As the days go by, it can be easy to get into a routine of doing the same things: using the same systems, running through the same procedures, etc. The New Year is a perfect time to reflect and try to improve your life, both your personal and your work life, in every aspect. Here are 10 ways you can improve your conference calls during this New Year.
1) Minimize Time
That’s right; minimize your time on the phone in any way you possibly can. This means to attempt to work as efficiently as possible. If you notice your conference calls are going over 1.5 to 2 hours, try to cut down your conference call time by working more efficiently. Create a timed agenda that can be shared with your entire team, so that everyone is on the aware of the topics to be discussed and is mindful of the time.
2) Appoint a Host or Moderator
This person will be in charge of keeping track of time, by doing things like reminding each person that their talking time is almost up, and by guiding the conversation to proceeding points on the agenda. This person doesn’t necessarily need to be a supervisor or a team leader, but they must know how to command the attention of the group.
3) Keep the Attendance List Small
Hosting a huge conference call but more than 5-10 people can often get hectic and even overwhelming. Having too many people on your conference call can lower the productivity and efficiency of the call, and potentially cause the group to be less cohesive. By keeping the attendance list to a need to know basis, you will keep the meeting straight, to the point, and comfortable for everyone.
Even in small conference calls, it can be hard to distinguish or recognize the voices of your coworkers. By starting off your conference call with introductions, this limits the time you would normally spend with awkward guessing games or questions throughout the conversation.
5) Invite People Only for the Parts They Need to Participate In
When creating your timed agenda, make bullet points of what needs to be discussed and invite certain members of your team only for the time that will directly pertain to their work. Not everyone needs to be on the conference call at the same time. By doing this, not only will you make the conference call more efficient for you, but you will also help your coworkers utilize the time that they would have been spending in a conference call that has no relevance to them.
6) Mute Participants as Needed
Limit background noise and distractions by muting callers so you can stay on track and on time. If needed, you can even utilize “Lecture Mode” which will allow you to mute all callers at the same time so that you can have the floor.
7) Limit Time for Questions
Upon inviting participants to this conference call, be sure to remind your team to send their questions to your email in advance, or not ask their questions until the appropriate time so that they do not disrupt the flow of the call. This will greatly minimize your conference call time and assure that everyone gets their questions answered.
8) Add Screen Sharing
Add screen sharing to your conference calls to add a visual element to your meetings. This is perfect for sharing presentations, outlines, layouts, and media marketing techniques. This can also help you keep your content engaging and interesting for your employees.
9) Use the Best Equipment
Make sure your team’s equipment for conference calling is updated and modern. It doesn’t matter how efficient your team is, if the conference call service is slow or unresponsive, your call may last twice as long as your expected. Upgrade your service and your headsets for the best most efficient conference call.
Don’t forget to follow up after meetings, whether this is through email or a post-meeting survey, communication is key.