Conference calls can be effective ways of communicating to a group of people at one time or they can be a big waste of everyone’s time if not prepared, planned and executed correctly. I want to share a few tips and pointers I have used in the past to chair and lead a conference call.
- Determine your group or audience you will be including on the call.
- Send a thorough invite out via your email calendar. You want to make sure you include all participants, the correct date and time/duration, the call-in number, a password if needed and any attachments needed.
- Have an agenda for the meeting and send out to all participants prior to the meeting. A clear, concise schedule will clarify the reason of the meeting.
- Always start and end the conference call on time. People’s time is valuable and you will lose respect if you show up late to your own conference call. I recommend being on the line 3-5 min before it starts so you are the first one on the call.
- Try to make the conference call interactive. This will keep people from putting the phone on mute and “multitasking”.
- Have all participants say their name every time they talk. This helps alleviate confusion over who’s talking.
- You are not just the chair; you are the facilitator of the meeting. Keep everyone on track and if certain items need to be “tabled” until the next meeting, do so.
- Designate follow-up tasks at the end of every meeting and insist on the assignee’s confirming. This way, your meeting is sure to be productive and polite after the conference call is over.
Written by: Zandr Tesolowski
Zandr Tesolowski is a Technical Recruiter at Godshall Professional Recruiting and Staffing. He is a graduate of Clemson University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Technology and Human Resource Development. He has nearly 10 years of human resources experience which includes recruiting, employee relations, compensation and as a business line partner.