With so many people working remotely, conference calls are a part of every business owner’s life. Talking to multiple people at once can be intimidating for some. But going into the call prepared can make things go smoothly.
Here are eight conference call etiquette tips every employee should know.
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Create an Agenda
Creating an agenda is one of the unspoken, but well-known rules among business owners. If you’re the one scheduling the call, it falls to you to make one. A conference call agenda is basically a list of topics to bring up during the call. Your agenda should always prioritize the most important topics first.
Some great examples include the status of the business, how well your employees are doing, the complaints they may have and what improvements can be made. Going in without a set list of topics can make things confusing and have everyone talking about multiple subjects at once.
Don’t Talk While Others Are Speaking
It goes without saying that it’s rude to talk over others during a casual conversation. However, it’s even more so when it comes to conference calls. Talking over others is disrespectful and just leads to chaos. In fact, it becomes noise pollution to have multiple people talking in your ear at once. Also, while you may feel obligated to correct someone as they speak, it’s best to wait until they finish.
Let Someone Know You’ll Be Absent
In some instances, you may not be able to make it to the call. Whether it’s because you’re not feeling well or there’s a family emergency, you must report that you’re going to be absent. If you don’t, it’s going to make you look unreliable and disrespectful.
After all, you’re not the only one attending the call and it’s not fair to make others wait because you didn’t report your tardiness. Or if you are able to attend the meeting, albeit for a short time, let people know in advance.
Practice What You’re Going to Say
We’re going to be honest; not everyone is confident enough to speak in front of a group of people and that’s totally fine. You might even be afraid to speak and accidentally trip on your words. This is a common symptom of stage fright, but luckily, it’s not too difficult to get over.
One of the best we can give you is to practice. The first step to practicing is to plan what you’re going to say about a given topic. Go into the mirror and just start talking. Start by perfecting your introduction and gradually go from there. Anything that sounds awkward or unfitting for the situation, you can easily change it until it’s to your liking.
Keep the Background Noise Out
Background noise should never be allowed to infiltrate your conference call. Children screaming, dogs barking and doors slamming in the background is distracting. If you work remotely, conduct the call in a quiet area.
Shut Your Eyes As Others Talk
This may come off as odd, but there’s a good reason for doing so. Closing your eyes makes it much easier to listen and focus on what someone is saying. Seeing is one of our main senses, so cutting it off heightens our others senses, like hearing.
Be the First One There
If you’re the one who scheduled the conference call, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be the first one there. The same also applies if you’re simply attending the call. Showing up early shows your ready, willing, eager and responsible. You know how we mentioned it’s disrespectful to not show up? It’s also disrespectful, and disruptive for that matter, to show up in the middle of the call.
Take Advantage of Screen Share
Conference calls are more than just a bunch of people talking on the phone about the business. It is supposed to be a coordinated, detailed meeting that answers questions. If you’re working remotely, screen share is your best friend.
This handy feature allows you to share your computer desktop screen with the other participants. It allows you to showcase things, like powerpoints showcasing statistics, to further get your point across.
Whether you’re conducting or participating in it, everyone has the same role in the conference call. Please use these tips to sharpen your conference call etiquette skills and make your next conference call a success.