Conference calls are as popular as ever with no boundaries of physical presence. But this doesn’t make them any less important than physical meetings. In fact, conference call etiquette can affect the quality and results of your meetings. It’s unlikely for you to reach any result if you keep checking your email or playing a game during a conference call.
This being said, respecting the conference call etiquette is as important as physical meeting etiquette and depending on your abilities to follow them – you will either succeed or fail.
Below we have organized a detailed guide of conference call etiquette to help you ensure that your next conference call will be very productive!
Before the conference call starts
- Inform all the participants about the details of the meeting – If you are the leader of the call, make sure to inform all the participants about who will be attending the meeting. It’s a good idea to send out a Google calendar with time, date and participant names. This way people will know who they will be talking to and what they need to prepare.
- Set time limits – Since the meeting isn’t personal, it’s very easy to get off the topic. Set strict time limits and remember that you have a specific amount of time to handle everything you need to discuss.
- Prepare your agenda – Your time is not endless – you need to have a detailed agenda to guide you through the meeting and discuss everything on topic.
- Agree who is calling whom in advance – Make sure everyone has the right number to call and avoid time delays and confusions.
- Check your device – Your conferencing device (laptop, phone or whatever device you’re using to make a call) should be charged. Imagine what will happen if it suddenly turns off in the middle of the conversation!
- Choose the right location – Make sure to choose a quiet area for the call. Your partners will be annoyed to hear passing cars or side conversations during their call. If you don’t have a chance to do so, use Krisp which mutes background noise in calls from both sides and enhances your voice quality.
- Relax – And stay positive: everything will be fine! Technical issues happen to everyone, so if it does to you just stay calm. If you are too nervous, you can practice a few tips to alleviate stress before conference calls.
During the conference call
- Don’t be late – Let’s agree together that a conference call is also a meeting. You try to be on time in real life meetings, right? Treat conference calls similarly, be on time.
- Introduce yourself – When starting a conference call never forget to introduce yourself. It’s very important that people know and get accustomed to your voice, so they understand who is talking. If there are people who you’ve never met, make sure that everyone introduces themselves by the name, so the speakers will have a better understanding of who are the attendees.
- Let other people talk – While talking pause regularly between your speech. This will give an opportunity for participants to clarify or ask something.
- Inform people about leaving the conference – If you are leaving during the conversation, you should let other people know since it will be awkward and rude if somebody talks to you and then finds out you weren’t on the call all that time.
- Always stay on topic – Take a look at your agenda if you feel like the meeting is going the other way round. You have specific things to discuss, so don’t spend time on things that can be discussed out of the official call. When someone joins late it’s not a good idea to waste time and fill them in on what happened. Instead, the late joiners can check the meeting notes or catch up with you after the call.
- Don’t let the silence invade your conference call – Participants have no opportunity to see you, so if they don’t hear you too then communication will drop to zero. Let other people know if you’re busy checking something so they don’t think of technical issues or you disregard the conversation.
- Tell your participants that the conference is wrapping up – Don’t just suddenly say “bye” and go out of the call. The fact that the conversation is ending will give attendees the opportunity to say their final words or ask the last question.
- Mute yourself when you aren’t speaking – That will ensure that no noise will disrupt the meeting. However, if you have Krisp there will be no need for that: foreign voices will be muted automatically, and only your voice will be heard during the conversation.
Also, don’t forget to unmute yourself. You will create unusual silence in the conversation and will waste your time repeating yourself.
- Don’t put your conference call on hold – First of all, it is a sign of disrespect and shows your lack of attention and interest. Secondly, on-hold music will start playing and it will disturb other call participants.
After the conference call
- Write down all the decisions made during the conference call – Not only will this help you understand what you’ve achieved during the conference call but also will help you remember what you have to do.
- Connect with the new acquaintances – If you got acquainted with new people during the conference call, make sure to connect with them via social media or email. This will ease future communication with them.
- Share the results – Send the next steps and the results of the conference call to the participants so they also know their tasks and duties.
- Relax once more – The conference call is over.
We hope that this guide has helped you and that your upcoming conference call will be a total success. Good luck!