By Michele Calderbank, converseNETWORKS
We’ve all been on a conference call that seemed as if it would never end or had no point or purpose. Just like an in-person meeting, if you show up late or unprepared, your conference will be ineffective, but a few simple guidelines can help produce better attended meetings. Poor calls usually start with poor planning: To produce a more focused and timely meeting, all participants should have call details — date, time (including time zone), phone number and conference code, and an agenda in advance. If it’s a web conference, attendees should be reminded to have their computer and internet access ready prior to the meeting start time.
It’s your call, take control: Be on time or early, conduct a roll call, then briefly state your agenda and establish time limits to complete those agenda items. Background noise can cause lost interest so utilize your conferencing tools to mute noisy lines, and involve all participants by asking for feedback, tabling discussions not relevant to the agenda.
Hold that thought: Once the call ends don’t jump to another project immediately. This is the best time to summarize the call in an email to the group, thanking everyone for attending and listing action items with an assigned party and date for completion.