Due to recent events, the amount of business conducted through teleworking and conference calls has increased. Unfortunately, conference calls can prove challenging due to distance and the amount of technology involved. This means that whoever is leading the call has to take care to keep the meeting on track and professional. There’s nothing worse than an awkward conference call in which nothing is achieved. Here’s how to have a successful meeting via conference call.
The first step during the call is for the leader to get the ball rolling. Whoever is leading the call should always call in a few minutes ahead of time. This way you know that the technology is working and any other early birds aren’t kept waiting. Once everyone is on, it is important to introduce yourself and the topic.
Set Ground Rules
Next, you want to clarify any ground rules you want followed. You should tell attendees to mute their phones when not talking. It is also a good idea to specify whether you want attendees to hold questions until the end or not.
After setting the ground rules, you should introduce everyone else. It is important to bear in mind that everyone is in a different location and may or may not know who else is attending. By introducing everyone else, it gives everyone a clear picture of who is on the call.
Keep Everyone on Topic
Even though you’ve set ground rules, interruptions are inevitable. You should be prepared to handle any topics that your attendees may bring up. If it threatens to get everyone off topic of the stated mission, you should take note of it and bring it up at the end. Remember, discussion is unavoidable. Oftentimes, it is profitable. However, you should try to avoid topics that stray too far from the stated purpose of the call.
You should allow ample time for questions at the end. You don’t want everyone to feel as though you don’t value their opinions. By not allowing for questions you also run the risk of someone not understanding a vital point.