Conference calling with a VoIP phone system has become one of the most widely used forms of communication in recent years. It’s an easy way to host meetings, training courses, and other events when you, your employees, and your clients are spread across the country (or the world). However, hosting a conference call is much different than a one-on-one phone call or even an in-person meeting. In that way, learning good conference calling etiquette can make sure that your calls are efficient and professional.
DO introduce everyone on the call
When you have a conference call, you can’t always see who is on the call with you. Five people could all be sharing the same phone, for instance, and you would be none the wiser. So, as you begin the conversation, make sure you go around and say who is on the call with you and have them say a quick hi. However, if someone comes into the call late, don’t immediately announce their arrival. Whoever’s speaking could lose their train of thought, so introduce the person when they first want to speak.
DON’T always keep the mic open
If you’re not talking, then hit the mute button. It may seem silly, but you’d be surprised how much background noise can get through on a phone call. This is especially the case if you work in an open-concept office. Just be sure to turn it off when you have to start talking again.
DO check your equipment beforehand
Technical difficulties happen. Even if your phone system has worked 99.99% of the time, there’s still that .01% chance that something wrong could happen just when you need it most. Get a coworker and test your equipment thoroughly before an important conference call to ensure that everything is as it should be.
DON’T allow for too much silence
Silence can be unsettling on a phone call, as you can’t tell what people are doing or thinking. It can also seem rude if you appear unresponsive for too long. Instead, keep the conversation going as much as you can. If you’re in a situation where you can’t immediately answer a question (for example, you’re trying to find something in your email), then narrate what you’re doing. You can also give yourself some time by saying “Let me think on it for a second,” so that the following silence isn’t so unexpected.
DO summarize the call at the end
Don’t assume that everyone on the call was keeping notes and knows exactly what they’re doing when they hang up the phone. Instead, reiterate what has been established at the meeting and what still needs to be done afterwards. If you’d like, you can send a follow-up email so that your objectives are in writing as well.
DON’T have specialized conversations
If you’re on a conference call with ten people, but have a specific question for one of them, then save that question for another time. Time is precious, after all, and you don’t want to force the other eight people to sit and wait for you two to finish. Plus, if you start discussing other topics, you could forget about the main purpose of the meeting.
DO end it on a good note
No matter what you’ve discussed during the meeting, you always want to stay polite up to the very end. As the phone call draws to a close, then, say goodbye with a smile. It may seem simple, but it can go a long way in establishing good relationships with your colleagues or clients.
Good conference calling etiquette can do wonders for your business relationships. Nevertheless, you need to have the right tools at hand to support you. At Vaspian, our VoIP conference calls are free of charge with every phone system. Give us a call today at 1-855-827-7436 to learn more.