Conference calls are an increasingly necessity when it comes to modern day business dealings. The first time you join a conference call will seem like a daunting task, you may be speaking to people in 3 different continents! You usually have an agenda and hopefully you will be able to get your point across easily enough. But when it comes to actually hosting a conference call, you need to be really switched on. Sometimes they can go a bit wrong, but it is your baby and you should ensure that things run smoothly. Here we dispense a few tips that will help you nail that call!
Plenty Of Details
A conference call is usually one of two types:
- Emergency conference call – These are unscheduled and usually are very high priority affairs. They involve finding a workaround solution for an unexpected issue.
- Pre-planned conference call – These are usually part of a project’s activities and are intended to bring the team up to date. They are also important and require a lot of planning.
Your Conference Call
In this article we deal with the pre-planned variety of conference call, and you will be the instigator. You should draw up a list before making any further plans, something like this:
- Participants – Who are required to be in on the call? Detail their names and their responsibilities. Also where they will be calling from, any time differences and such.
- Agenda – Why is this call being made? If you have a list of actions, relate these to the relevant call team members.
- Minutes – Who will be responsible for taking down the details?
Once you have collated the relevant information, you need to send out emails with an invite option attached. Also include any extra information you may require the participants to gather before the actual call.
Every now and then, conference calls can go awry, this is usually because somebody forgot to join the call. To avoid this scenario, take alternative contact numbers for everybody. And send out reminders a day before the actual call, if you can’t get a reply from an individual, speak to his superior for an update.
Time For The Call!
As the call host, you will be the first to dial into the designated conference line, as each person joins, ask them to introduce themselves. Ensure that everybody has a laptop and that they are connected to the same network. This is especially vital if you are sharing diagrams and charts as part of the call.
Use Your Authority
If one of your callers is causing a lot of background noise, advise them to hang up and call back from a quieter location. If two participants disagree with a point, try to pour oil on troubled waters as quickly as possible. Remember that you are the one who is in charge of the call, no matter how senior another member may be.
After The Call
When the call ends, you should thank everybody for joining and ask if there is any other business. Send out an email with the minutes of the call attached and set a rough date for you follow up meeting.
James Hall, the author of this post, works at Esstech Voice and Data Services Pty Ltd, a company that provides telecommunication services. Besides claiming to be a massive technology fan, he also has a passion for writing guest posts.