With the major shift in the way people do business, these days conference calls are on the rise. There are multiple workgroups, whereby some work remotely, while others work at the physical brick and mortar facility. Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize that conference calls are just as important as an in-person meeting. What this means is that it’s important to be mentally present and attentive during the call. They should be free of distractions, productive and should result in an action plan in most cases.
Whether you are on a business trip, work from home or work from the office, when participating in a conference call, there is a certain level of etiquette that everyone should be mindful of. Below is more information on conference call etiquette that everybody should be aware of. For the most part, there are things that should take place before, during and after the conference call. More information on each area is provided below.
Before the Conference Call
As a common courtesy, there are certain things that should take place before the conference call begins. This will help participants better prepare for the call and ultimately have a more productive call meeting.
Inform Participants About the Purpose of the Call
Before the call begins, participants should be informed about what the call is about. Additionally, they should also be fully aware of all of the participants.
Schedule a Time When the Call Will Begin and When it Will End
When setting the time, be sure enough time is allowed to cover each topic. When participants are aware of the time constraints in advance, they can plan to stay focused and stay on track during the call.
Prepare and Distribute an Agenda in Advance
Having a detailed agenda prepared in advance will help the facilitator move the meeting forward. It will also help the participants to be mindful of the time constraints as well.
Assign a Conference Call-in Number in Advance
The organizer should determine who will be calling in before the call begins. They should make sure a conference call-in number is provided beforehand.
Additionally, the use of a quality and reliable toll-free calling service would be most appreciated by the participants.
During the Call
During the call, the participants should consider the following as indicated below.
Be on Time
One of the first things that should be done is showing up for the call on time. In fact, it’s better to arrive about five minutes early to address any technical difficulties.
It’s also very good etiquette to announce yourself at your earliest convenience upon getting on the call. Particularly, if you’re on a call with people who may not know who you are.
Be Courteous and Allow Others to Speak
Although most calls are open platforms for others to comment on the topics being discussed, it’s important not to dominate the conversation and prevent others from chiming in when needed.
Announce Early Departures
If you have to leave the call early, sometimes it’s difficult to jump into a conversation and interrupt others to let know. However, it is proper etiquette to make an announcement rather than getting off the call. Otherwise, the remaining participants may assume you have been informed about topics that were discussed after you left the call.
Remember the goal and the purpose of the call, which is to discuss and resolve various topics and assign new action items. As a result, it’s important to remain on topic and stick to the items that appear on the agenda; leaving other topics for discussion after the call.
Make Your Presence Known
Since most conference calls are not video conference calls, it’s important to make your presence known by participating in the conversation as often as needed.
Know When to Mute Yourself
During a conference call, you should mute yourself when you’re not speaking; and even more so if background noise is coming from your end. Otherwise, it will disrupt the other participants.
Properly wrap up the call
It’s important for the facilitator to properly whine down to let others know that the call is coming to an end. Avoid abruptly ending the call by allowing others to make final remarks before concluding.
After the Conference Call
After the conference call, it’s important to follow up with the participants.
Write out the Outcome of the Call
Before following up with participants be sure to write out all of the decisions that have taken place during the call. This will allow the participants to better understand what was achieved and who has been assigned to various tasks.
Connect With and Reach out to Any New Acquaintances
If you made new acquaintances during the conference call, be sure to follow up with them and connect with them on social media.
To conclude, remember a conference call typically consist of other professionals, so the way you conduct yourself on the call has a great impact on how others see you. Hopefully, the tips provided above can assist you in displaying proper etiquette during your next conference call meeting.