The Basics of Using Conference Calling for Business

 Gary Wilkinson
  Apr 16, 2019

Using Conference Calling for Business

conference calling

Conference calling is an effective tool for organizing and managing teams, both remote and locally. It’s important to meet with your teams frequently to discuss deadlines, expectations, and performance trends, among other things. Utilizing a conference call can make this process simple and won’t require in-person meetings that may be difficult for remote employees to attend.

Choosing The Right Service

Remember the days of connecting multiple phones on a single conference call line, often to the dismay of your company’s phone bill? International and long distance charges are a thing of the past with the rise of web-based conference calling services.

Web-based conference services are simple to use and very affordable in most cases. Most websites offer a monthly package in which you can make unlimited calls, and many of them even provide tools such as screen sharing software and video calling.

When you set up a conference call, having the right service provider can make all the difference

in the quality of the call and the integrity of the connection. Always utilize the services with high customer service ratings for high quality, well-connected calls.

Have A Clear Purpose for The Call

Conference calls can become extremely inefficient when the conversation has no direction. It’s important to have a clear purpose for the call, so you’re not wasting your time or anyone else’s for that matter.

Before the call, let participants know the details of the discussion in advance, preferably in writing via email or even a printed document. This will give everyone a clear idea of what the discussion should pertain to, and what goals you hope to achieve by the end of the call.

Be sure to repeat the call expectations at the beginning of the call as well, to reinforce what you’ve already stated before the conversation begins. Maintaining focus will make for a more efficient and effective meeting.

Only Invite Relevant Participants

It’s a good idea to go over the participant list before you set up a conference call. Does Larry from Human Resources truly need to be included in a sales projection discussion? The right participants matter just as much as the right conference calling service.

Go over the subject matter and remove any participants that are irrelevant to the discussion. That way, you can streamline the call and keep everyone focused on the subject matter at hand, and also keep sensitive or private information out of the wrong ears.

Set A Time Limit for The Call

This is arguably one of the more important aspects of setting up a conference call. Set a time limit! We’ve all been to those arduously long meetings where time seems to drag on forever and each minute becomes an hour.

When you pass a certain time threshold, attention dwindles and employees become disengaged with the subject matter. (This is also why it’s important to include the right people in the call, so the subject matter remains focused).

Set a time limit of one hour to maximize participation and retention. If you’ve got extensive subject matter, you may want to split it into multiple meetings. The important thing about a conference call is not what you discuss, but rather how you discuss it to maximize employee retention and interest.

Let’s be honest, some subject matter simply is not any fun to discuss. Sales numbers, employee cuts, or other negative subjects can be disheartening and make the call seem even longer. Try to minimize your conference calls’ time slots for maximum effectiveness.

Limit Background Noise

Sometimes we forget that the mute button exists, or we’re afraid to use it so as not to be rude. The fact is, sometimes you need to mute certain call participants. If you’ve got employees calling from home or other remote places, there is likely to be background noise.

Children playing, dogs barking, traffic, or large crowds are just a few examples of excessive and distracting background noise you may experience on a call. Don’t be afraid to use that mute button, just be sure to let the person know you’re muting them beforehand.

Try Screen Sharing to Maximize Retention

Screen sharing is a wonderful tool that allows you to share your desktop screen with other call participants. You can give presentations, show graphs, and sales figures, or other important visual information without having to leave the conference call.

Screen sharing is a great way to augment your conference calls with pertinent information and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Most conference calling services offer some form of screen sharing software with their calling packages, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.

Utilize A Post-Call Survey

After the call is completed, reach out to the participants and invite them to complete a few short questions regarding the call. Ask things like “how was the audio quality?” and “was the content relevant and easy to follow?”

This feedback will help you effectively develop better calls in the future, maximizing their effectiveness and the satisfaction of its participants. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Even if it’s negative, view it as a tool for growth rather than a hindrance.

Conclusion

Conference calls are one of the best tools for communicating effectively with employees. Utilizing the right tools, setting a time limit, and providing an agenda will ensure that your call is effective and efficient. After all, you want everyone to get back to work as soon as possible!

The Basics of Using Conference Calling for Business

Gary Wilkinson

Gary Wilkinson is a 28-year-old internet marketer from the north of England.

He owns Link-kings.com and is CEO of Link Kings Agency.

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