Conference calls can be a great way to hold a meeting or strategy session with employees or contacts scattered all around the world as long as you follow a few simple rules of conference call etiquette.
Treat the Call Like a Real Meeting
Do everything that you would do at a normal meeting. Pass out agendas or any other paperwork necessary to follow along during the meeting via email before the meeting begins. Once it begins, call roll to see who is attending and allow people to introduce themselves to each other. Take notes during the meeting, and supply the attendees with a copy of the notes via email after the meeting ends. Pay attention to the duration of the meeting, and end it promptly. This is especially important for conference calls where people may be calling in from different time zones where it’s much later in the day than it is where you are.
Recognize the Limitations of the Format
Speaking to 10 people over the phone is not the same as speaking to 10 people all sitting around a table with you. While it’s hard to follow what more than one speaker is saying at a time in person, it’s impossible over the phone. Allow others to finish before you begin speaking, and say your name each time before you speak, even if the other callers should know your voice, so that everyone always knows who is speaking.
Respect the Other Callers
Call in on time. Call in front a quiet room and use a landline if possible. Cell phones create an incredible amount of extra noise on the line, and even handheld phones can create static on the line if you wander too far from the base. If there is noise on your end of the line, press the mute button whenever you’re not speaking. If you have to take another call during the meeting, don’t put the conference call on hold. If your phone plays music when you put someone on hold, everyone at the meeting will be subjected to it for the duration of the hold. Even if your phone doesn’t play music when you have people on hold, there still tends to be a lot of extra noise on the line. Simply hang up on the conference call, take your other call, and then call the conference back as quickly as possible.
Conference Call Etiquette : Phone Etiquette
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Conference call etiquette – 14 (+1) tips