Conference Call

Tips for a More Productive Conference Call

These days, a conference call is a ready substitute for face-to-face meetings. When you're in Wellersburg PA but need to conference with clients, customers or collaborators in the next state over - or on the other side of the world - a conference call is the next best thing to being there. While the business conference call has become ubiquitous for most [statetitle] business owners, conference meetings are rarely used to their best advantage. These tips can help you make sure that your next conference call - and every one after that - is as productive as it can be.

Circulate an agenda to all participants before the conference call. It helps them prepare and be a more effective part of the discussion.

Start with an introduction. This is especially important when the conference call involves people who don't know each other well by voice. It will help them identify who is talking throughout the meeting.

Stick to the theme. Choose a facilitator with the skill to move the conversation along whenever the discussion meanders into side roads. Remember, conference call time can be expensive.

Only schedule a conference call when you can't accomplish your aim with focused email discussions or one-to-one telephone calls. Conference calls provide an environment for brainstorming when you need input from multiple people at once.

Provide a time structure for the call and stick with it.

Delegate. If you're leading the meeting, you can't effectively do that, keep time and queue up questions and guests at the same time. Delegate the responsibilities to make sure that you can focus on keeping the conference call moving along.

Limit the number of active participants on the conference call to four or five at most. Many Wellersburg PA conference calling services allow you to selectively mute and unmute participants so that the conversation stays on track and there aren't too many people speaking at once.

Keep the conference call short and sweet to keep everyone's attention. Remember to thank everyone before hanging up and follow up after the call with email to distribute minutes and any decisions that were made.