The conference call is one of the most familiar rituals of office life. Leading a conference call is just like leading any other meeting, only you are not able to see if people are engaged .What this reality demands is your usual mode of leadership accented with a slight mechanical bearing.
When the recession hit, many companies cut costs by greatly reducing the number of in-person meetings. This forced employees into using conference calls as an alternative means of communication. Conference calls can be a productive and efficient way to hold a meeting, especially for individuals who would otherwise have to travel long distance to attend meetings which may at times just be for half an hour whereas the travel time could even be 2-3 hours or more.
However if the call is not conducted in a professional and organized manner, it can be a waste of time for everyone. Chairing a conference call gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to manage & direct others.
HERE ARE A FEW TIPS:
- Make sure all participants have the number to call with necessary details like why are you meeting, when and where is the meeting, who is attending, making sure that right people are on the call and starting and ending it on time is also important.
- Begin with the summary of an agenda and purpose of the meeting. Have people introduce themselves quickly. Speak loud & clear.
- Write down important points during the call, so you can raise them when you get a turn to speak. When not speaking, attendees should mute their phone/ mic, especially if they are in a place where there is a lot of background noise.
- Everyone’s time is valuable, so it’s important to keep the meeting moving along and cover all agendas.
- Review action items and other important take-aways at the end of the meeting. Confirm that everyone is in agreement with next steps.
- Always sign off from a conference call with a formal goodbye. It’s a phone call after all, and you would do the same thing if you were talking to a person one to one.