The very definition of a conference call is a telephone conference in which several people can talk at the same time. This technology structure makes it very susceptible to conference call interruptions, or just interruptions in general. Not only is it annoying, conference call interruptions can become a recurring obstacle to time management and efficiency, especially on a conference call; a platform designed to get things done. So in the spirit of getting rid of it, here is how to deal with conference call interruptions.
The conference leader should set the tone for the conference call.
The conference leader should create an environment during the conference call that makes all the callers feel included in the conversation, a place with equal speaking opportunities for all attendees so no one feels the need to interject. With a clear agenda, the leader will have enough structure to hold all questions to the end, so speakers can commence without any conference call interruptions. The conference leader can also dismiss interrupters and cut them short, condemning the behavior for the rest of this and future conferences. Participants can also aid the leader in these tasks.
Be prepared for conference call interruptions and do some groundwork.
It is almost inevitable to get interrupted in the course of your career, but there are things you can do to reduce the chances of it happening. If there are people you don’t know in the conference call start by introducing yourself, forming even short-term relationships can decrease interruptions. Speaking with confidence and volume has also shown to narrow the gaps susceptible to interruptions, as fellow callers are more drawn to your point if intrigued by the assertive tone.
Take advantage of the technology and adapt to your conference call.
Conference call interruptions might not just come from fellow callers, they could come from anywhere: a dog in the house, someone eating, or just general inadvertent noise in the background. Certain conference call services (like ours) provide features that can resolve these issues, Q&A and Presentation modes mute everyone but the presenter, and the online meeting room can display where noise is coming from. Technology has come a long way, while privy to interruptions the invention of the conference call opens the meeting to colleagues in remote places, it can also provide the solution to your conference call interruptions.