Getting Started With a Conference Call

Conference calls are an excellent way to communicate with team members who may be unable to meet in person. They can be particularly helpful for gathering feedback and discussing issues that have not yet been addressed in face-to-face meetings.

The first step in getting started with a conference call is to prepare and share an agenda so that everyone knows what they are expected to discuss. Make sure you send this information to all participants at least a day before the meeting so they have time to get familiar with it.

If you are conferencing with employees or colleagues that you do not know well, it is important to make an effort to introduce yourself. This includes saying your name, title and interest in the topic of discussion.

It is also a good idea to ask if anyone has any questions or insights they would like to share on the call, and to invite them to do so during the discussion. This will help ensure that all voices are heard and that everyone is on the same page.

As a leader of the call, it is your responsibility to ensure that the conversation remains focused and on-topic. This means reviewing the agenda at the start of the call, referring back to it when necessary and capturing any unrelated issues in notes so that they can be addressed in follow-up meetings.

A great way to avoid wasting time on irrelevant topics is to keep the agenda short and concise. Instead of discussing the latest baseball game or the movie you saw last weekend, try to target the top five issues that need to be resolved and suggest a plan for action.

You can also use voice cues to direct your attention, such as a quick pause before addressing another participant or taking a few seconds to count for three before moving onto a new topic. This helps people focus on the conversation, and it reduces the possibility that they will lose track of what is being discussed.

If you have a conference phone, such as an ErisStation, it is a good idea to purchase a detachable microphone so that all participants can hear what you are saying. This will allow each participant to hear the other speakers better, as well as to speak more clearly, which can improve their own communication skills.

Your voice is your primary communication tool, so take the time to practice using it effectively before the conference call. This can include ensuring your tone and speed are appropriate, as well as practicing taking pauses and speaking loudly.

The best way to energise the call is by introducing yourself, especially if you are presenting. You can say something like “I’m so excited to be joining this call with you all!” It will encourage all participants to be active and engaged, and will help prevent the tendency of slipping into silence during the call.

Lastly, be sure to finish on time! This will help to create a positive impression and ensure that everyone leaves the call on a high note. It will also show that you respect their time, priorities and obligations, which is crucial to keep your team motivated.

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