The simple solution is to use Web Conferencing for meetings.

Even if you all work in the same building, by eliminating the “travel and assembly” portion, conference calls gives you the freedom to make it easy and convenient for staff teams to communicate better.

Mobile Conference Call Apps shatter the boundaries of time and space to take this freedom to a whole other level.

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Why Entrepreneurs Love Teleconferencing

If you wonder why entrepreneurs have a love affair going with teleconferencing, the answer is quite simple.

They were made for each other.

Entrepreneurs swim in a shark-infested sea of risk management. They thrive on innovation. Entrepreneurs are natural efficiency experts, and above all, they know how to bootstrap.

And the feeling is mutual. Teleconferencing loves entrepreneurs because entrepreneurs get teleconferencing.

It’s nice to be understood.

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The Tao of New Year’s Resolutions for Businesses.

 

Christmas can be tiresome, because it is now all about buying something. New Years is different. If you make a New Years Resolution, the holiday can be less about buying something and more about being something. This works for businesses too. We’re always being told to invest thousands of dollars in better Customer Relation Management (CRM) tools, shiny new websites or expensive consultants.

Does everything have to cost so much? Could we not just be a better business?

A wonderful way to become a better business is to improve our communication. After all, we don’t have to go out and buy new staff; we can just help them be more efficient and productive.

One of the simplest ways to improve communication in any organization is to use more conference call technology.

Why Conference Calls are so convenient

Everybody has a phone, and a phone is all you need to make a conference call. Everybody has a computer, too, which unlocks another level of convenience with Screen Sharing and Web Conferencing. You don’t have to purchase anything to take advantage of conference calls.

With Call Scheduling, you can automatically send out Invitations and Reminders, and set up Recurring Calls. You can use the Moderator Controls located in your Personal Meeting Room to make sure everybody can hear clearly.

Beyond the basics, there are an amazing number of features and possibilities available, like Call Recording, where you can get an MP3 file of your call emailed to within two hours for podcasts and videos, and Transcription, where you can get your meeting written out as a Word Doc.

But even with all these Features, the entire infrastructure needed is all in the Cloud, and it is maintained and upgraded by FreeConference.com. None of these teleconferencing features require downloads or software licenses. There is literally nothing to buy.

How Conference Calls help you become a better business

Conference calls make it so cheap to keep in touch with high quality audio calls and even Video Conferencing, that they let you have as many meetings as you need. While this can really matter if you have been trying to save money by cancelling transcontinental trips, it can still make a huge difference with a staff team located in a city, or even in one large office building.

Conference calls start when everyone picks up the phone.

There are no elevators, stairwells, hallways, meeting rooms, planes, trains or automobiles involved. Travel time and office disruption can be thought of as “meeting friction.” Reducing meeting friction is the easiest, most profitable way to promote communication in an organization.

Being a better business

A New Year’s Resolution to become a better business by practicing evolved communication is so much better than presenting Santa with a huge shopping list.

Like they say: you have to be the change you want to see in the world.

3 ways to prepare your business for a better New Year

We live in a culture obsessed by finding what’s new and exciting. That means, if you want your business and organization to prosper, you’ll not only have to deliver your product or service, but do it in a way that captures people’s imagination with the latest social media trends.

Champagne doesn’t just taste good; it has bubbles.

New Year’s is a great time to reflect on how you can prepare your business for a better year ahead.

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5 Reasons Consultants Use Conference Calls

If you are a consultant, closing new contracts is probably the hardest part of your job. Organizations are always afraid of change, even if they know they need it.

Of course, one of the biggest fears clients must face is their misunderstanding that organizational development is a cuttable “cost”, when it should be thought of as a vital investment. But it isn’t just the fees that scare customers away, it is the perception that the consulting process will incur organizational costs by chewing up too much precious staff time.

Smart consultants mention the use of conference calls in quotes because offering powerful, efficient and flexible communication technology as part of your package can help overcome those fears and close the deal.

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