Conference calls can either be extremely productive, or if not properly planned, a complete waste of time. We’ve all dealt with the latter, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Your colleagues are busy, and you are, too. When hosting a conference call, you should respect your attendees’ time by doing some prep ahead of time to ensure the call is as productive as possible. Here are some tips to make sure your conference call runs smoothly:
Test the Software
If you’re new to using the conference call software or have never hosted one before, it’s important to do a test run before the official call. This will allow you to work out any kinks prior to the meeting because there’s nothing more awkward than encountering preventable tech difficulties on the day of the call.
Create an Agenda
An agenda or meeting outline is one of the biggest keys to a successful conference call as it helps make the best use of time, while keeping things organized and moving. Plan ahead and put together a list of all discussion items and relevant documents.
Create a Back-Up Plan
No matter how much one prepares, sometimes technology fails or things go wrong, so it’s advisable to send the conference call agenda, any relevant documents, call-info and presentation to attendees prior to the meeting. On the day of the call, make sure to have this info and documents on hand to prepare for the worst.
On the day of the call, dial in about 5-10 minutes early to ensure that you’re punctual. It will also create a small buffer in case there are any last minute kinks to work out.
Visuals are a helpful addition to any conference call in order to make the meeting more engaging. To avoid a total snore fest, it’s also important to encourage attendees to contribute during the call and join the discussion by asking questions throughout.
Provide a Post-Call Summary
Either designate someone to take minutes during the call or take notes yourself. Put together the minutes or summary and send it out to invitees after the call. This will help reinforce key points from the call, inform those that were not able to attend and keep your projects moving.
For more information about making the most out of conference calls, visit Vaspian.