There are many factors that can come into play during a conference call, but the keys to successful conference calls are simple and straightforward. These guidelines will enable any team, no matter how big or small, to have a successful conference call. A good conference call should be concise, lasting 30 minutes at most and should get everyone on the same page. Too frequently these conference calls seem to accomplish little and leave the team in disarray.
Use High Quality Equipment
Without quality equipment, the conference call runs the risk of ending before it begins. It should go without saying, but if you are unable to hear the other individuals or if they can’t hear you, the conference call will be finished before it even begins. Look to improve upon the paper cup and string you may have used to communicate with when you were a child – investing a little in technology will save you time and money in the long-run.
Stay Focused on the Agenda
Have an agenda and stick to it. This helps hold the participants’ attention and moves the call along at a faster pace, which improves the experience for everyone involved. Nothing will turn a good day sour like an overdrawn and unproductive meeting. Leave the water cooler discussions for personal phone calls. This will lengthen the meeting, and not everyone will appreciate certain topics. Here at Teambox we use the notes to keep meeting agenda organized.
Have a Leader, But Let Everyone Contribute
Having a designated leader will reduce the length of most conference calls. This will focus conversation on the essential points of importance. The leader should know when to have the other participants engage in dialogue as well. These responsibilities are important to get the most out of the meeting, while also moving the conference call along. The goal is to have the shortest, most effective meeting possible.
Take Time for Final Comments
Give every participant the opportunity to leave a final comment before exiting the call. This time should be used to clarify anything that was misunderstood during the meeting and reiterate important information. Additionally, this gives participants the opportunity to engage each other and showcase their strengths to the group.
Take Notes and Distribute Minutes
Taking and distributing notes helps confirm that your virtual team is on the same page. Color coding tasks helps separate them from basic information in the minutes. Consider taking notes right on a computer so they can easily be copied and distributed later. Meeting minutes clean up any confusion and increase the productivity of the team. At Teambox, our notes feature allows us to all be on the same page. We can even share the notes with people not included in the Teambox project by sending them the URL.
Following these simple tips will help increase productivity on any conference call. As long as the group can successfully dial into the conference call, your team will have a productive meeting. Always remember to keep it simple and focus on the things that matter most.