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.

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